are more than 100,000 known species of mold and there are
at least 1,000 species found in the United States. Many are
used in producing product ranging from pharmaceuticals to
baked goods. Mold can be found among other places, on walls
and under floors in buildings or homes where a great deal
of moisture has built up due to a wide variety of conditions.
Mold liability and management is rapidly expanding in scope and size as consumers become more aware of toxic molds and how they impact overall indoor air quality and the health of families, individuals or businesses that have mold problems in their facilities.
In fact, Mold-related litigation is up 300% since 1999. Everyone who has anything to do with the construction process including builders, contractors, architects, and engineers may be a target in these costly lawsuits.
Categories of Claim
Mold claims can come under three distinct categories but all involve toxicity to an individual or group of individuals. Categories include: property damage, personal injury or insurance claims (sometimes arising out of claims of bad faith by the insured). Design professionals face malpractice claims that often arise from alleged failures to provide the proper standard of care while designing a facility or to properly inspect building and system components during construction.
Interior Design Factors
It must be assumed that water penetration will occur especially in the kitchen and bathroom in most homes or office building in some way. And, mold can also develop as a byproduct of humidity in enclosed areas. Thus the design architect must provide redundancies and second lines of defense against mold when they are mapping out the basic design features of a home or office building.
These enhanced design factors can include air conditioning and humidifying equipment of sufficient capacity, HVAC diffusers with easy serviceability, sufficient insulation wrap at air conditioning ducts, fire stopping and carpeting measures.