A bio-hygrothermal mould growth analysis of typical Australian residential wall systems

  • YEAR
    Nath, Shruti
    Dewsbury, Mark
    Watson, Phillipa
    Lovell, Heather
    Künzel, Hartwig
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Practice Based & Interdisciplinary Design & Research


Since 2014, Australian scholars and design and construction professionals have raised concerns about
the increased presence of mould and condensation within new stand-alone and multi-residential buildings.
Several studies have identified significant material decay and mould growth within external wall systems due to long-term moisture accumulation. This paper focusses on moisture and mould growth in buildings by providing an in-depth analysis of the most common external wall system for Australian residential buildings (cavity brick veneer). This wall’s moisture accumulation over a ten-year period was simulated using multi-year transient hygrothermal software. Transient hygrothermal simulation is novel within the Australian research and regulatory context. Mould growth was simulated and analysed using a post-processing mould growth software. To assist in informing regulatory development, simulations were completed for three temperate Australian climate zones. The modelled wall system applied typical and regulation-compliant building material configurations for pre-2003, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The results of the modelled wall system will be used to inform national building regulations in Australia. A key component of this paper includes the evaluation of internationally accepted methods for mould growth simulation.

Keywords: Mould; health; WUFI®; biohygrothermal software


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