Feature Article

Pest Prevention: Steps Designers Can Take

Integrated pest management (IPM) design strategies can reduce structural damage and unsanitary conditions, and improve our community’s health. 

December 5, 2016

Design professionals imagine their shiny new green buildings as welcoming, comfortable, interesting, energy-efficient, healthy spaces full of light and clean air that will stay that way for years to come. No one wants to think about rats, mice, bedbugs, and cockroaches. Those are problems for old buildings, inner cities, and affordable housing. Maintenance staff and pest control services can handle them.

But pests can get into any building, whether a five-star hotel, a LEED Platinum office, a restaurant, apartment complex, or your child’s school. Once in, they are often out of sight, out of mind—until they erupt as a serious problem. Pests can damage structures, decrease a building’s value, and introduce disease and asthmagens into the building. And getting rid of pests often requires expensive remediation and repeated pesticide treatments—turning that once green building into an unsustainable, unhealthy, unwelcoming space with a shortened lifespan.