Four Clairmont Campus housing facilities underwent
remedial construction this summer to eliminate and prevent water
The project entailed resealing the exterior to prevent water penetration,
replacing sheetrock in the affected interior walls and refitting
window sills to prevent water leakage. Work on the four undergraduate
buildings, which include 600 beds, has been completed with the exception
of an exterior coating which currently is being applied. Letters
regarding the construction activities were sent to Clairmont residents
in early summer, and an update was published in the June 23 Emory
The four buildings that house about 500 graduate students do not
appear to have the level of water penetration experienced in the
undergraduate complex. Because the repair process would have been
too disruptive to conduct in the occupied graduate apartment buildings
this summer, plans are being developed to repair those units next
However, random testing of air and moisture levels in vacant graduate
apartments conducted this summer confirms that the units are safe
to occupy. Periodic inspections will be conducted of all graduate
apartments this academic year to make sure that remains the case.
Graduate students living at the Clairmont Campus received a letter
on Aug. 13 updating them of the situation.
Last fall, when four students reported finding mold on their apartment
walls, Facilities Management (FM) cleaned the walls with bleach,
which appeared to resolve the issue. In the spring semester, other
students reported problems, and FM began looking at structural issues.
“We decided to take a closer look at what was causing the
situation,” said Capital Program Manager Hector Morales. “We
did some additional testing and found extensive moisture-penetration
in the interior cavities of some of the walls in the undergraduate
facility. At that point we realized we had construction flaws that
had to be addressed before they got worse.”
The contractor and the architect refused to take appropriate action,
so Emory moved forward independently to undertake a comprehensive
remedial project to assure the safety of the residents.
“Fortunately the buildings just opened, and we caught this
problem in its earliest stages before it became a health concern,”
said Environmental Health and Safety Officer Mike Gladel, who has
advised FM throughout the project.
On July 21 Emory filed suit in federal court against facility contractor
Trammell-Crow and architect Niles Bolton Associates for failing
to comply with their contract in a number of respects, including
violation of certain codes and laws, insulation and ventilation
deficiencies, humidity problems, water penetration through walls
and windows, and moisture problems in a number of the units.