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1815The HITEA Study

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  • Andrew Cutz
    Apr 19, 2014
    Occurrence of moisture problems in schools in three countries from different climatic regions of Europe based on questionnaires and building inspections – the HITEA study

    Abstract The aim of this study was to assess occurrence of dampness and mold in school buildings in three European countries (the Netherlands, Spain, and Finland), representing different climatic regions. An assessment was performed utilizing both questionnaires and on-site building investigations, and the agree- ment between these two methods was evaluated for validation purposes. On the basis of questionnaire data from a representative sample of schools, different types of moisture problems were reported in 24–47% of all school buildings at the time of the study. Most commonly reported was dampness in the Nether- lands, moisture/water damage in Spain, and mold odor in Finland. Subsequently, 20–24 schools per country were selected for on-site inspections by trained staff. The overall agreement between the questionnaire and inspection data was good (kappa-value 0.62), however, with large differences (0.39–0.91) between countries. Extrapolating from the inspection data, the minimum estimates for prevalence of moisture problems in school buildings are 20% in the Netherlands, 41% in Spain, and 24% in Finland. In conclusion, moisture problems (such as moisture damage, dampness, and mold) are relatively common in schools. The occurrence and severity may vary across geographical areas, which can be partly explained by building characteristics.

    Indoor Air 2012; 22: 457–466    John Wiley & Sons A/S   wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ina   
    INDOOR AIR  doi:10.1111/j.1600-0668.2012.00780.x


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