Disparity between reality and theoretical models – predicting moisture and mould growth in houses.

  • YEAR
    Buet, Sarah
    Isaacs, Nigel
    2020 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Design and Environment Science, Urban Science
    Conference Papers


A common goal amongst building practitioners is to create warmer, healthier, and drier homes. A key barrier to this is the presence of excessive moisture, the leading cause of mould growth within buildings. New Zealand Building Code Clause E3 ‘Internal Moisture’ has been set out to control internal moisture within a house, however, there is currently no prescribed method which practitioners can use to demonstrate compliance. Tools such as ASHRAE Standard 160 ‘Criteria for Moisture Control Design Analysis in Buildings’ can be used to predict internal conditions; however, studies have shown that such tools rely upon a range of possibly inappropriate assumptions and may not give accurate results. Using yearlong records of the internal conditions (temperature and relative humidity) of a New Zealand house, discrepancies between measured data and the theoretical models were identified and explored. The paper reports on the research findings, documents the reasons for these differences and whether they can be resolved.

Keywords: Mould; Moisture; Assessment; “Prediction Models”.


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