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Moisture criteria for the control of mould growth in UK dwellings

Altamirano-Medina, H.; (2012) Moisture criteria for the control of mould growth in UK dwellings. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

When mould growth occurs indoors both the building fabric and the health of the occupants can be impacted. During the last few decades, an extensive body of work has been undertaken regarding the conditions that are required for mould to develop in buildings. Much is known about mould and these conditions; however, the design of standards that help to minimize its development indoors is extremely challenging. The science needs to be further advanced and then turned into implementable measures. This thesis addresses that challenge by firstly assessing the performance criteria for the control of mould introduced as part of the ventilation regulations for England and Wales (HMSO, 2006a). The criteria, stated in the Approved Document F 2006 (ADF 2006), established limiting values of air relative humidity to be met if mould growth on external walls is to be avoided. The work presented in this thesis investigates the extent to which the ADF 2006 performance criteria are the most appropriate for UK dwellings. The work undertaken includes assessment of the criteria through data analysis and laboratory work, but also the assessment of other principles and water-related parameters. As a result, a fundamental change to the criteria is proposed, whereby three averages of surface water activity values (0.75, 0.85 and 0.95) and air relative humidity values (65%, 75% and 85%) were recommended and proposed for three periods of time (respectively - daily, weekly and monthly) as an alternative to ADF 2006 to control mould growth. These new criteria have been adopted and implemented as part of the recently introduced ADF 2010. In addition, future approaches for the control of mould growth are discussed.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Moisture criteria for the control of mould growth in UK dwellings
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

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