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“Till Death Do Us Part”: Preventing a Facade and HVAC Divorce When It Comes to Air Barrier Performance

Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems in Hot, Humid Climates
Due to Air Barrier Standard Confusion

By George DuBose, CGC; Richard Scott, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; and Donald B. Snell, PE, Cert. Mech. Contractor, CIEC

What’s to Prevent a Repeat of 2006 Failures in South Florida’s 2016 Construction Boom?

The immediate future looks bright for South Florida as it basks in a revival of new construction. But Florida-based Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) cautions designers, engineers, and contractors not to let history repeat itself.

A significant number of condo projects built in Miami in the early 2000’s ended in litigation due to building failures such as new product failures, humidity and mold problems, air conditioning failures, and even falling stucco off the building. Despite being a lengthy, costly, and hostile learning method, litigation is unfortunately construction’s only true form of feedback.

Building complexity and costs have not decreased since 2006, nor […]

New Webinar Addresses the Inherent Risk of Mold and Moisture Problems in High-Performance Buildings

The inevitable is about to happen: high-performance building objectives are emerging as the new normal across the country.

For some design and construction firms, this will mean business as usual. For others, however, the change will be cataclysmic, resulting in a much higher risk of mold and moisture-related building failures.

While high performance standards may not be fully adopted by all model building codes or jurisdictions, they will become the de facto standard of care. On the surface, this certainly has many redeeming aspects, such as mandating better-performing, more energy-efficient buildings. But it begs the question: will buildings actually get better or […]

New Online Course Demonstrates How to Design and Construct High-Performance, Low-Risk Buildings While Avoiding Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

The mission of designing high-performance buildings that promote sustainable objectives has led to new success stories but has also revealed vulnerabilities for potential mold and moisture failures.

The interaction between a building’s HVAC system and envelope creates an unusually high-risk area. Any deficiency in either system can cause dramatic, building-wide moisture and mold problems. Through the emergence of high-performance buildings combined with the use of certain new green products, designers and contractors have inadvertently created high-risk buildings when, in fact, the goal should be to develop high-performance buildings with the lowest possible risk of failure.

There is no building envelope which a […]

July 5th, 2016|Categories: Building Design, Building Envelope Failures, Courses, Design Deficiencies, Mold and Moisture, Problem Avoidance|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on New Online Course Demonstrates How to Design and Construct High-Performance, Low-Risk Buildings While Avoiding Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

LBFG Publishes “Waking the Dead” Article

LBFG experts George Dubose, CGC and Donald Snell, PE, CIEC published an article in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals’ Subrogator magazine.

The article, entitled “Waking the Dead: How to Subrogate a Zombie Defect Building Failure”, takes a look at the new edge in risk management concerns for the building industry.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Buildings with hidden flaws, known as ‘zombie defects’, are increasingly experiencing acute, massive failures that lead to extensive moisture and mold damage. This, in turn, results in complex insurance claims and confusing subrogation headaches for the industry.”

Click here to read the article.

June 17th, 2016|Categories: Building Failures, Publications|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on LBFG Publishes “Waking the Dead” Article

New High-Performance, Low-Risk AIA CEU Course

Webinar or In-Person Seminar Offering
One Hour – One AIA LU HSW

Designing and Constructing
High-Performance, Low-Risk Building Envelopes
That Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

Speakers
George DuBose, CGC; Richard Scott, AIA, NCARB; Chuck Allen, AIA; Steve Gleason, PE
Co-authors of the New NCARB Online Mold and Moisture Prevention Monograph

Course Title: Designing and Constructing High-Performance, Low-Risk Building Envelopes That Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems
Course Number: E2841601
Delivery Name: Liberty Building Forensics Group
Curriculum Group Name: AIA Providers
Credit Designation: LU|HSW

“The client did not see the value in LEED• certification,” were the words of an architect in a recent talk […]

The Incredible Predictability of Building Moisture and Mold Problems

Suppose there was a tool that could predict the likelihood of whether your building would fail. What if this tool could also provide you with information to help decrease risk factors? Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) believe we have created that tool.

NCARB, which represents nearly 40,000 architects worldwide, is launching a new online continuing education monograph that captures the updated version of a formerly released manual and provides CEU credits for registered architects. The monograph contains moisture-prediction guidelines adapted from a mold and moisture manual developed for the Disney Corporation and […]

Fear Factor: Mold Returns Despite Costly Repairs (Was It Rain Or Was It Air?)

Here’s a building owner’s real fear factor: your building is found to have mold and moisture problems. Diagnostic tests lead to a complete rebricking of the exterior, only for the same mold problems to return the following summer. That’s scary.

How could the repair have been so far off from what was actually the problem?

Most often this is a result of not paying close enough attention to mold and water damage patterns and, as a result, misdiagnosing – or only partially diagnosing – the root problem. This is especially common in cases where a building falls victim to complex moisture problems […]

Has Coastal Zone Hotel Construction Become the Twilight Zone for Mold & Moisture Control?

Just months after completing refurbishment on a 300+ room resort, the owner of the luxury coastal vacation resort began to wonder if he had entered into the twilight zone when mold and moisture problems suddenly emerged in numerous guestrooms.

He was perplexed that this problem was only now cropping up despite the fact that he had owned the property for over 25 years. Never in all that time had he ever experienced moisture-related issues. Why was the problem occurring at this point? What was different?

This scenario is all too familiar to building forensics experts at Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG), who […]

Military Housing Washes Out on New Air Barrier Standards

It remains to be seen whether new building code requirements that contain stricter air tightness standards based on energy efficiency initiatives are actually attainable.

Buildings that passed former air tightness standards with flying colors just a few years ago would now fail dismally under more recent, aggressive standards in codes such as IgCC and IECC.

Innovation incentives and high performance requirements may be well-intentioned but can lead to significant confusion – not to mention unachievable benchmarks and possible building failures.

These codes and initiatives are often driven by empirical laboratory analysis, which does not always translate well to field applications. Codification is then […]