Energy efficiency has become a key objective in today’s built environment. It’s an important goal, given that buildings currently consume 30 percent of the world’s energy use, and it’s estimated that up to 30 percent of that is wasted.
To address the issue, architects and designers are looking to improve energy performance by increasing building insulation levels and creating tighter building envelopes. Both are important strategies that can lead to improved comfort and durability, reduced environmental impact, and long-term energy savings over the life of the building.
That said, high-performance envelopes can bring their own set of challenges, especially if moisture issues arise. Why? Higher levels of insulation can lead to less energy transfer through the building envelope which slows or prevents drying of any moisture present in the wall assembly. In addition, tighter envelopes can result in higher concentrated air leakage areas.
Without adequate air ventilation, this can lead to mold, bacterial growth and rot, which ultimately can impact the durability and safety of the structure and the health and wellbeing of its occupants. However, it is possible to effectively prevent mold if you understand the fundamentals.
That’s where mold- and mildew-resistant insulation and other water-resistant building materials should be considered with every project to create a healthy and productive living environment.
This article is structured in five sections beginning with what is mold and what causes mildew, working into preventing mold in your indoor environment, a case study on resilient building practices, the codes and standards you need to know, and finally, mold and mildew proof insulation solutions.