Indoor mould testing in a historic building: Blickling Hall

Heritage Science. 2018;6(1):1-9 DOI 10.1186/s40494-018-0218-x

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Heritage Science

ISSN: 2050-7445 (Online)

Publisher: SpringerOpen

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts | Science: Chemistry: Analytical chemistry

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB

 

AUTHORS

Yasemin Didem Aktas (University College London (UCL) Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Epicentre Research Group)
Jiaqi Shi (University College London (UCL) Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Epicentre Research Group)
Nigel Blades (National Trust for England, Wales, Northern Ireland)
Dina D’Ayala (University College London (UCL) Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Epicentre Research Group)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 19 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Indoor mould growth is a growing concern for all stakeholders of built environment, including residents, builders, insurance and building remediation industry as well as custodians of heritage buildings. The National Trust has reported this problem in a number of buildings under their ownership, and developed solutions and fine-tuned their maintenance programme so as to minimise indoor and surface mould growth risk. This paper reports findings from an extensive mould-testing scheme in Blickling Hall, a National Trust property in Norfolk, England, for an appraisal of airborne and surface mould levels within a total of eight rooms, including the famous Long Gallery. The testing protocol used combines active (aggressive) air sampling and surface sampling, analysis of the β-N-acetylhexosaminidase (NAHA) activity to quantify mould levels and particle counting. The results show that the airborne mould levels are quite low in all spaces, due to satisfactory maintenance of indoor hygrothermal conditions by conservation heating. On the other hand, while the National Trust’s developed solutions and maintenance programme have proved effective to avoid surface mould growth in those locations that historically suffered from microbial activity (such as behind book presses, picture frames and tapestries), the results show that the surface cleaning around windows should be improved to tackle surface water due to condensation, which is considered to be the main driver behind high surface NAHA activity obtained in these areas.