Building science: The process of mitigating mold and moisture

Careful management is needed to truly prevent mold growth in a building.

Element five: Tender

The most common form of project delivery is a method called “design, bid, build.” With this methodology, prime consultants prepare a tender package inclusive of a detailed scope of services and technical specifications. To ensure the intent of the design is communicated with clarity, a pre-bid meeting is often arranged with a group of qualified bidders. Following the bid period, the tender is closed, the competitive bids are reviewed, and a bid is chosen.

Phase III

Once the owner has selected the project construction company and a contract has been executed between parties, pre-construction services commence.

Element six: Pre-construction

Services may include a project start-up meeting with owner representatives, design consultants, and subcontractors. These meetings are critical in the process as it may be the first time the owner, design consultant(s), and those tasked with executing the construction will meet. Making sure everyone is on the same page before construction commences in the field is vital for a successful outcome.

At this stage, product approvals and shop drawings are also obtained for review by the consultant’s team.

Element seven: Mock-ups and testing

Mock-ups may be used for complex or unique conditions in advance of construction to enhance
the understanding of the construction team. Mock-ups provide the project team with additional clarity on trade sequencing and give a better understanding of critical continuity detailing.

Element eight: Project management and oversight

Oversight and project management should be undertaken through the duration of the project to ensure the construction aligns with the intent of the design and is in compliance with the best practices identified in the contract documents. The architect’s review of critical detailing at key intervals ensures the intent of the design is actualized.

On many projects, quality control (QC) will include in-situ testing, using field applied standard test methods involving smoke, water, and air leakage. It is recommended that third party reviews and testing are conducted at different phases of the project, to ensure the design intent has been carried out through to construction completion. For projects involving significant restoration of the building envelope, thermography is recommended, in conjunction with air leakage testing following ASTM guidelines. Third-party reviews and field testing also needs to be conducted by qualified firms and representatives as relative to the work.

For projects being constructed following performance-based code standards, building envelope commissioning may be required. Building envelope commissioning involves more rigorous compliance testing, including whole building air leakage testing, among others.

Element nine: Project close-out

The last element in the project cycle involves ensuring all deficiencies identified during the construction sequence are corrected. Project records, reports, and contract close-out documentation are gathered and provided to the client, alongside warranties for various systems.


As the climate continues to change and cities start to witness more severe weather events and temperature fluctuations, the susceptibility to water intrusion through the building envelope will increase. A project should, at a minimum, have a basic understanding of moisture control concepts and practices for integration into facility renovations or new builds. It is important to stay ahead of this curve so the potential for health and safety concerns and building degradation are kept at a minimum.


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