Thousands of people across the UK live in misery due to mould, mildew, and damp, which also happen to cost homeowners, landlords, and housing associations millions of pounds a year in repairs.
Researchers at Northumbria University have found a solution that could change the way that future homes are designed and, in the process, make mould a thing of the past.
Over the past year, academics at Northumbria, together with partners from the National Energy Foundation and the BIM Academy, have been working with Your Homes Newcastle, a local housing organisation, to learn more about how people live in their homes.
With customer consent, smart building sensors were placed in seven apartments to monitor things like:
- Room temperature
- Electricity usage
- How residents move around
This data can be used to understand how people use buildings, provide advice and alerts that support better living and influence building design so that it is more in accord with customers’ requirements.
Dr. Kay Rogage, a member of Northumbria’s BIM Academy Research Team, said that this system can be customised to, for example, send out an alert when the humidity in an individual room or flat exceeds a certain level. This would enable landlords to identify conditions that lead to mould and mildew before they can develop, minimising treatment costs, reducing tenant complaints, and enabling more comfortable living conditions.