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      Indoor air quality and early detection of mould growth in residential buildings: a case study

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            Mould growth affects 1 in 3 homes, and it is the biggest cause for complaints and litigations filed to the relevant authorities in Australia, while significantly affecting the physical and psychological health of the building occupants. Indoor mould is caused by excessive dampness, resulting from poor architectural specification, construction and maintenance practices, as well as inappropriate occupants’ behaviour. The consequences range from early biodeterioration of building materials, requiring anticipated renovation works, to deterioration of the indoor environment, posing a serious threat to the building occupants. This study investigates indoor air quality and mould growth, providing a snapshot of the current indoor air quality of Australian residential buildings regarding air pollutants. It uses a case study representative of the typical Australian suburban home to investigate the effects of unnoticed mould growth. Results of the monitoring campaign indicate that buildings with a high concentration of fungal spores are also more likely to present poor indoor air quality levels, high concentrations of particulate matters (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and CO 2. This research suggests the need for the development of early detection strategies that could minimize the health hazard to people, thereby preventing the need for a major renovation.


            Author and article information

            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            20 March 2022
            [1 ] School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
            [2 ] Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne. Australia
            Author notes
            Author information

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            : 20 March 2022
            : 30 June 2022
            n.a. n.a.

            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Civil engineering,Architectural design
            hygrothermal ,indoor air quality ,health,Sustainability in architecture and the built environment,indoor environment,Sustainable and resilient cities,sustainability,Energy and health,mould growth


            Date: 30 June 2022

            Handling Editor: Dr Yasemin D. Aktas

            Editorial decision: Request revision. The Handling Editor requested revisions; the article has been returned to the authors to make this revision.

            2022-07-05 13:24 UTC
            2022-07-01 04:44 UTC

            Date: 21 March 2022

            Handling Editor: Dr Yasemin D. Aktas

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            This article is part of the 1st International Conference on Moisture in Buildings (ICMB21) Special Series

            2022-03-21 15:51 UTC

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