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Building Envelope Science Institute's Development of Certified Protocols: from Conception to Certification

The Building Envelope Science Institute has taken steps to create a remediation process that works and is both comprehensive and cost effective. The “BESI System” pulled resources from top analytical scientists, chemists, toxicologists, a major university, consultants in the environmental field and twelve business sectors that were considered in the development and analysis.

Gainesville, FL, January 07, 2010 --( “The Building Envelope Science Institute (BESI) has developed a cost effective protocol that can certify remediation of defective drywall,” says Charlie Jones, member of the board of directors. The institute, with the help of a workgroup called Defective Drywall in America (DDIA), has worked diligently to create a cost effective protocol that helps homeowners and builders who have been devastated by the Chinese drywall disaster. “The institute and its members have an ongoing commitment to helping those devastated by this crisis,” said Jones.

The standardization of inspection and remediation protocols are essential in bringing a viable solution to the current crisis. The institute together with the other members of the DDIA workgroup completed the systems for the protocols in October 2009 that allows homes to be certified clean and be provided with a proposed home warranty. In fact, the certification program offered through BESI instructs and trains licensed and approved state contractors in the remediation of defective drywall.

The proposed warranty is contingent on all the drywall being removed and replaced by tested domestic products. The certification and proposed warranty is also available for homes that do not have defective drywall to help prevent loss of resale value. Spiderman Mulholland, a leading building forensic expert of U S Building Consultants, Inc. (USBCI), was one of the system design architects; he has previously helped author two (2) other national certification programs and was an instructor on a national level for over 15 years. “I wanted to be part of a team that could focus on a proven and cost effective system of remediation,” said Mulholland.

Homeowners, builders, banks, insurance companies, investors and tradesmen in the construction industry have to be aware of remediation efforts that will help or harm their clients across the nation. Convincing people to leave the drywall in their homes, in the institute’s opinion, is a failed methodology when it comes to basic remediation efforts.

Based on the institute’s remediation experts and others in the workgroup, it was determined that source removal was the only safe and effective way to achieve all the goals of the program. Based on other standard remediation practices, it was noted that source removal is the most recommended and acceptable practice in the industry.

The “BESI System” pulled resources from the DDIA workgroup which included top analytical scientists, chemists, toxicologists, a major university, consultants in the environmental field and twelve business sectors that were considered in the development and analysis.

The designed approach is simple and cost effective that includes removing the defective product, removal of toxic chemicals from the construction materials through a diffusion process, removal of damaged construction materials (i.e. copper wiring), chemical treatment of construction materials left in the home, decontamination of the owners’ belongings, certifying the process with third-party inspections and peer review, and submitting of paperwork for a proposed home warranty while maintaining a check and balance system to guarantee quality control.

The basis of the system would require numerous hours of hands-on inspections, research, networking with top professionals in a variety of specialties (toxicology, metallurgical/failure analysis engineering, chemists, analytical scientists, etc.), and having independent laboratories including Analytical Research Systems, Centek Laboratories, Assured Biotechnology Corporation, BSC Laboratories, and the University of Florida (ATCL, MAIC, MSE, & UFTTG) performing analytical testing and/or review of documentation.

The protocols are based on known facts collected during inspections and research/analysis conducted by qualified professionals over several months that involved peer review each step of the way to the final protocols. The protocols are considered a work-in-progress, meaning that as more scientific methods become available the protocols would be flexible enough to adapt to the new information. “BETA testing of the first twenty-five homes became a requirement,” said Chris Burton, owner of National Construction Warranty Corporation.

The home inspections performed by Certified Defective Drywall Inspectors require a peer review for accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness; and the remediation process requires third-party inspections by Certified Defective Drywall Consultants to validate that the remediation protocol was properly followed by the Certified Defective Drywall Remediator and a peer review of the consultant’s report is conducted for final validation before submittal for the proposed home warranty. The protocols have a built-in quality control mechanism that utilizes the third-party inspectors and peer review to ensure the quality and consistency of the inspection and remediation processes.

The professionals in the DDIA workgroup and at the institute have established special qualifications for those that are being certified; interested parties may go to the institute’s website at to review the requirements for each certified designation.

The heartbeat of the program was to design a cost effective system with enough redundancies that would guarantee a successful remediation. This was the mission of the institute and it continues today on this path to help those devastated by this crisis.

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Building Envelope Science Institute
Richard Shaffer

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