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Jo Drummond, FCSI
Intermediate Member
Username: jo_drummond

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 03:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A client of mine specializes in modernization of public schools (California). He has been asking me to specify lead based paint abatement by applying liquid sandpaper to the paint and then coating it with paint. His thinking is "no sanding, no dust, thus no lead in the air". I am apprehensive about this, because I understand that some children with a particular disorder are prone to chew on the painted surfaces. Lead tastes sweet, and thus tastes good to them. I would rather specify that the school district is to remove the paint before the general contractor gets there. I am told: the district doesn't have the money. Seems shortsighted to me, they might have to find the money to pay the law suits. Any experience with this?
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 44
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 04:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I would leave abatement issues (by encapsulation as well as removal) to those licensed by the state to inspect, recommend procedures, perform such activities. I would think your client would be advised to do likewise.
Jo Drummond, FCSI
Advanced Member
Username: jo_drummond

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 05:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Peter, that is exactly what I have told my client, and I am hoping that others reply here, so that I can substantiate that position. Thank you.
Julie Root
Senior Member
Username: julie_root

Post Number: 10
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 05:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am working on at Los Angeles Unified School District project that has extensive hazardous materials (lead and asbestos) issues. The District has hired a hazardous materials consultant that will is preparing the full plan, specs, etc. This is a firm that specializes in abatement and removal. The firm also could do the work, but in this case they are hired to do the package and then it will be bid to firms that usually they compete with for the removal work.

While we are preparing plans for demolition that will be part of the package the district issues we are not writing specs or preparing documents. We have even convinced the District that we do not have to put 'abatement and demolition package' in our title block. We argued that by the very nature of 'demolition' includes abatement and we would not include the word abatement.
Robert Swan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 05:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

California Lead-Safe Schools Protection Act: Civil Code 32240 - 32245
Also check up on the federal requirements for schools.
Think Mr. Jordan is correct - Why give the General the mark up on the abatement work - make two contracts. Let the abatement specialists do their work and you do yours.
Does the Architect happend to hold a license or the insurance to address hazardous materials?
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 420
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 06:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My firm does a lot of school projects. No way do we touch anything that even vaguely resembles hazardous materials (lead, PCBs, asbestos, mold, etc.) The owner hires an harzardous abatement consultant who puts together an investigative report along with abatement specs and drawings.

Usually we bind those hazmat documents into our documents. We make for darn sure that there are disclaimers that state that the hazmat documents are for convenience only and are not the architect's contract documents. We do not want to assume any additional liability.
Anonymous (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 08:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I suggest a more simple and politically astute way of dealing with the problem. First, post signs stating "Eating Lead Base Paint is Prohibited." Next, call a press conference to demonstrate concern for the welfare of school children while signs are posted. Finally, pass School Board resolution mandating removal of all lead-based paint but don't budget any funds because that would not be fiscally prudent.

... all of which is in the grand tradition of "No Child Left Behind."
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 329
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 08:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Professional liability insurers drove the architects away from including lead and asbestos abatement back in the 80s, but they now seem to cover it provided that the architect hires a professional to do the design for that work. Separate contracts for abatement are fine, provided that a) there is excellent coordination regarding the scope of the abatement required by the new work (assuming it's not 100%), and b) there is plenty of time to do the abatement under separate contract and schedule (a luxury that is pretty unusual here). Here in Massachusetts, which has very strict regs, perhaps more so than in California, it is commonly within the architect's scope of design and the GC's scope of construction to do the abatement.

As to the original question of encapsulant, I'd still want to make sure that this meets the requirements of the law, and I would not want to be the one to prepare such a specification--that's what the hazmat professionals do.

It continues to amaze me the extent to which owners try to skirt the laws on hazmat. We see it in our practice, too. No money is allocated, no one is willing to do the required testing during design, and efforts are made to push the whole thing onto the GC. (Well, maybe 'no one' is an exageration.)

They need to grow up and do what's right.

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