"I'm trying to anticipate and manage environmental issues related to a construction project, but I am having a hard time finding resources. What are some construction-related environmental issues I should keep an eye out for since this appears to be an overlooked area?"
The benefits of reducing health-care associated infections (HAIs) are well documented, impacting both the general health of a facility and its bottom line. According to the CDC, HAIs cost the healthcare system $37 to $45 billion annually and account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths.
Following a fire event, a variety of people spend considerable time in the post-fire environment. In addition to first responders, fire and law enforcement, the individuals performing investigations in the property can include insurance claims adjusters, origin and cause fire investigators, inventory assessors, and damage assessors. The fire service, EMS and law enforcement may typically be assumed to be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), but exposure to post fire hazards should be considered for those entering the property and performing work well after the fire event.
Mr. Pokorny and Mr. Penaloza discuss the "green insurance" programs and policies, LEED concerns for commercial claims and the expertise required to investigate "green claims" on these types of properties. Green building practices have grown annually, adding complexity to the analysis of construction projects, building systems, and building performance expectations. These efforts add a significant level of due diligence and the necessary expertise in responding to 'green claims' on the insurance products serving those properties.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are present is a variety of building materials and may present a significant impact to construction projects. The presence of PCBs in caulking, sealants, paints, adhesives and other building materials dates from the 1930s to the banning of PCBs in domestically manufactured products in 1979. In that time period, however, PCBs were added to hundreds of building products due to their chemical stability, nonflammability, insulating properties and high flash point.