Over the wall

That’s how we used to characterize an ill conceived solution to an ill defined problem.  Just “Thrown over the Wall”.  And that’s one of the reasons that I continue to have no confidence in the process that is being used to address problems in BMH.

The building has mold.  A lot of it.  The proponents got a report from a testing company and reported only that it said airborne levels were acceptable.  We should all read the report, it’s not that long and in pretty plain language (starting on page 5) says that:

  • The building has had significant water leakage over many years.
  • There are large colonies of mold in the basement.
  • If the place is dried out the mold spores will react by becoming airborne.
  • The existing mold should be removed.

The only thing the town plans to do is install what they call a “commercial dehumidification” system.  They asked CCIs sub-contractor for a dehumidification system.  What he proposed was basically a $21,000 residential central air conditioning system.  Big surprise, that’s what he does. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I ran the problem by an engineer.  He validated that what we actually need is some good dehumidifiers.  Did I mention that those cost about 80% less than the system proposed by CCI and their subcontractor and use less than half as much energy$$ to operate as the proposed air conditioning system?

Do you think it might make more sense to put the air conditioning system upstairs where there are people working?  Just asking.  Maybe there’s a good reason why we would spend $21,000 on air conditioning the unoccupied basement and spend $10,000 replacing electric resistance heaters in the office.

Oh, and what about the reported consequences of dehumidifying?

Surface samples are indicators of what spores will become airborne once the water source is taken away from mold, as mold will sporulate as a form of defense to find a new water source. Once the mold begins sporulation, the levels airborne will greatly increase…….   The sample showed Penicillium to be “Loaded,” on the prep prepared by YES for analysis.

That’s why the report says:

Because the water damage in this case occurred more than 48 hours ago, YES is recommending full remediation in accordance with the EPA’s guidelines.

I’m not making this stuff up.  I’m just reading the report that the town is using to say that the place is safe and healthy.  You see what you want to see.

So they don’t seem to understand what the problem is, and they have a $21,000 solution that the guy that contracts for CCI says is the right thing to do.  Several months ago, I asked the Town Manager if there was any professional or engineering input to this “commercial dehumidification” solution.  There was not.  I expressed my concerns and was given the standard issue response:

Thank you

This entry was posted in Brewster Hall/Town Office. Bookmark the permalink.