Consultants recommend mold “Problem avoidance” for Florida resort developments


The timeshare industry is enjoying a significant wave of expansion as an entire generation of vacation ownership buildings reaches maturity, Florida-based Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) says in a news release. Many U.S. resorts now 30 to 35 years old must undergo serious renovation work to their infrastructure.

A huge number of modern resorts are also coming online globally to meet new and existing vacation ownership demand. Many resorts not historically used for vacation ownership are being converted from a traditional hotel structure into vacation ownership units.

While Florida-based LBFG is optimistic about the uptick in vacation ownership activity, it also extends a note of caution.

“Whenever we’ve seen similar waves in the hospitality industry in the past, a significant number of mold and moisture building problems have followed in their wake,” said LBFG president George DuBose. “One of the most effective tools developers of vacation ownership resorts can adopt as part of the design and construction process is a robust problem avoidance component.”

This is best done by a conducting an early peer review, moving subject matter experts upstream in the process rather than waiting to bring them onboard later when failures arise.

“A peer review provides the right information at the right time to the right people,” DuBose said. “It offers as much of a technical advantage as it does a process advantage to the project.”

A peer review is not extra insurance coverage; viewing it as such taints the ability of the peer reviewer to provide effective direction. Ideally, a peer reviewer should be contracted by the owner to provide the highest objectivity.

Peer reviews are especially important because design and construction is cross-disciplinary, which causes building complexity and risk to exponentially increase. Building envelope and HVAC-related issues are inherent in vacation ownership conversions and can easily lead to mold and moisture problems.

Traditionally, the industry uses litigation as its primary form of feedback; the incorrect belief is that if you aren’t sued, you can assume that your building is a success. This must change if mold and moisture problems are to decrease.


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