Update re: Plan to Remove Asbestos Materials from Crawlspaces of Frame Buildings

Release Date: 
Jun 19, 2017

Update re: Plan to Remove Asbestos Materials from Crawlspaces of Frame Buildings

Towards the end of January 2017, maintenance staff discovered small amounts of asbestos debris on some abandoned heating and hot water pipes that are located in the crawlspaces underneath frame buildings. The discovery was made when staff began cutting and removing abandoned pipes, in preparation for the HIP crawlspace improvement project that was due to commence later this year.

Staff hired the Vertex Companies (an industrial hygiene firm) to inspect abandoned heating and hot water pipes in the crawlspaces of 34 frame buildings, in order to establish the extent of asbestos debris that is present on the pipes. After the inspection, Vertex recommended that the most economical method of remediating the asbestos materials would be to hire an asbestos remediation contractor to cut and remove all of the abandoned heating and hot water pipes, remove all of the decrepit fiber glass batt insulation on the crawlspace ceilings above the pipes, remove all vapor barrier materials from the floors of the crawlspaces as well as any asbestos contaminated soil. 

GHI contracted with Vertex Companies to prepare project specification documents for the removal of all materials that may be contaminated with asbestos.  The documents were presented to the Board of Directors for review and comment on June 16. Staff will now submit the specifications to contractors and obtain bids for the work. 

Due to the magnitude of the project, it may have to be done over a multi-year timeframe (perhaps two years), commencing in late fall of 2017 or at the beginning of 2018.  The HIP crawlspace improvements that include installation of hardboard insulation around perimeter walls and new vapor barrier materials will have to be postponed and cannot commence until 2018 at the earliest. 

GHI’s Board of Directors has requested the Finance Committee to research and recommend methods of financing the asbestos remediation project for frame building crawlspaces. The Committee will begin to discuss this topic during its meeting on Thursday, June 22. The meeting commences at 7.30 p.m. and will be held in the Board room of the Administration Building.