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Building Health Sciences - Healthy buildings, healthy people, healthy business


Corrosive Drywall Crisis Creates Remediation Opportunities

In 2004, hurricane damage and flooding in the southeastern United States coupled with a nationwide home building boom created a strong demand for gypsum wallboard, which outstripped domestic supplies. Drywall was imported from China beginning as early as 1999, with an increase in quantities between 2004 and 2007. Approximately 550 million pounds or seven million sheets of drywall were imported, which was enough for 40,000 homes. Approximately 60 percent was delivered to Florida, predominantly for new home construction and 11 percent to Louisiana, for storm-related water damage. The rest was scattered across 35 other states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the years since its arrival in the United States, some of the drywall imported from China has caused corrosion of mechanical and electrical systems along with an unpleasant odor.The preferred descriptive term for this building material is corrosive drywall frequently abbreviated as CDW.

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Health Issues in the Restoration Industry

"We make it better.We promise." This is the Restoration Industry Association's motto published on their website. As a physician, however, I am not sure that, unless you are considering health, you can make that promise. I want to challenge you to think about health in a wider context than you, as a restoration professional, may have ever previously considered.

Whether you realize it or not, health is a component of your business and you, by your actions, decide whether it is a competitive advantage or disadvantage. This is not mere theory, it is good business.

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Chinese Drywall Remediation: The Challenge of Practical Application

When and who you select as the right multi-professional team of indoor environmental experts will make a dramatic difference in your decisions regarding the planning, risks and costs associated with identifying and remediating corrosive Chinese Drywall. Whether you are a builder or homeowner, selecting the right team at the right time is critical. The successful design and implementation of an integrated and well coordinated remediation and reconstruction solution starts day one with your initial response to the observation of corrosion or noticeable odor. The critical path solution is sequential, phased, multi-disciplinary and multi-trades; it requires not only an understanding of each phase's requirements and gaps, but also a vision of the process, including decision alternatives and identification of the ultimate goal.

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Why is Customer Service Actually a Personnel Issue in Today's Business Model?

Effective business leadership is easy to talk about but hard to do even in a robust economy. Today, there are new challenges. Does one lead by example or is an individual's leadership ability tied soley to the fact that his signature happens to appear on the weekly paycheck? The possession of leadershhip skills and knowing where to go are two completely different skill sets. As leaders in today's challenging business climate it's important to target customers and with the right approach.

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Drywall Sampling Methods

As we have previously discussed, rapid development of effective assessment of Chinese Drywall depends upon the ability to make relatively simple measurements under a variety of conditions. Russ Nassof of TRC Solutions shared a Drywall Sampling Methods comparison to assist in the development and understanding of several sampling options including benefits, limitations and budgetary costs of each sampling method.

Resolving Chinese Drywall: A Sense of Urgency

With Chinese Drywall issues in the early stages of scientific understanding and homeowners demanding immediate answers, we can learn from the handling of similar indoor environmental health issues in the past. Lessons learned both good and bad, from these experiences are important to consider in developing practical, cost-effective solutions in the quickest time frame possible.

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Chinese Drywall – Key Scientific Questions

Chinese drywall is rapidly emerging as a complex and unprecedented indoor environmental issue lacking obvious solutions.  Research is needed to identify and systematically address critical questions as quickly as possible to support an intelligent response and practical solutions.

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Is Your Company Prepared for Homeowner Outrage Due to Residential Mold Growth?

The developer faces a dilemma if unprepared for a mold emergency. Reactions escalate quickly. Mold is not just a warranty issue but potential groundwork for litigation. A mold related incident gains intensity with a life cycle all its own. Homeowners ask hard questions. Preparation includes understanding that health-based complaints by homeowners are materially different in nature than a warranty service call. You and your people need to be prepared to communicate when the emergency hits.

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Occupant Health and its Inter-relationship with Building Science

The emergency nature of an owner’s response to occupant complaints attributed to Indoor Environmental and Air Quality (IEAQ) conditions, results in the selection of environmental professionals, remediators or trade contractors. However, none of these professionals are likely to have any relevant medical expertise to directly investigate or address occupant health concerns.

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The Mitigating Role of the Health Professionals

A blend of the right medical and scientific knowledge, as well as practical experience, will help ensure that mold-related health risks and building health risk cost drivers are properly addressed. Active participation by the right environmental health medical experts can make a dramatic difference in the risks and costs of water damage, moisture intrusion or mold-related evaluations and remediation.

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