ATLANTA - Preventing mold in buildings should begin before construction, according to ASHRAE officials.

ATLANTA - Preventing mold in buildings should begin before construction, with building materials and systems protected from the elements, according to ASHRAE officials.

"Over the years mold and mildew has been a concern to the public," Carl Lawson, chair of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' task group on moisture management in buildings. "In today's society it is an even larger problem. In the past few years, we have developed new building materials and means and methods to build buildings. This has enhanced the problem of mold and mildew."

Prevention is more important than ever, due to documented evidence of health problems, and even deaths, related to mold and mildew, he said.

And it's also why a seminar titled "Mold and Mildew Mitigation in Construction" will be held from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Jan. 27 as part of the technical program at ASHRAE's 2003 Winter Meeting.

"With this seminar, we will present ways to detect, mitigate and hopefully eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew being further developed during the construction phase of a project," said Lawson, who will serve as chair of the seminar. "Our speakers are considered experts in the field of mold and mildew from the aspects of proper design of facilities, detecting and mitigating, to selecting the correct equipment."

The seminar will include information on prevention and mitigation of mold and mildew in the building envelope, as well as preventing mold by keeping new construction dry.

"We'll examine unusual microbial growth in air handling systems, which are natural spot for mold and mildew as they tend to be constantly damp and in many cases extremely wet," he said.

Presentations and speakers in the seminar are:

  • "Building Envelopes and How They Affect Mold Growth in the Building" by Holley Bailey, Bailey Engineering Corp., Palm Beach Garden, Fla.

  • "Preventing Mold by Keeping New Construction Dry" by Lew Harriman, P.E., Mason-Grant Consulting, Portsmouth, N.H.

  • "Mitigating Microbial Growth in Buildings Through HVAC Design: Learning from Failures" by Ron Bailey, P.E., Bailey Engineering Corp., Palm Beach Garden, Fla.

"Unusual Microbial Growth in Air Handling Systems," by Rodney Lewis, Rodney Lewis Inc., Houston.

For more information or to register, visit