UKCMB – UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings

The UKCMB is an independent, not for profit, public good organisation run by University College London, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Heriot Watt University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The UKCMB works in a rigorous and transparent manner together with partners from academia, government, industry and the public to substantially improve the way moisture risk is understood and managed in the UK.

Inappropriate moisture levels in buildings are considered to be the cause of the majority of all building failures including building-related occupant health problems. Evidence from research, building owners and occupants, and industry, seem to indicate that such failures and problems may be changing and increasing in some areas due to factors such as increased airtightness and insulation, fuel poverty, overcrowding and changing use of buildings. However, there are many complexities and interactions, as well as much uncertainty in regard to the extent of the problem, its effects and causes.

The understanding of moisture movement and moisture risk in buildings has developed considerably in the past few years, albeit there are still many gaps and uncertainties in our knowledge. Not only have the mechanisms of moisture movement been explored more fully but the types of buildings and applications being studied have widened (in particular the retrofit of existing buildings). At the same time there is a growing acknowledgement of the key role of moisture in the health of occupants as well as in the health of building fabric.

The primary aim of the UKCMB is the development of a moisture-safe built environment in the UK.
A consequential aim is to substantially improve the way moisture risk is understood and managed in the UK.

The following are expected outcomes which to result from these primary aims, and which are in themselves secondary aims for the centre:

– the reduction in remediation and repair costs for landlords and owners
– the increased use and value of the housing stock to the nation
– increased research understanding of the role of moisture in building design and performance
– new integrated processes of procurement, design, construction and use of buildings
– new employment, investment and innovation opportunities in industry
– safer, lower liability, industry programmes and government policies
– reduced environmental impacts of buildings
– reduced social and economic costs of ill health from building moisture problems
– a possible international role for the centre, both in Europe and beyond

Technical Working Groups
Technical Working Groups (TWGs) will be central to the work and the development of the UKCMB, providing input about concerns and knowledge gaps, scoping research issues, reviewing and then promoting and disseminating the findings of research. They provide a productive way to involve others both within and beyond the CKPs in research and development work. In addition, through bringing together national expertise for the public good they will help reinforce the standing of the UKCMB as the main knowledge base and authority for building moisture issues in the UK. We also hope to involve many of the members of the TWGs in aspects of the research.

The following groups started formally in the autumn of 2016:

Monitoring and modelling of moisture in buildings
Ventilation, airtightness and moisture in buildings
Moisture in new build
Moisture in existing buildings and retrofit
Flooding and escape of water
Financial, insurance and legal context and consequences of moisture in buildings

Visit the UKCMB website for more information