Comparative Assessment of Mould Growth Risk in Lightweight Insulating Assemblies Via Analysis of Hygrothermal Data and In Situ Evaluation
Inga Apine 1  
,  
Mihails Birjukovs 2  
,  
 
 
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1
University of Latvia, Plant Biology Laboratory, Kandavas street 2, Riga, LV-1083, Latvia
2
University of Latvia, Laboratory for Mathematical Modelling of Technological and Environmental Processes, Jelgavas street 3, Riga, LV-1004, Latvia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Inga Apine   

University of Latvia, Plant Biology Laboratory, Kandavas street 2, Riga, LV-1083, Latvia
Publish date: 2019-12-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(11):256–265
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ABSTRACT
In order to assess the sustainability of buildings with different types of insulating assemblies in the Latvian climate, a long-term test building monitoring experiment has been underway since 2013. There are a total of five test buildings on site with roughly six years’ worth of accumulated temperature and humidity readings in the key parts of assemblies. This study is meant to quantify the mould presence in building walls, floor and ceiling by performing laboratory tests, assessing the number of colony-forming units, and comparing the results with mould risk predictions due to the isopleth model developed by Sedlbauer, using both the hygrothermal data derived from the sensors within buildings and the output of numerical simulations in WUFI Pro 6.3, a commercial software package. The analysis indicated good agreement between the lab tests and mould risk assessment using the data sets from the sensors, validating the applicability of the Sedlbauer model to the Latvian climate, while the comparisons between the numerically obtained forecasts and experimental data revealed dissimilarities that are largely due to imprecisions in material models and initial conditions.