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14 Jul 2023 < Back

A collective review of ICMB23

The Association was proud to be principal sponsors of this year's 'International Conference on Moisture in Buildings' (ICMB23) which is organised by the 'UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings' (UKCMB). This international event, which took place on 3rd-4th July, is somewhat unique as it draws academia and industry together from across the globe. Attended by over 100 delegates from a variety of backgrounds and all with an interest in moisture in buildings, which gave us an opportunity to promote the PCA and its members.

However, rather than just hear our views, we thought we would share thoughts on the event from some of our members who attended either in person, or virtually....

What did we think of ICMB23?

James Berry, PCA:

“Sponsoring an event like this gives us the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of the understanding of moisture in the built environment. This has always been our mantra and being associated with events such as this, we can continue to do so and hopefully keep an eye on what the future might hold.

Rarely do we have a chance for a diverse mix of people to get together and discuss moisture in buildings. Much of the programme is perhaps not aimed at practitioners such as PCA members and whilst many of us are old hands and have been looking at dampness for years, a lot of the discussion only confirmed what we already believed. However, there was also a good mix of new and novel stuff and the real benefit of events like this is the networking opportunities that it brings”.

Nicholas Donnithorne, Rentokil:

“It is by its very nature an academic conference, with papers presented by researchers from a wide range of institutions across the world, but with a large number from the UK and Europe. The virtual element meant that some researchers (and delegates) who might have found the time and cost of attending prohibitive, could still present papers from the far corners of the world. This is to be applauded.  

Did I learn anything? Actually, yes. If you are going to insulate your walls with IWI (Internal Wall Insulation) choose something not too efficient, otherwise you are likely to face problems. Of particular interest to me given my laboratory background, were two good presentations on simulation of IWI and underfloor insulation and the effect of EWI (External Wall Insulation) below dampcourse level. The VOC and mould ID presentations on the first day and final keynote on mould were also very interesting.”

Hudson Lambert, Safeguard Europe:

“In terms of content, it was a bit of a mixed bag. It was seen as a bit of an opportunity to let young PhD students have a practice at presenting, but we did get some stronger presentations from some of the old hands that really know what they are doing. I'm glad that I managed to attend in person as I think that the main benefit for me (as a non-academic) is to have the opportunity to talk to different people and gauge the direction of travel in terms of the dominant thinking that is likely to influence policy & regulation.

For me the main areas of interest were:

  • Henry Zhu work on masonry water repellents
  • Finland’s work on mould - Juha Pekkanen was especially interesting, he did mention that he was almost cancelled for suggesting that some people's health symptoms due to mould were actually psychosomatic. Juha Vinha introduced the "famous" Finnish Mould Growth model
  • Work on actual physical properties of real bricks (yes, I really am that sad) by KU Leuven and Leeds Beckett”

In summary... 

This year's ICMB23 event had a plethora of academic content towards the research of moisture within buildings. We believe that this event is crucial for the industry to continue the conversation, discussing new knowledge and innovation. We look forward to ICMB25...  

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