HONOLULU, HI — With the Hilton Hawaiian Village mold problem on the front pages, other Hawaii hotels are now testing their facilities to "prove" that they are mold-free.

"Fact is, they can't prove it. Mold is everywhere, but that's hard to explain to a panicked public. Knowing the facts about mold, how to prevent conditions that can lead to mold growth, and effectively managing the risk can calm the fear and preserve and enhance the quality of properties while protecting building owners and managers and those who design and construct buildings from liability," said George Benda, chairman and CEO of the Chelsea Group, Ltd., a Chicago, IL-based consulting firm specializing in indoor air quality.

Benda is one of three panelists who will be discussing mold, insurance, and the law at the Sept. 12, 2002 meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Hawaii Section at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu.

"How mold grows and spreads is important for heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system designers and contractors to know, because one of the primary mechanisms by which mold can be transported through a building is the HVAC system. This is not all bad news, because if the HVAC system is properly designed and maintained, it can serve as an effective line of defense against the spread of mold spores and can significantly contribute to controlling moisture in the building," he said.

During his presentation, Benda will provide guidance on diagnosing and remediating mold problems in buildings, including insights into what HVAC designers and contractors can do in designing and servicing HVAC systems that can limit mold growth and thus reduce their liability.

Other presenters include:

  • Kale Feldman, Esq., a partner with the law firm Wong, Feldman & Kim, who specializes in construction law and commercial litigation.

  • Wes Uemoto, vice president of King & Neal, Inc., who concentrates on insurance industry mold claims.

    Publication date: 09/09/2002