UK Moisture in Buildings Survey

UK Moisture in Buildings Survey
UKCMB Web Admin

The purpose of this work was to poll UKCMB members to elicit more detailed responses on current problems associated with moisture in buildings in the UK.

Some of the main points arising:

  • There appears to be widespread ignorance amongst designers, developers, clients, contractors, managers and users about how heating, ventilation and moisture work together.
  • Single-issue treatment of carbon reduction and energy efficiency has had noticeably negative effects on moisture balance in buildings especially with respect to air-tightness.
  • Many occupants and managers do not understand the importance of ventilation, passively or actively, hence the need for better guidance on use.
  • Higher densities of occupation and lower capacities of new buildings to accommodate the moisture generated in them are a cause for concern, especially where house sizes are getting smaller and the activities in them increasing.
  • Risks to occupants’ health, especially in the context of fuel poverty, where users are frightened to heat their homes because of debt fears, are a growing concern.
  • Many moisture problems are down to poor monitoring and maintenance, irrespective of era or construction type.
  • Moisture problems have worsened over the past five years in the UK.

The responses were organized and assessed in three broad categories:

  • Conditions (are the main variables seen to affect moisture conditions):
    • Geographical location
    • Resources available
    • Era of building
    • Construction type
    • Perceived risk (at conception)
    • Tenure type
  • Actions (are the main variables resulting from user, owner, management and designers interventions):
    • User actions
    • Maintenance
    • Density of occupation
    • Perceived risk (in use)
  • Outcomes (are the resulting effects of Conditions and Actions operating in given contexts_:
    • System state dynamics (how buildings improve or decline over time)
      • g. Moisture balance
    • Needs met (the effects on occupants, and wider social implications)
      • g. Occupant health
      • e,g. Public policy


Adrian Leaman

Neil May