Hilton Hawaiian Village in
Waikiki, one of the world's largest resorts, has closed all 453 guest rooms in the newest
of its six towers and is spending $10 million to rid it of a potentially dangerous mold
Hilton opened the $95 million
Kalia Tower last year. David Odom of CH2M Hill said that his team, which has been studying
Kalia Tower blueprints as well as findings from Air Quality Sciences' mold investigators,
has some ideas about the cause, but not enough to speculate. Identifying the humidity
source is difficult, say mold investigation experts, because the problem could be from an
architectural or engineering design fualt, construction defect, malfunctioning equipment
or any combination. Odom said typical causes of mold in other high-rise hotels have been
most often linked to deficient air conditioning systems and air or water penetrating
"It happens a lot more
than you would expect," he said.
Charlie Wiles of the American
Indoor Air Quality Council said avoiding air pressure, condensation or water-leak problems
in constructing of operating a high-rise hotel is difficult. Typically buildings in humid
climates such as Hawaii are designed to be slightly pressurized to keep warm air out.
"In the case of Hawaii,
keeping indoor temperature above the dew point may prove to be extremely
challenging," he said.