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Worrying trends in overseas built pre-fabricated structures used to house workers in remote locations of Australia

Research to be presented in the 2014 Indoor Air Conference in Hong Kong, highlights problems of water damage, mould growth and high levels of carbon dioxide in modular accommodation buildings used for mining camps in remote and humid environments.

Hidden mould on plasterboard
Hidden mould on plasterboard

Perth, WA, AUS. The popularity of modular buildings has increased significantly over the last few years with mining companies ordering these pre-fabricated structures in their thousands to meet the growing demand for accommodation. These units are typically being manufactured overseas and assembled (complexed) on site as accommodation units across Australia.

A few critical problems have been identified with the construction and transportation of these modular buildings being shipped from overseas to Australia and then transported on-site. Poor indoor air quality, water damage and mould growth on plasterboard and the use of inappropriate building materials are being further exacerbated when the buildings are being complexed in hot and humid climates.  

Dr Peter Kemp reports that “elevated moisture content in building materials, such as plasterboard, can be prevented with diligent monitoring.” Furthermore, Dr Kemp explains that nearly all the identified problems can be prevented through better choice of materials, and the implementation of a mould prevention and indoor air quality program.

Significant blowouts in budgets, maintenance costs and remediation costs have been reported in several high profile builds across remote areas of Australia, from the Pilbara, Darwin to far east Queensland. However, significant cost and time savings can be achieved with early intervention.  

Contact Mycologia on (08) 6365 4813 for any queries or for further information on addressing IAQ and mould issues.

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 modular buildings
 mould damage
 water damage
 accommodation buildings

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