Shruti Nath

University of Tasmania
Are condensation and mould problems in Australian homes arising from Australian building regulations?

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Australian National Construction Code has required a reduction in the amount of energy that may be needed to heat or cool Australian homes. As a result, and in order to achieve energy efficiency requirements, houses have incorporated greater quantities of envelope insulation and improved air tightness. 

It has been found that occupants residing in newly constructed builds are reporting increased occurrences of condensation and mould. It is internationally accepted that mould spores are linked to several immunology and allergy conditions, which can cause lifelong illnesses.

This presentation will look at how the lack of regulatory guidelines regarding the choice of building materials is likely to cause water vapour condensation and moisture accumulation in contemporary building envelope systems, leading to other moisture-related problems that affect structural durability and human health. Condensation risk was established using a simulation software and Shruti will share these results.

About Nath:
A PhD student at the University of Tasmania, Nath is researching “healthy built fabric systems for zero energy residential buildings”. Nath’s PhD studies, co-funded by the Tasmanian government, are focusing on aspects of the built fabric that must be considered as housing is made more energy-efficient.

Nath’s previous studies have included architecture and habitat design at leading universities in India. This was followed by 11 years as a university academic and practitioner. Nath’s diverse professional experience has been used to inform architectural education and provide valuable insights and applications of practical enquiry-based learning.