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Moisture Intrusions, Risk, and IH in Modular Construction (AIHce EXP 2020 OnDemand)

Course Description:
Recorded at Virtual AIHce EXP 2020

Modular construction is a system in which prefabricated walls, building segments, or entire finished rooms are built off-site, then transported, and assembled on-site. Modular construction offers many benefits but can suffer unique moisture intrusion and remediation challenges if contractors don't design the modules to accommodate weather after the components leave the factory. Industrial hygienists may be called upon to assess moisture and mold impacts after the modules leave the facility. This session will discuss: 1) modular construction styles and processes; 2) the risk of water intrusion during transport, staging, and installation of prefabricated modules; 3) unusual locations where moisture can get trapped in both wood- and metal-framed construction; 4) site conditions that may confound typical moisture inspection procedures; 5) examples of modular mold and moisture remediation; and 6) design considerations for future modular construction to reduce adverse moisture impacts. The presentation will discuss the complexities of tracking progress in a site with multiple modular components and contractors and will briefly show examples of communication tools such as OneNote and Excel spreadsheets. Attendees will be presented with some worst-case design issues and possible recommendations for future modular construction design.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Recognize the different styles of modular construction.
  • Discuss how modular construction is different than stick-built construction regarding moisture intrusion.
  • Identify how site conditions and building materials prevent an IH from finding hidden moisture.
  • Describe the difference between remediation approaches in wood-framed versus steel-framed modules.

Contact Hours:

Presentation Date:

Ms. Michelle David, MS
Wood Environment and Infratstructure Solutions, Inc.
Seattle, WA United States of America

Mr. Mike Smith, CIH
Wood Environment and Infratstructure Solutions, Inc.
Kirkland, WA United States of America