“We have to guarantee that this isn’t going to be a sick building.” – Col. John Henderson
This story about mold-infested ductwork in a brand new U.S. government $1.2 billion construction project near Omaha, Nebraska, proves that not only is mold dangerous, but even our own government is being haunted by this toxic black plague, and are worried about working in a sick building.
This mold had cost U.S taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, and delayed the project by 11 months.
Four thousand feet of mold-infested ductwork has now been removed from the U.S. Strategic Command’s new headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, military officials say.
But the mold problems and earlier construction glitches have added 11 months and potentially “tens of millions” of dollars to the $1.2 billion project.
“It’s a troubled project,” said Col. John Henderson, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, which is overseeing the StratCom project. “None of this is good news. But we’re working through it.”
The corps’ quality-assurance inspectors discovered the mold in the insulation lining some ducts last September and temporarily halted installation of parts of the heating and air-conditioning system. After sending robot cameras through the ducts for several months as well as conducting other tests, engineers determined that mold had taken root in about 7 percent of the building’s ductwork.
“We removed all that at great cost and disruption,” Henderson said. “We have to guarantee that this isn’t going to be a sick building.”