Moisture and breathability – the key to building performance and healthy buildings
A joint event with The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products and supported by STBA, SPAB and ISIBIO.
Buildings should be considered not as standalone discrete entities, but as part of a system in constant and dynamic interaction with people and the environment. This interconnectedness means benefits, problems, solutions and consequences cannot be effectively addressed in isolation.
As ever more air tight buildings are built and existing ones refurbished, often with energy efficiency as the main driver, the case for delivering effective moisture control becomes ever more paramount. This must be alongside good detailing, quality installation and an effective ventilation strategy.
Consideration of product impacts should be an essential component for sustainable and healthy buildings and NOT an afterthought. With staff costs amounting to 90% of most office based business operating costs and because we spend so much time indoors, it is essential that the industry delivers healthy buildings. This is especially important for vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly; so buildings such as schools, housing and medical centres.
The task of retrofitting our entire building stock to enable zero carbon buildings by 2050 is a daunting one, which requires an estimated 781,250 homes to be refurbished every year – or 1.5 homes a minute. There is emerging evidence highlighted by Peter Rickaby at STBA/SPAB conference June 13th 2017, that some homes that have been retrofitted to such a poor standard, that they have been wrecked.
Most buildings built roughly before the first half of last century are vapour open and inappropriate materials applied in a retro-fit may prevent the passage of moisture through the building. However the concept of breathability and moisture control is poorly understood. This seminar brings together leading practioners, academics and suppliers to share their knowledge and learning. There will be drinks from 17:00 onwards.
14.00: Chair’s introduction
14.05: Speaker TBC
14.25: Dr Callum Hill, ISOBIO and JCH Industrial Ecology Ltd; Breathability – Back to basics
Breathability; what is it, why is it important and how do we enable it?
Vapour open is not the same as breathable.
Air tightness and breathability are complimentary strategies (not mutually exclusive).
14.45: Mark Lynn, Thermafleece
The benefits of natural fibre insulation
Moisture and natural fibre insulation
Hygroscopicity is not the same as breathable
15.05: Caroline Rye - The SPAB Building Performance Survey
An overview of the SPAB Building Performance Survey, commenced in 2011, measuring moisture movement through solid walls.
What we measured and the tools
Results and next steps
15:25: Refreshment Break
15.40: Chris Brookman, Back to Earth
The range of natural fibre products available
Woodfibre and moisture
Other health and wellbeing benefits – VOCs and overheating
16.00: Ian Mawditt, Four Walls
The importance of source control and good ventilation
An overview of research into ventilation rates
Air-tightness, moisture and appropriate ventilation strategies
16.20: Leigh George, Allergy UK
An overview of allergic disorders In the UK
A summary of the 800 calls a month to the Allergy UK helpline
Allergy UK Approved Products
16.40: Discussion and next steps
17:00: Close and networking drinks
Please register here.