In a recent release, the GREENGUARD ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTE (GEI) announced rising interest in its Mold Protection Program, which was announced in February at a mortgage banker's convention in Orlando. GEI explains: “The program aims to assess and certify the design, construction, and ongoing operations of buildings, against a proposed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, to assure the appropriate practices were followed to minimize any moisture related problems.”
While mold and its potentially harmful effects on human health (not to mention the damage it can cause buildings), the current furor caused by mold can be traced to a $32-million jury award in 2001 to a Texas family that suffered through serious water damage to their home. Since then, building damage and health insurance claims have skyrocketed, insurers have reduced or eliminated coverage, lenders have been stuck with distress loans and worthless collateral, and developers and architects have been hit with huge lawsuits. The hurricanes last year only added more fuel to the already hot fire - mold lawsuits, legislation, and general complaints can now be seen in almost every state in the nation.
Overnight, mold remediators have popped up like used car salesmen with their new techniques ready for purchase. Additionally, product applications, typically biocides and other chemicals, have become popular to treat products and prevent moisture from forming. However, the effects of some of these chemicals is not yet clear.
GREENGUARD's Mold Protection Program takes a difference approach. Instead of focusing on moisture-related issues after they are present, GREENGUARD's new program ensures that the design has been reviewed, the construction has been inspected, and the ongoing operations are monitored according to the best practices of major professional organizations such as ASHRAE, AIA, and ACG. The certification then gives assurance to the marketplace that those responsible for the building are diligently abiding by the best in building science.
GREENGUARD is currently working with several lenders, developers, and insurers on several properties planned for construction over the next several months.
To find out more, call GREENGUARD at (800) 427.9681, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or visit (www.greenguard.org).