Durability of building airtightness: Assessment through field measurements

Mandatory or voluntary building airtightness testing has come gradually into force in many European countries mostly because of the increasing weight of building leakage energy impact on the overall energy performance of low-energy buildings. Therefore, airtightness levels of new buildings have significantly improved in the last decade. However, rather limited expertise is available as regards the durability of building airtightness at mid- and long-term scales.

Influence of the external pressure tap position on the airtightness test result

Due to the wind induced pressure, different results may be obtained if the inside-outside pressure difference is measured across different locations on the building envelope, i.e. if the external pressure tap of a differential pressure sensor measuring this pressure difference is placed in different positions. Therefore, the position of the external pressure tap may influence an airtightness test result as well.

Assessment of the durability of airtightness products in laboratory controlled conditions: development and presentation of the experimental protocol.

The airtightness of new buildings has significantly improved in the last two decades thanks to building energy performance regulations. However, until now, low knowledge is available about the evolution of buildings’ envelope airtightness. This work deals with the durability of buildings airtightness, and focuses on ways to better characterize it.

Moisture impact on dimensional changes and air leakage in wooden buildings

Wood is a hygroscopic material, it has the ability to adsorb or desorb water in response to the ambient relative humidity. Thus, the ambient air will affect the moisture content of the wood, and in turn, the dimension of the wood. If the wood itself is part of the air barrier in a construction, the shrinking and expansion can create gaps in the construction, for example in the window sill. In case of an air barrier consisting of a foil, the joints in the foil can be clamped by wooden joists, or the foil can be taped to wooden part.

Reliability of ductwork airtightness measurement: impact of pressure drop and leakage repartition on the test result

Building airtightness requirements are becoming more and more common in Europe (Leprince, Carrié, & Kapsalaki, 2017). However, airtight buildings require an efficient ventilation system to ensure good indoor air quality. In France, the inspection of ventilation system (Jobert, 2012) has revealed many noncompliance. They are mainly due to bad conception, poor implementation, and lack of maintenance. This often leads to reduced ventilation flowrates and poor indoor air quality. Leaky ductwork is one of the reasons for this noncompliance.

AIVC 2019 Conference - Recorded presentations on airtightness

Selected presentations focusing on the topic of airtightness, given during the 40th AIVC - 8th TightVent & 6th venticool Conference “From energy crisis to sustainable indoor climate - 40 years of AIVC” held on 15-16 October 2019 in Ghent, Belgium.

 

Presentations & Speakers:

 

A new method to measure building airtightness

In this paper a new methodology is presented to determine airtightness of buildings. The common method for airtightness testing is through fan pressurization with a blower door test. The new methodology also uses fan pressurization. Instead of an external fan, it uses the building fan system to pressurize the building.  

Airtightness measurement of large buildings by using multi-zonal techniques: a case study

Nowadays the improvement of building airtightness is an essential condition to achieve high energy performance of buildings. Therefore, there is a need to precisely describe and quantify buildings infiltrations. 

Impact of construction stages on Indoor Air Quality

Since the turn of the century, alarming data produced by the Indoor Air Quality Observatory (OQAI) have led to changes in French legislation, including, most notably, the introduction of compulsory labelling for construction products (decree no. 2011-321 of 23 March 2011).

Ductwork design flaws and poor airtightness: a case study about a ventilation system reconditioning in a sealed building

In a sealed building with tight facades, conditions for a good indoor air quality and comfortable conditions must be guaranteed all the time especially for employees. This paper deals with the case of a specific retrofitted building without any openings that immediately shows many difficulties to maintain good indoor air quality in some parts of the occupied volume. An assessment of ductwork and HVAC system performance was first realized, conducted by the SNIA (National Airport Engineering Service).

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