by Brianna Crandall — September 13, 2017 — Not all buildings are created equal; some fail at alarming rates, according to Liberty Building Forensics Group. Some failures occur at a high rate of frequency but result in minor, practically negligible consequences. Other building failures, on the other hand, while low in frequency, result in catastrophic results. This includes building failures from mold and moisture problems.
There is an interrelationship between the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and building envelope design and performance, notes Liberty. In some cases, the combination of HVAC and wind-induced outdoor air infiltration, planned or unplanned, can result in significant amounts of air entering, for example, a guest room, overwhelming the ability of the fan coil unit (FCU) to provide proper pressurization and sufficient dehumidification. This can result in moisture-related mold issues.
A mold and moisture peer review is specifically designed to address these kinds of issues, especially when architectural and mechanical designs are completed in silos, and construction is not able to identify key building performance problem areas before they result in building-wide damage, says the company.
Consider the Hilton Kalia Tower, which had a $60 million mold and moisture problem that closed the Tower for nearly two years so that remediation and corrective measures could be performed. If this project had undergone a peer review that targeted the potential areas of failure, these issues could have been prevented, asserts Liberty.
Additionally, buildings have become laboratories for product experiments by manufacturers that are clamoring to gain market advantage in today’s climate change arena, points out the company. A peer review mirrors the healthcare industry and inserts a subject matter expert into the design and construction process, who helps to make sure that the right people get the right information at the right time.
There has reportedly been resistance in the design and construction community to peer reviews because it appears to be an unnecessary added cost. However, peer reviews in the D&C process have been shown to keep costs in check, claims Liberty, especially against the tendency of some architecture and engineering (A&E) practitioners who may take a “belts and suspenders” approach to assuring that their building design will not have mold and moisture problems.
For more information about the power of peer reviews, get a copy of Liberty’s new e-book, The Single Most Important Factor in Reducing the Risk of a Mold and Moisture Lawsuit on Your Next Project, available for free download from the Liberty Web site upon brief registration.