This Won’t Go Away – Mold In Office Buildings

Track 1: Air Barriers

Wednesday, May 11, 2:15pm – 3:15pm

A classic case study of an ongoing problem plaguing many office building facility managers across the country…..mold. Although much has been written about this subject, we still find many, if not most, of those people in the building profession have little knowledge about why buildings keep filling up with mold and less knowledge about what to do about it. In this case study we will demonstrate the steps necessary to conduct a forensic investigation regarding cause of defective building systems and review the approach, fact finding, conclusions and recommendations. In this case study we will demonstrate original poor antiquated design details and how they were implemented into a 45,000 sf office building with masonry cladding and standing seam metal roofing. The end result was a building that suffered from years of poor performance, poor indoor air quality and unhappy occupants.The study offers insight into reviewing and diagnosing existing construction including interviewing staff personnel, reviewing plans, as well as maintenance records. We will discuss the performance of brick and CMU cladding, through-wall flashing, Kraft facing and #15 felt as an air barrier and how mechanical systems come into play and interact with the building air barrier and enclosure systems.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To gain an understanding regarding the critical importance of airtightness in buildings and to ensure that the enclosure and mechanical system work together to ensure a healthy indoor environment.
  2. To gain an understanding regarding the importance of operating a building how it was intended by the designer and how not doing so results in poor indoor air quality.
  3. To show how building failures are not necessarily caused by the obvious issues.
  4. To review step by step the approach in a forensic evaluation of a failed building enclosure.
Level of content:

Timothy Mills, P.E., CIT II, LEED AP

TAM Consultants, Inc., A Terracon Company, Newport News, VA

Mr. Mills is the president of TAM Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in providing Building Enclosure, Air Barrier Consulting, Forensic Engineering, Property Inspections, Structural Engineering and Design and Project Management Services for the built environment. In 2020, TAM Consultants merged with Terracon, a national multi-specialty firm providing Facilities, Geotechnical, Materials and Environmental Services.  Mr. Mills brings 35+ years of experience as an engineer and enclosure consultant in the building industry. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a LEED AP, a Certified Infrared Thermographer and a Licensed Field Auditor for the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). Mr. Mills’ experiences cover a wide range of public and private projects of all sizes. Project types include commercial, Federal, municipal, educational, institutional, single and multi-family residential, historical, industrial and manufacturing facilities, laboratory, parking, green buildings and retirement facilities.