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Engineering Historic Futures

This was a three-year project, running from 2003 until 2006, and funded by EPSRC and the UKCIP as part of their climate-change research initiative "Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate". It looked at issues arising from water damage to historic buildings, concentrating on developing appropriate methodologies for drying.

The 4 research partners were:

The 5 stakeholder partners were:

For further details contact Chris Sanders ( or visit the Engineering Historic Futures website.

In-situ Measurement of Moisture Content Profiles within Building Envelopes

This project, running from 2005 until 2008, is being funded by EPSRC and being undertaken in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London. It seeks to generate new knowledge on the measurement of dynamic moisture content profiles through construction materials in real buildings. As part of this project three innovative measurement systems are being developed based on Time Domain Reflectometry, Dual-Probe Heat-Pulse and Electrical Resistance Array measurements. For more information contact Mark Phillipson (

Ventilation of Wall Cavities

The degree of ventilation within wall cavities has a significant effect on the thermal performance and the risks of condensation and moisture damage within the wall, especially in timber framed constructions and behind timber cladding systems. Although some work has been carried out in test rigs and environmental chambers, very little information is available on air movement in the cavities of real buildings. A preliminary study carried out on behalf of the Scottish Building Standards Agency (SBSA) has identified the critical parameters in different climates. This will be extended by a larger measurement programme to produce definitive guidance. For further details contact Chris Sanders (

Modelling and Measurements of Airflow and Ventilation within Domestic Pitched Roofs

This PhD project is being sponsored by Lafarge Roofing Technical Center. It is investigating the influence of airflows and ventilation within domestic pitched roofs on the house and the importance of these factors on condensation risks and energy use. Reducing the airflow through the ceiling and eaves into the loft space will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the roof and consequently reduce the energy consumption of the house as well as greatly reducing the risk of condensation. To investigate these factors, two most important methodologies would be used to acquire data:

1 Measurements using tracer gas techniques.
2 Simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

For more information please contact Emmanuel Adu Essah (

Modelling and measurement of wind-driven rain on building facades

This PhD project is developing an appropriate methodology to calculate the driving rain incidence from wind flow and rain intensity in any geographic region in United Kingdom. Using an available CFD software package, Fluent, airflow patterns and raindrops trajectories will be modelled using measurements of rainfall intensity (mm/h), drop size distribution, wind velocity and wind direction as the boundary conditions. The trajectories will be calculated, initially with a simplified geometry, reference wind speed and wind direction, but then extended to model real buildings in increasing detail. The results will be validated with experimental data and a generalised approach to obtaining realistic boundary conditions for hygrothermal models developed. For more information please contact Ayyapan Kumaraperumal (

Mould growth and metabolites production under non steady conditions

This PhD project will identify the influence of temperature and relative humidity on mould growth and mycotoxin production in the indoor environment and will develop techniques to more accurately quantify mould levels. It will also characterise substrates and utilises these and the microbial data in the development of a predictive model. For more information please contact Haruna Musa Moda (

Condensation in Pitched Roofs

Novel methods for combating the risks of condensation in pitched roofs over housing are being discussed within the industry. We are closely involved with these and the implications for Regulations and Standards. For further details contact Chris Sanders (

Recently completed research projects include:

Assessing Microenvironments

An EPSRC project examining the temperature and humidity conditions found in indoor microenvironments. For more information contact Paul Baker (

Development of X-ray facility

The team have worked to develop the only UK based test facility that utilises X-ray tomography to evaluate the moisture content and moisture distribution of building components. For more information contact Paul Baker (

Future Challenges of Air Quality and Health in Housing

The team completed a contract to examine the Future Challenges for Air Quality in UK housing under the New Horizons Programme of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. For more information contact Mark Phillipson (

Domestic Flue Emissions and Roof Eaves Interactions

A project investigating the potential for emissions from domestic boiler flues to interact with roof eaves has been undertaken for the Scottish Executive Building Standards Division. For more information contact Mark Phillipson (