This is the fourteenth post in a series by J. David Odom (ASHRAE), Richard Scott (AIA/NCARB/LEED AP), and George H. DuBose (CGC). It was first published as a mini-monograph for NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

Construction IAQ Management Plan During Construction and Before Occupancy Intent: Reduce indoor air quality (IAQ) problems resulting from the construction/renovation process in order to help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.

During construction there can be increased pollutant load in a building because of various factors: heavy particulate load and the off gassing of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from newly installed products. There are various methods of controlling this additional pollutant load, such as additional air filtration, the use of temporary air handlers for heating and cooling, and flushing out the building with additional amounts of outside air.

As proposed by LEED Credit 3.2, building flush out can occur either late in the construction phase or after the building is occupied. While the use of outside air to flush out the building may reduce the concentration of off gassing, it can also inadvertently cause moisture problems. Although the moisture problems may be short-term (decreasing after the flush out is finished), the resultant mold problems could be long-lasting.

The EQ Credits related to the Construction IAQ Management Plan allow for two separate approaches to building flush out, one during construction and an alternative plan after occupancy. Both approaches involve a substantial amount of outside air volume – 14,000 cubic feet (cfm) per square foot (SF) of floor area. Whether this flush out occurs rapidly over a several week period (during the late stages of construction) or more slowly over several months (during post construction), moisture problems are likely to result in many parts of the country during the summertime.

To be continued…

J. David Odom is a Vice President and Senior Building Forensics Consultant with Liberty Building Forensics Group. He has managed some of the largest and most complex mold and moisture problems in the country, including the $60M construction defect claim at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu and the $20M claim at the Martin County courthouse. He has also managed over 500 projects for the Walt Disney Corporation dating back to 1982 that have included technical issues related to corrosion, moisture, and design & construction defect-related problems. He has published numerous manuals and technical articles, including a monograph on moisture and mold for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). For more information, contact J. David Odom at d.odom@libertybuilding.com.

With over 35 years of experience, Richard S. Scott is an expert in the areas of architecture, interior design, and building forensics, with a focus on moisture-related building problems. He is certified by both the American Institute of Architects/AIA Florida and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He has published over 30 articles, and has lectured or presented at nearly 40 seminars or events. Mr. Scott has developed various training courses, including a 16-hour IAQ training course for NASA and an 8-hour water intrusion prevention training course for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). He can be reached at r.scott@libertybuilding.com.

George H. DuBose, CGC is a certified Florida General Contractor and Vice President with Liberty Building Forensics Group, a firm specializing in moisture intrusion, mold problems, litigation support/buildings forensics, problem-avoidance peer reviews, commissioning, and implementation of green buildings. He has authored numerous articles and co-authored three manuals on moisture-related indoor air quality (IAQ) problems and building commissioning. He has diagnosed and solved hundreds of moisture and mold related building problems worldwide. DuBose can be contacted at g.dubose@libertybuilding.com.