In partnership with SOAP Retrofit and the Building Energy Research Group at Loughborough University, the project seeks to optimise, validate and implement our highly scalable mould risk indicator for homes. Designed as a web hosted algorithm to sit alongside our existing SmartHTC thermal performance measurement solution, the proposition is one that may be called by APIs and readily integrated into a wide range of existing in-home devices, products and/or assessment services.
Exposure to mould increases the risk of respiratory illnesses, allergies and asthma, and can also affect the immune system. Respiratory illnesses are one of the largest causes of death in the UK, with the UK Office for National Statistics listing them as a cause of death for more than 35,000 people per year between 2016-18, with the poor housing specifically said to cost the NHS £865m per annum. Although never directly measured and assessed at a national scale, it is estimated that as many as 50% of homes suffer from black mould growth issues, and/or condensation.
The BTS proposed solution will provide invaluable insight on the risk of mould and condensation in owner-occupied, tenanted and care homes alike. Coupled with our innovative SmartHTC system which measures the thermal performance of the building fabric, accurate recommendations for retrofit and improvement can also be made. This includes; upgrades or provision of ventilation systems, installation of insulation, and/or changes in user behaviour.
The Sustainable Innovation Fund is funding 1,103 projects, 1189 UK businesses and totalling over £130 million in support across the UK.
Build Test Solutions SmartHTC Product Manager Dr Richard Jack said:
We spend 90% of our time in buildings and we deserve them to be free from mould and other potential health issues at all times. Our proposed mould and condensation risk indicator solution will facilitate continuous identification of potential condensation and mould issues (often before they occur), and provide targeted mitigation recommendations. The solution – intentionally set to be highly scalable – stands to enable long-term protection of building occupants and the buildings themselves, critical to ensure the UK prospers in a post-COVID world.
Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell said:
In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy. The Build Test Solutions project, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.