Could Climate Change Increase the Risk of Mold in Housing?

Speaker(s): Holly Samuelson, Pamela Cabrera Pardo, Sara Tepfer

Predicted changes in weather could make wood-framed residential buildings more susceptible to mold. In this presentation, Holly Samuelson, an associate professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Design (GSD); Pamela Cabrera, a GSD graduate now working as a climate engineer and associate at Transsolar KlimaEngineering; and Sara Tepfer, a doctor of design student at GSD; will discuss research, funded in part by our Center, that combines state-of-the-art hygrothermal simulations and mold-growth computations with data on predicted weather changes in several cool-climate US cities. Their results indicate significantly increased risk of mold in many structures that were built in compliance with applicable building codes. These findings suggest that current building codes and construction practices are based on overly narrow projected climate conditions that may be ill-suited for future climate conditions.

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