Orlando, Fla. - Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) has released a mold risk reduction program that certifies the design, construction and ongoing operations of newly constructed multifamily and commercial properties. Greenguard Mold Protection Program is designed to ensure that buildings use industries' best practices for safeguarding against the damage and resulting losses caused by mold.The program fills a void for lenders, insurers and building owners that has grown increasingly serious over the last several years. As large court judgments for mold continue to cloud the construction and financing of new buildings, more are turning to mold prevention measures as a way to manage their financial risk.

"We hear so much about the financial costs of mold, including the loss of rent along with the costly clean-ups that result," says Carl Smith, CEO and executive director of GEI. "Prevention through sound design, building and maintenance practices can help avert risk from all but the most catastrophic instances of water-related damage. The Greenguard Mold Protection Program gives building owners, and their lenders and insurers, the confidence that appropriate preventive measures have been taken to manage potential losses due to mold damage."

The program is based on a compilation of best practices that GEI has developed and proposed as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. The proposed standard has been preliminarily reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and piloted with several building owners. Building consultancies review and assess properties based on the standard; once this is successfully completed, property owners can apply to GEI for certification under the Greenguard Mold Protection Program. Once a property is certified, it can be promoted to lenders, insurers and prospective tenants.

"Greenguard's initiative helps to fill an emerging need in the market for developers and lenders alike," explains Bruce C. Gunter, president, Progressive Redevelopment Inc., a developer of affordable multifamily housing based in Atlanta. "Giving lenders more confidence that a builder will take these preventive measures will help to secure financing because it mitigates the project's risk. Particularly in light of what we are seeing in the southeastern U.S., this is critical."

Source: Greenguard Environmental Institute

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