Assessment of mould growth risk in regulatory compliant 6 and 7 star new homes in Victoria (in progress)
What we are doing and why
The VBA is supporting research by the University of Tasmania through a research grant to assess the risk of mould growth in external wall systems used in the construction of new housing in Victoria.
All new homes and some renovations, alterations and additions must comply with the minimum energy efficiency requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC). These requirements aim to reduce the environmental impacts of energy consumption and water usage within the built environment.
The energy efficiency of buildings can be demonstrated through a star rating. Under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), houses are given a star rating (out of 10 stars) based on the energy efficiency of their design. The higher the star rating, the less energy needed to heat and cool the home to keep it comfortable.
Increased energy efficiency requirements have led to the construction of ‘air tight’ buildings. This, combined with a lack of appropriate ventilation, can trap water vapour in building envelopes. Condensation in homes can cause mould growth, structural failure and serious health issues for occupants.
The research will analyse Victorian housing information and climate types, the requirements of the NCC, and the risk of surface and interstitial mould growth within typical external wall systems for new housing in Victoria to achieve a 6-star energy rating, and the likely systems for a 7-star energy rating.
The University of Tasmania’s Dr Mark Dewsbury is leading the research.
What we have achieved so far
This research is an international and national collaboration between the University of Tasmania, research organisations, industry and the VBA.
Other research partners are the Fraunhofer Institute of Building Physics (Germany), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia), the Master Builders Victoria and Forest and Wood Products Australia.
Due for completion in 2023, this research complements the research the VBA is already doing including investigating the nature and extent of moisture damage in Victorian residential buildings.