Objective

The overarching objective of this project is to help Department of Defense (DoD) building management efforts to address moisture problems move from the current reactionary approach that stems from difficulty detecting early warning signs to a preventative strategy based on predicted needs. The technical objectives directly address the solicitation for studies to better understand the scale of moisture control problems by improving predictive capacity and to develop a mechanism for prioritizing problem areas as a more efficient approach than reactionary remediation. The technical objectives are to: (1) Develop a risk-based prioritization methodology to inform efficient moisture-related monitoring decisions in the DoD building stock; (2) Integrate the prioritization methodology into the widely-used BUILDERTM SMS in order to leverage available DoD building data for risk assessment, inform data needs that can be fulfilled through future BUILDERTM condition assessments, and to export moisture-risk prioritized information to be considered along-side BUILDERTM outputs in sustainment management; and (3) Develop relationship(s) between climatic variables, mold growth potential, and facility condition indices—and incorporate into WELDER’s Distress Association Matrix. These will be achieved with respect to participating hot-humid climate installations with consideration of all installation geographies. The first objective will serve to characterize the scale of existing vulnerability of the DoD building stock to potential moisture problems and to form the precursor of an effort to understand how vulnerability will change in the future under climate change.

Technology Description

This project combines three technologies: prediction of moisture control problems, which is mature in academic literature and serves to inform ideal building designs but applications in practice for buildings with existing and emerging problems are limited; risk-based indices to prioritize assets management decisions, which is common in DoD practice for linking facility condition to mission execution but none have been developed for moisture; and BUILDERTM SMS, which is widely used by DoD installations. These technologies will be leveraged to develop a capability for prioritizing buildings for efficient early warning detection and tested at participating installations with whom the project team has confirmed moisture problem experience and current BUILDER data.

Benefits

Currently, periodic visual assessment is not sufficient for detecting early warning signs of moisture control problems. Anticipated DoD benefits of focused moisture monitoring strategy include the ability to: (1) understand the risk that mold and moisture is present in specific buildings and areas within the DoD building stock via the moisture vulnerability index, to; (2) use this understanding of mold risks to more efficiently plan and prioritize building monitoring activities; (3) enhance the on-going ESTCP-funded WELDER effort by integration of weather-related effects particularly under a changing climate; (4) formally incorporate the effects of mold and moisture damage when reporting building condition and use it to inform planning and budgeting for mold damage mitigation efforts; and (5) supplement the existing facility condition assessment criteria to better target identification of factors contributing to mold growth. As the result, the project team expects cost savings for participating installation due to reduced remediation, repair, and building evacuation impacts.