Building hygiene and material pathology
If materials or structures are infested by undesired microbial growth, a detailed microbiological and eco-physiological appraisal and diagnosis is performed. The resulting taxonomic determination relies on a combination of conventional and molecular biological methods by help of a unique set of cultures taken from microorganisms that affect materials, structural components and interior spaces. In this context, work is also carried out on concepts for resisting, preventing and managing undesired microbial contamination. Further attention is directed at microbial safety and hygiene in problem scenarios affecting interior spaces, such as water damage, and in terms of health risks triggered, for example, by biogenic aerosols, endotoxins or mycotoxins. Alongside solid phase materials, such as building materials and their surfaces, also liquid and gas phases are characterized in terms of their microbiological properties, e.g. water treatment plants (water-soil-air diagnostics).