Title: Some Schools May Be Health Hazards Word Count: 384 Summary: School boards and parents are disco vering that schools they labored ha rd to raise money to build in the l ast 10 years or so are subjecting t heir children to mold and indoor ai r quality problems. Keywords: Some School Buildings May Be Health Hazards Article Body: School boards and parents are disco vering that schools they labored ha rd to raise money to build in the l ast 10 years or so are subjecting t heir children to mold and indoor ai r quality problems. Many of these problems can be attri buted to choices made in building m aterials. Some materials provide a ready food source for mold. Roof le aks, wall leaks, window leaks or pl umbing failures have even led to th e destruction of materials installe d to protect the buildings. These observations are at the heart of a new book called "Are You Buil ding a School or a Liability?" writ ten by Chris Huckabee and Kyle Mont gomery and published by the Brick I ndustry Association, the Masonry Co ntractors Association of America an d the National Concrete Masonry Ass ociation. The book calls attention to a serious problem with school bu ildings. "The use of porous and paper-based products as the substrate of an ext erior wall system has given rise to many, if not most, of the mold-rel ated issues that building owners fa ce today. These products are destro yed by mold. In fact, the mold actu ally consumes this material as a fo od source," said the authors. Huckabee is a well-known Texas arch itect who has built more than 1,000 schools. Montgomery is the executi ve director of the Texas Masonry Co uncil. Together, they recommend the use of materials that are "forgivi ng." A forgiving material, according to Huckabee and Montgomery, is a mater ial that is not destroyed by moistu re. They also argue in favor of red undant construction in which wall s ystems are designed and constructed to direct moisture from inside the building to outside. "Are You Building a School or a Lia bility?" presents several case stud ies where masonry was the solution to serious mold problems in schools . Huckabee and Montgomery note that concrete masonry block is a materi al that can be cleaned and dried ea sily and will not be destroyed by m old. Huckabee and Montgomery cite case s tudies where gypsum-based interior walls of schools were replaced with concrete block in areas of high mo isture probability. In one case, al l exterior walls were demolished an d replaced with a masonry wall syst em that included a masonry wall bac kup. They call this approach "total masonry construction." School boards, parent groups and ar chitectural firms specializing in s chool building construction can obt ain free copies of "Are You Buildin g a School or a Liability?"