Detailed numerical modelling of moist air flow through a complex airtightness defect

Mastering building airtightness is essential to meet the requirements of current and future building codes, not only for saving energy but also for ensuring moisture safety. Perfect airtightness is difficult to achieve: failures are often observed, due to bad design or poor workmanship. Some published investigations proved that leaking air mostly flows through porous material and thin air channels, due to material imperfections and construction tolerances.

Thermal envelope quality versus nZEB parameters and long-term economics: the Eco-Silver House case in Ljubljana

In 2014 the first multi storey residential building planned and constructed to meet the Passivhaus Institute (Darmstadt) criteria was put in operation in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. This massive-structure building is part of the FP7 EE-Highrise project, aiming to demonstrate nearly zero energy building (nZEB) technologies, an integrated design concept, and advanced systems for sustainable construction.

Airtightness, Air Exchange and Energy Performance in Historic Residential Buildings with Different Structures

Old buildings that represent and maintain historic values often have poor indoor conditions and energy efficiency. The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of building structures on airtightness and energy performance of certain historic building types. In this study on-site measurements, dynamic simulation and questionnaires were used. Significant differences between the levels of the airtightness of the historic houses exist in the studied region. No statistically significant correlation was found between the structure types and the envelope tightness.

Model error due to steady wind in building pressurization tests

We have analysed the steady wind model error based on a simplified building model with one leak on the windward side and one on the leeward side of the building. Our model gives an analytical expression of this error that depends on the leakage distribution and pressure coefficients. Using a test pressure of 50 Pa in this model, standard measurement protocol constraints contain the steady wind model error within about 3% and 11% with wind speeds below 6 m s-1 and 10 m s-1, respectively. At 10 Pa, the error is in the range of 35% and 60% at 6 m s-1 and 10 m s-1, respectively.

Temperature and pressure corrections for power-law coefficients of airflow through ventilation system components and leaks

The characterization of power-law coefficients of the airflow through ventilation system components and ductwork or building leaks should include corrections on the airflow rate measurement because of two phenomena: a) the temperature and pressure conditions at the flow measurement device may not be the same as those seen by the test object; b) the temperature and pressure conditions experienced by the object may differ from reference conditions. This paper gives the analytical expression of these corrections depending on the air viscosity, air density and flow exponent.

ACH and airtightness test results in the Croatian and Hungarian border region

The article presents the results of our research, which was realized under a cooperation project between the University of Pécs, Hungary and the University of Osijek, Croatia. The aim was to gather 50 Pa ACH, air tightness and spontaneous ACH information of residential houses by the Croatian and Hungarian border. The budget of the project allowed approximately 50 tests for each university; these summarized results are presented together with correlations found between the results.  

The impact of airtightness in the retrofitting practice of low temperature heating

In Sweden, the energy usage in existing residential buildings amounted to 147 TWh in 2012, equivalent to almost 40 % of the final overall national energy usage. Among all the end users in building service sectors, 60 % of the final energy in Sweden is used for space heating and domestic hot water (DHW) production in 2013.

Airtightness of building penetrations: air sealing solutions, durability effects and measurement uncertainty

During field measurements on the airtightness of passive houses, ventilations system’s roof penetrations showed to be one of the major leakage paths, as they were not sealed using the appropriate, durable techniques. Therefore, a series of laboratory measurements was conducted on wood-frame walls to study different air sealing solutions. The use of special airtight gaskets is compared to less advanced sealing methods such as sprayed polyurethane foam and the use of pieces of tape.

Experiences in the airtightness of renovated tertiary exemplary buildings in the Brussels capital region

In the “Exemplary Buildings” program of the Brussels Capital Region, building owners and designers are challenged to realise building projects of both high architectural quality and superior environmental performance. After a project competition phase in which the Exemplary Buildings are selected, winning projects are supported by grants and expert guidance throughout further design development and construction. Building envelope airtightness is an important aspect during the follow-up, given its influence on the net energy demand.

Assessment of the durability of the airtightness of building elements via laboratory tests

The airtightness just after the end of a building phase is assumed to be relevant criteria for high energy performance. Testing on site the initial performance of the airtightness via the blower door test has become nowadays a common practice. This test is generally realized at the end of the construction works. What about the influence of ageing on the airtightness? Many questions exist on the durability of this initial performance.