GEI Announces Deal With Turquoise Properties

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has announced an agreement with Turquoise Properties Gulf, Inc. to apply its recently announced moisture certification program to two luxury condominium towers under construction in Orange Beach, Alabama. This first tower -- Turquoise Place I -- is more than 50 percent complete, while construction of Turquoise Place II has recently commenced. W.G. Yates & Sons Construction is the general contractor for both properties.

Under the GREENGUARD for Building Construction Program, the design, construction and ongoing operations of the combined two million-square-foot Turquoise Place developments will be reviewed and assessed to certify compliance with a new environmental standard for moisture management, assuring all parties that the structures will be mold resistant.

"Mold concerns, especially on the Gulf Coast, can make or break the perception and value of a property, and the GREENGUARD program is the first clear set of guidelines that alleviate buyers' worries about mold," said Larry Wireman, CEO of Turquoise Properties Gulf, Inc. "Over the last few years, we have been particularly diligent for a way to mitigate the risk of liability issues in addition to the potentially massive clean-up costs. GEI has created that new way, an innovative marriage of risk management and building science, lessening our concerns."

The GREENGUARD for Building Construction Program, a compilation of best practices proposed as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, includes review and assessment of schematic, design development and construction drawings as well as construction plans and visits to the condominiums during the first year of occupancy. The late-stage visits include training and monitoring of building systems for compliance with GEI's standards. This new standard for mold risk mitigation has been reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and has been piloted in several locations.

"Mold remains a relatively small risk overall," said Wireman. "However, it's critical that we are diligent on this issue. The GREENGUARD program reduces property developers' and owners' risk, and provides a great benefit to buyers of these condo units."

Air Quality Sciences (AQS) will review and assess this property based on the standard; once this is successfully completed, the property owner can apply to GEI for certification under the GEI program. Once a property is registered, it can be promoted to prospective tenants.

"Turquoise Properties understands that mold is as much a financial hazard as it is a health hazard," said Carl Smith, CEO of GEI. "For a developer, even after you have gone through a costly clean-up of a mold outbreak, the damage has been done in terms of perception. Preventing mold before it becomes an issue is critical."

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