Call to broaden ventilation debate from UK trade body

National trade body the Property Care Association is calling for research and academic papers to present at an international event focused on a major issue currently affecting UK properties – excess moisture in buildings.

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The PCA’s 2018 International Residential Ventilation & Preservation of Buildings Conference takes place on the 14th and 15th June at The Slate, University of Warwick, in Coventry.

It will investigate issues including the nature of occupation, methods for identifying and rectifying defects – and the expected performance of existing buildings.

To broaden the debate and bring together the latest thinking on the issue the association is now inviting submissions for original research/academic papers on topics related to moisture in buildings and its outcomes to be presented at the event.

Areas of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • Moisture in buildings
  • Building preservation
  • Management of atmospheric moisture in buildings
  • Ventilation & air quality in buildings
  • Fungal decay
  • Emerging challenges in timber protection
  • Salt management in masonry
  • Insect attack on buildings
  • Protecting timber in new construction

Posters are also welcome and the application deadline for those, as well the research/academic papers, is 5th January 2018. More details can be found at http://www.property-care.org/conferences/call-for-papers/

The event is part of the PCA’s acclaimed annual conference programme, which features a range of subjects including invasive weeds and structural waterproofing for delegates with an interest in property care.

The association has developed a reputation for delivering premier conferences that bring together industry, as well as academics and public bodies from across the UK and internationally.

Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive of the PCA, said: “Our conferences are open to both PCA members and non-members alike and attract audiences comprising a mix of contractors, surveyors, researchers and leading industry figures.

“The 2018 International Residential Ventilation & Preservation of Buildings Conference covers a subject area of increasing importance nationally and we are looking forward to bringing together a rich, knowledge-based range of content over the two days.”

This conference is the latest move from the PCA to address the increase in excessive atmospheric moisture in buildings being reported in UK homes.

Other initiatives from the PCA include the development of a Residential Ventilation Group (RVG), the publication of a ‘Code of Practice for the Investigation and Provision of Ventilation in Existing Dwellings’ and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE).

According to the PCA, factors behind the rising trend are predominately linked with modern living – including increased levels of occupation and rising fuel costs, as well as a drive to make homes more energy efficient.

The trade body also cites efforts to reduce air leakage through draught proofing and retrofit insulation, as well as the changing climate patterns – featuring warmer, wetter weather – as being of significance.

To resolve the issue the PCA is calling for a greater focus on more effective ventilation – with the association leading calls for the development of a more robust strategy to ensure effective methods are introduced in homes.

Mr Hodgson added: “The feedback from our 400 members across the UK is that the number of cases of mould and condensation problems linked to increased levels of atmospheric moisture in properties continues to rise.

“A great many of these issues could be improved through the correct use of appropriate ventilation strategies.

“However, despite the impact that good ventilation can have on a property’s moisture levels, the current regulation and guidance setting out minimum requirements in homes is mixed and usually ignored or misunderstood.

“We believe the frequency of problems associated with damp and mould from indoor air is only set to get worse, with unseen and as yet underestimated problems being created due to these new pressures on properties.

“This is an issue which can have significant consequences, with excess moisture in a building potentially affecting both its fabric and the comfort and wellbeing of occupants if left unchecked.”

The PCA has produced a video offering a comprehensive overview of the issues faced.

Featuring interviews with academics at University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE), the short film is available to view at https://youtu.be/QFQ2a9XEop8.

www.property-care.org

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