Pathological Approach To Investigating And Remediating Dampness In Buildings by

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Pathological approach to investigating and remediating dampness in buildings



I would take this opportunity to thank my research supervisor, family and friends for their support and guidance without which this research would not have been possible.


I, [type your full first names and surname here], declare that the contents of this dissertation/thesis represent my own unaided work, and that the dissertation/thesis has not previously been submitted for academic examination towards any qualification. Furthermore, it represents my own opinions and not necessarily those of the University.

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The aim has been to design a scientifically based methodology to assess/secure indoor environment qualities (IEQ) throughout the program, design and management phases. The method should fit into a holistic; computer based environmental assessment system, EcoEffect, which also includes assessment of energy and material use, outdoor environment and life cycle costs. A multi-criteria assessment structure of the indoor environment is used. Benchmarks for each indoor factor are used as assessment criteria in the different building phases have been arranged in four impact/target classes, each of them with impact values from 0 (no impact) to 3 (big impact). The focus is on comfort and building related health. The method has so far been used to assess around 20 existing and 4 planned buildings. For the management and program phases the method has been proved to be useful and quite easy to apply. In design phase however, more efforts are needed to simplify the assessment procedure.



What Is Building Surveying?vii

What Is Building Pathology?viii

Diagnosis and identification of mould problemsxi

Strategies for control and preventionxii

Remediation planningxiv

Remediation techniquesxix


Dampness - is rising damp misunderstood?xxii

Jeff Howell and Othersxxii

Graham R Colemanxxiv

The BRE (British Research Establishment) Groupxxv

Case studiesxxv

Case study 1xxvii

Case study 2xxviii

Case study 3xxviii



Fracture Ixxxiv


Lateral extentxxxv


Sand thicknessxlvi


Color distributionlix



Chapter 1: Introduction

This dissertation sets to examine the major differences between accepted building surveying practice and the limitations of building surveys from a dampness perspective.

Has the detection of dampness in buildings become an exercise of merely identifying the symptoms and an over reliance on so called specialists, to carry out the next stage of the dampness investigation but with a commercial inference. Professor Malcolm Hollis distinguishes the difference between building surveying and building pathology when he says 'Building surveying is an art, verifying building failure is science'.

Is there a need for a more pathological or scientific approach to dampness diagnosis, given the widespread disparity over the causes of dampness and in particular rising dampness, which has attracted much controversy from opposing camps.Has established research provided all the answers to aid practitioners, in the pursuit of getting to the true causes of dampness within the built environment?

Chapter 2: Litereature Review

What Is Building Surveying?

Building Surveying commenced by assessing the ruins following the 'Great Fire of London' on 2nd September 1666 as to the reason for the spread of the vast historic fire event, it was concluded that buildings during that era were constructed close together and out of tar, pitch, straw and timber materials which were not fire ...