Research article

Moisture Buffering and Mold Growth Characteristics of Naturally Ventilated Lime Plastered Houses.

Authors
  • Vismaya Paralkar orcid logo (Faculty of Technology, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India)
  • Rashmin Damle (Faculty of Technology, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India)

This article is a preprint and is currently undergoing peer review by UCL Open: Environment.

Abstract

Lime plaster is well known for its moisture buffering capabilities but is also susceptible to mould growth. This work focusses on the hygrothermal performance of lime plaster in naturally ventilated residential spaces. Surveys are carried out for 45 traditional buildings of Ahmedabad in India with measurements of ambient variables, such as temperature, relative humidity, wall moisture content, etc. Mould growth patterns of these spaces are related to the measured variables and wall characteristics. Hygrothermal simulations of some spaces are also carried out to observe the moisture buffering of lime plaster. Experimental observations are contrasted with simulation results to see if numerical predictions are realistic.

Keywords: Lime plaster; Hygrothermal simulations; mould growth; surface relative humidity conditions., Energy and health

Preprint Under Review

 Open peer review from Yasemin Didem Aktas

Reviewer: Yasemin Didem Aktas
ORCID: orcid logo https://orcid.org/http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6317-2673
DOI: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.AGWE60.v1.RCCNTX
Date Completed: 2022-08-20

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.AGWE60.v1.RCCNTX
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental studies
Keywords: Lime plaster; Hygrothermal simulations; mould growth; surface relative humidity conditions. , Energy and health

Review text

Further detailing and clarifications are needed before we can proceed with the second round of reviews. More specifically I think the narrative need to be sharpened so as to make an explicit and combined synthesis of your findings from the survey, modelling and experimental work to derive your conclusions. How do the survey, modelling and experimental work complement each other? How do your findings from each align or contradict each other?

The manuscript with extensive comments was sent to the authors.



License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Note:
This review refers to round 2 of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.

 Open peer review from Duygu Ergenç

Reviewer: Duygu Ergenç
ORCID: orcid logo https://orcid.org/http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9034-1818
DOI: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.AHEU6U.v1.RZYDCK
Date Completed: 2022-05-20

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.AHEU6U.v1.RZYDCK
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental studies
Keywords: Lime plaster; Hygrothermal simulations; mould growth; surface relative humidity conditions. , Energy and health

Review text

The subject studied by the authors is of high importance and they have conducted extensive study comprising both models and experimental work with a considerable number of analyses and the results are well discussed with a particular attention to references. Some scientific and editorial improvements are needed in the manuscript to be more understandable and followable.
Introduction should be concise and be written in the order ending with the gap in the literature and aim of the study.
Lime cycle and related explanations are unnecessary to give because there will be no correlation later in the study.
Long explanation of lime is not needed. I recommend to delete this part.

Please make the introduction concise and clear. Authors should avoid repetition. Authors should briefly explain why lime is favorable in a few sentences and what is lack in the field without repetition. The section should be named as Results and Discussion, if not where is the discussion?

How this life span is calculated in this reference? What about more than 2000 years old Roman mortars.

reference is needed

please correct improvising

Methodology should be described briefly. It is estimated that the first study is modeling, the second study is in-situ examination and the last study is experimental work. If it is correct, please explain it clearly.

Abbreviation should be defined clearly when it is used for the first time.

Please indicate name of the equipment in a, b, c, d, e in Figure 5.

Table 332 should go to results or appendices section.

What is Language Lab? Why is it relevant?

What does sulphate phase of the lime plaster mortar formation mean? Please revise.

Which type of microscope is used should be defined in methods section.

Figure 32. If it is an stereomicroscope (or not), the magnification should be defined for all images. Quality of the images should be improved.

Polarized optical microscopy? scanning electron microscopy? section 4.2

Conclusions should be reflected by results. I recommend rewriting the manuscript with clear objectives and results therefore conclusions can be inferred better.



License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Note:
This review refers to round 1 of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.

 Open peer review from Jalaluddin Ahmed

Reviewer: Jalaluddin Ahmed
ORCID: orcid logo https://orcid.org/http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8128-8971
DOI: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.A57YFG.v1.RICQOR
Date Completed: 2022-06-01

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.A57YFG.v1.RICQOR
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental studies
Keywords: Lime plaster; Hygrothermal simulations; mould growth; surface relative humidity conditions. , Energy and health

Review text

An interesting study is presented that has combined modelling, lab experiments, and field work to better understand the relationship between lime plaster and mould. However, the report would benefit from a thorough proofread and some clarifications to improve readability. Providing further details on the method would help readers to better understand the input data used for analysis.

There are several text errors and formatting issues. For example, the Figure 25 caption says “Marchq”, and on page 7 it is stated “The above figure shows …” but the figure it is referring to is below the sentence. On page 22, there is paragraph text between figure 30 and its caption.

Language needs to be improved as some sentences do not make grammatical sense which makes understanding the author difficult. For example, the following sentence in Section 3.1 is not clear: "The materials binding, a room stores, and releases moisture.".

Presentation could be improved by making language appear more consistent. For example, on page 7-8 the term relative humidity is sometimes capitalised seemingly at random.

There are many statements where references should be added for support. For example, references are missing for the stated lifespan of lime mortar in Section 1, and for the claimed literary evidence regarding the composition of lime mortar in Section 1.1.

Please could the aim of the study be clearly stated at the end of the Introduction.

Please could differences between the original curve and derived curve in Figure 1 be clarified.

Table 3-3-2 should specify the units of volume and how this was calculated i.e. from floor plans or measurements by experimenter.

The model of the HOBO loggers should be specified in Section 3.3.

Are the stabilised RHs from the salt solutions consistent with what is expected from literature? The values could be compared to another source e.g. Greenspan (1976).

Please could the weather files used for simulation be specified.

In Section 4.1.1, it is stated that “… there is no external source of the moisture other than occupancy”. The modelling method should describe what moisture production profile was used for the case study model. For occupancy, this would be the occupancy hours and rate per hour. Would including other moisture sources (e.g. cooking) be important?

Please could you specify the number of spot measurements that were used in Section 4.2 to produce each figure (n=?).

Please could you clarify Figure 28. The x-axis is moisture content and y-axis is frequency, and the caption states the walls were studied from December to March. However, the figure specifies "December to May" and "Monsoon months" in boxes for different moisture content ranges and it is unclear why.

For Figure 30, it appears as though some room characteristics were assessed (i.e. ventilation, sunlight, clutter). How these were assessed should be mentioned in the methods section. For example, what is the difference between ‘High’ clutter and ‘Moderate’ clutter? For each room, is this an observation based on a single site visit or multiple site visits? Also, whilst ventilation openings may be closed, there will still be air exchange due to infiltration which could be substantial if the building is not airtight. Is the interest in purpose-provided ventilation or overall air exchange?

Figure 31 is confusing. The "Mould observed" and "No Mold Observted" rings do not seem to correspond to the inner sections.

The results section should be renamed as Results and Discussion, but I would recommend writing a separate Discussion section given the complexity of the topic.

Were any statistical tests considered?



License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Note:
This review refers to round 1 of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.

 Open peer review from Duygu Ergenç

Reviewer: Duygu Ergenç
ORCID: orcid logo https://orcid.org/http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9034-1818
DOI: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.A7VENQ.v1.RBOGSJ
Date Completed: 2023-07-18

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.A7VENQ.v1.RBOGSJ
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental studies
Keywords: Lime plaster; Hygrothermal simulations; mould growth; surface relative humidity conditions. , Energy and health

Review text

The authors have made most of the suggested corrections and the manuscript has considerably improved, but it is still unclear how the different methods relate to each other and contribute to the result.



License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Note:
This review refers to round 3 of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.