This is part 1 of 3.
Florida-based Liberty Building Forensics Group® (Liberty), a leading building forensics firm that has solved some of the world’s largest and most complex building moisture and mold problems, has a warning for unsuspecting hotel design and construction teams.
Rigid adherence to brand standards without factoring in specific regional and climatic conditions can result in significant mold and moisture issues in new hotel construction.
This is an all-too-common scenario: A design and construction team is awarded a new hotel project. The brand standards are passed onto the team. The team adheres exactly to the requirements of wall design and HVAC system design only to discover during final stages of construction that the actual performance of the design is vastly different than what the team expected would be the case.
The theory behind brand design and construction standards is to provide assurances that the hotel is built to requirements that meet the brand’s expectation for aesthetic, operational, and building performance. Brand standards portray themselves as a repository of lessons learned and of what should be done (and, by implication, what should not be done) to make the hotel work.
Why is theory so contrary to practice in this case? The problem is that design standards are developed on a global basis, not taking into consideration specific needs and limitations of regional climates. In fact, it has been found that brand standards often don’t comply with recommended building practices for certain climates at all. These violations in design standards have been shown repeatedly to result in extensive and costly mold and moisture problems in hotels.
To be continued…