Monitored conditions in wooden wall plates in relation to mold and wood decaying fungi

Tessa Kvist Hansen*, Nickolaj Feldt Jensen, Eva Møller, Ernst Jan De Place Hansen, Ruut Hannele Peuhkuri

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

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    In historic masonry buildings, wood can be embedded in the walls as storey partition beams, or as supportive wall plates. Half-timbered masonry constructions, or wooden frames, e.g. combined with internal insulation, are other examples of wooden elements. Wood decaying fungi can cause serious damage to wood, which may lose mass and strength, ultimately yielding the risk of collapse. In addition, some fungal species may even be hazardous for occupants. All wood decaying fungi depend on favorable moisture and temperature conditions, although the threshold conditions may vary with various fungal species and types, and state of the wood. To predict the risk of occurrence of wood rot, several models have been developed, however most of these are based on a limited number of experiments, or very specific cases. For these reasons, the applicability of the models to other scenarios (fungal species, wood species) may not be appropriate. Furthermore, another failure mode for wood and moisture, is mold growth, which is initiated at lower moisture levels. An indication of risk of mold growth would indicate problems or risks before the initiation of wood rot. Mold growth does not deteriorate the wood, but is usually equally undesired due to health concerns of occupants. For this reason, there might be places where some mold growth would be acceptable, e.g. embedded beam ends if there is no transfer of air from the moldy area to the indoor air. Therefore, risk of rot could be important. The paper investigates models for mass loss due to wood decay and mold growth based on exposure time to favorable hygrothermal conditions. The investigation is based on inspection of wood samples (wall plates) from a full-scale experimental setup of masonry with embedded wood and monitored conditions, to which the prediction models will be applied. Monitored hygrothermal conditions were implemented in mold and wood decay models, and samples were removed from the test setup. The implemented models yielded high mold index and mass loss, whereas neither mold nor decay was observed in the physical samples. Results indicate that the implemented models, in these cases appear to overestimate the risks of mold and rot in the supportive lath behind the insulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20004
    JournalE3S Web of Conferences
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    Event 12th Nordic Building Physics Conference - Tallin University of Technology, Tallin, Estonia
    Duration: 7 Sept 20209 Sept 2020
    Conference number: 12


    Conference 12th Nordic Building Physics Conference
    LocationTallin University of Technology


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