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Out with the mould, in with a new plan

SFU debuts new Mould Control Program

Mould is a rampant issue at SFU, but hopefully not for much longer.
Mould is a rampant issue at SFU, but hopefully not for much longer.
Image Credits: Anderson Wang

In light of recent issues with mould in buildings on campus, SFU has developed a new Mould Control Program to combat the issue and its associated health risks.

An informational meeting was held on June 1 to discuss the revised regulations and procedures for handling mould, while providing an opportunity for questions and feedback from attendees. The team in charge of developing the program consulted a wide variety of “best practices” resources, including the CCA Mould Guidelines for the Canadian Construction Industry, as well as the NCCEH Mould Remediation Recommendation, a “summary of all the [mould remediation] literature up to 2014.”

According to Lesley Clements, an occupational hygienist hired by the university to assist in tackling this problem, the program seeks to “formalize a process” for effectively dealing with onsets of mould and mildew. It involves both a concentrated effort to respond to reports of pre-existing cases and administration of stronger preventative measures against future outbreaks.

People on campus are encouraged to report cases of mould or intrusive moisture in their residences, offices, and the like. From there, SFU representatives will perform inspections on the building in question, look into its history, and conduct interviews with occupants. As a result of the large number of buildings on each of SFU’s campuses, the project aims to ensure that the order in which mould cases are handled is prioritized based on how urgently intervention is required.

Meanwhile, building envelope engineers will be involved in “larger, more complex [construction] projects” on SFU’s campuses. They will verify that all building codes are being followed to the letter, identify and neutralize any potential mould-related health concerns prior to commencing construction, and approve the materials used.

The Mould Control Program will also be subject to an audit one year following its implementation, and once every two years after that. Though attendees of the meeting raised concerns that SFU’s internal auditor did not appear to be involved in the audits outlined in the program, presenters suggested that they could “bring it up with him” at a later date.

Mould has been an enduring issue at SFU over the past few years, especially in the controversial shutdown of the Louis Riel House residence last year.