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    Review of 'The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growth'

    The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growthCrossref
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    The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growth

    Moisture in the building envelopes increase the energy consumption of buildings and induce mould growth, which may be amplified within the area of thermal bridges due to their different hygrothermal properties and complex structures. In this study, we aimed to (1) reveal the moisture distribution in the typical thermal bridge (i.e., wall-to-floor thermal bridge, WFTB) and its surrounding area, and (2) investigate the mould growth in the building envelope that includes both WFTB and the main part of the wall, in a humid and hot summer cold winter region of China (Hangzhou City). The transient numerical simulations that lasted for five years were performed to model the moisture distribution. Simulated results indicate that the moisture distribution presents significant seasonal and spatial differences due to the WFTB. The areas where moisture accumulates have a higher risk of mould growth. The thermal insulation layer laid on the exterior surface of WFTB can reduce the overall humidity while uneven moisture distribution, which may promote mould growth and water vapour condensation.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Mould growth,Built environment,Coupled heat and moisture transfer,Moisture distribution,Wall-to-floor thermal bridge

      Review text

      Many thanks for answering and addressing my previous comments. 

      However, I still have a few that I would appreciate if you could address. 

      • Regarding comment 2 on germination and development of mould, I would suggest re-writing the sentence: Further, mould growth is not limited to the indoor surface; it can easily germinate and expand inside building envelopes, especially where high levels of humidity are likely to occur. You can still use the same references.
      • Regarding comment 17, yes, mould may grow at the interface between two elements; however, only if nutrients are available (apart from appropriate moisture levels and temperature within a defined range). In this case, it is unlikely mould will grow inside a block of concrete and an autoclaved aerated concrete wall. Please review. 
      • Regarding comment 19, the explanation is still not satisfactory. There is too much information in one diagram. Explain the diagrams in detail (e.g., arrows, dashed horizontal lines, etc.) and how you analysed the data in the graphs. 


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