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June 2006 -
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Mold, or even the prospect of mold, can create a level of fear and misperception that can have a significant negative impact on all phases of the real estate market. In an effort to replace fear with facts, ASTM International’s Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action has developed a new standard, E 2418, Guide for Readily Observable Mold and Conditions Conducive to Mold in Commercial Buildings: Baseline Survey Protocol. Guide E 2418 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E50.02 on Real Estate Assessment and Management.
The purpose of E 2418 is to create a common language that all parties involved in a mold assessment issue can speak. The standard uses the baseline survey protocol (BSP) to standardize the mold and moisture intrusion assessment process. Because the standard recognizes that the goal is not certainty but balance, the BSP is designed to provide appropriate inquiry, rather than an exhaustive assessment of the property.
Balance is achieved through a four-part approach to be followed by consultants who have the requisite qualifications to analyze mold-related issues: 1) a documentation review; 2) an interview; 3) a walk-through; and 4) preparation of a report. Each of the four steps is fully explained in ASTM E 2418.
“Guide E 2418 is a significant step forward in the ongoing demystification of the effects of mold on commercial real estate transactions,” says Katie Schwarting, co-chair of the task group that developed the standard. “The guide is a proactive approach that creates a reproducible vocabulary with which commercial real estate transactions may go forward in an environment where a realistic and practical assessment of mold-related risks has occurred.”