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    A.C. Meyers Vænge 15

    2450 København SV


Organisation profile

Organisation profile

Head of research group: Birgitte Andersen

Our research

Our indoor environment is to a great extent determined by the building materials we use for the constructing the buildings. Some materials can promote fungal growth, leading to the release of fungal spores and odour compounds, while other materials contain chemical compounds that are also emitted to the indoor environment. Both spores and compounds can have a negative influence on our indoor environment and on our well-being.

Our focus areas encompass fungi and problematic substances in building materials in all phases of a building: From production and construction over impact of the indoor environment during use to deconstruction and recycling. Both new and old building materials can contain problematic substances and all building materials can sustain fungal growth when they are exposed to moisture or water; here our focus is on the fungal species associated to building materials and the conditions that lead to their growth.

We have 25+ years of experience with fungi and semi-volatile compounds. Our research is based on both laboratory experiments and field investigations, and we communicate the newest research to the building industry as well as building users. Our research areas include:

  • Methods to detect hidden fungal growth
  • Comparison and standardization of methods to determine fungal growth
  • Fungal spores and problematic substances in building materials for recycling and in construction waste
  • Fungal contamination of building materials during and after production
  • Release of particles from building materials during construction and demolition
  • Moisture capacity and risk of fungal growth in biogenic / biobased building materials

The green transition in the building industry has put emphasis on alternative and renewable, biobased building materials as a possibility to limit greenhouse gasses. However, knowledge and experience with these new and alternative building materials is lacking – e.g., there is no knowledge on the moisture characteristics and thus the risk of fungal growth in biogenic materials like grass, hemp and straw.

We are interested in the interplay between new types of building materials based on renewable crops (e.g., straw and grass) and the factors that may result in fungal growth in buildings. We are also interested in the potential of materials to release semi-volatile compounds that can affect the indoor environment. This also apply to existing building materials that may contain problematic substances.

In collaboration with other research groups, we manage the independent knowledge centre ‘skimmel.dk’. The site provides knowledge to occupants, operational staff and professional players in the building industry on e.g., how moisture and fungi affect our indoor environment and how to prevent, control and remove fungal growth indoors. We furthermore teach moisture and fungi in buildings and produce ‘SBi guidelines’ on moisture and fungal growth in buildings.

Societal relevance

One of the biggest societal challenges is the green transition of the building industry.

The environmental sustainability of a building depends not only on whether the building materials are environmentally friendly and have a low carbon footprint, but also on the materials' durability and resistance to moisture and fungal growth, and whether they emit compounds that impair the indoor environment. A transition to biogenic building materials requires many changes. A characterization of materials’ microbiological properties is for example a necessary step in the process. This also applies to the appropriate and sound reuse and recycling of building materials.

Our aim is to promote the green transition of the building industry by:

  • Characterizing alternative biogenic building materials
  • Appropriate recycling of building materials with respect to fungal contamination and content of problematic substances
  • Ensuring that alternative and recycled building materials are sound and safe to use in the indoor environment

We wish to create multidisciplinary research in fungal growth and problematic substances to contribute to the solution of some of society’s complex and urgent problems with construction and indoor environment.

With the knowledge centre ‘skimmel.dk’, our science communication bridge the gap between research and practice regarding knowledge of and management of fungal growth in buildings.


  • Construction
  • Recycling
  • Water
  • Building materials
  • Moisture
  • Indoor environment
  • Sustainability
  • Chemistry and Bioscience
  • Fungi
  • Problematic substances
  • Mould

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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Collaborations from the last five years

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