Save Energy Costs with Air Barrier Testing

Credit: ABAA

Air leakage in buildings has been shown to be a significant percentage of energy costs for buildings

Why is Air Barrier Testing Important?

Credit: ABAA; installing a whole building blower door test.

In recent years, the critical impact of air leakage on buildings has come to the forefront, with its direct correlation to moisture-related issues. The potential entry of thousands of gallons of water through air leakage into the building envelope has underscored the urgency of addressing this issue. While whole building testing has long been acknowledged as an option in the International Codes and ASHRAE standard 90.1, it is now gaining traction among individual states that recognize the manifold benefits of a comprehensive approach. The pivotal tool in this endeavor is the whole building blower door test, standing as the singular method to ascertain the installed performance of an air barrier system. The efficacy of such testing hinges on the proficiency and qualification of the personnel conducting it, emphasizing the paramount importance of precision in evaluating the structural integrity of the air barrier system.

Air-barrier specifications and testing are required in Great Britain, where this blower-door test is taking place at a new commercial building. Large blower doors like these depressurize a building, allowing air-leakage testing. Photo Credit: Bill Bordass in the article “Making Air Barriers that Work: Why and How to Tighten Up Buildings” in BuildingGreen.

Become A Certified Blower Door Technician

The Air Barrier Association of America’s (ABAA) cutting-edge Blower Door Technician Certification Program is currently the MOST comprehensive blower door testing training program available covering ASTM E3158, E779, E1827, CGSB 149.10, ISO 9972, and USACE (2012). The training aims to equip blower door technicians with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to appropriately evaluate, prepare, test, analyze, and report on a building’s airtightness performance. For the purposes of demonstrations, activities, and simulations, this training program uses equipment from two widely used blower door fan manufacturing companies. Join the executive director of ABAA tomorrow for an overview of the 5-day certification program.

METALCON Live! and ABAA Presents “Air Barriers for Whole Buildings” Tomorrow, 12/6 at 1:00 pm EST


As part of our Technical Know-How webinar series, tomorrow’s session covers the importance of air barriers for whole barriers and blower door testing. It will cover the work leading up to the training and certification program development, provide an overview of both the training program and the ISO 17024 certification program, and outline two new programs being developed to support the whole building testing program. Register to watch it LIVE tomorrow or ON DEMAND after 4:00 pm tomorrow.

Champion of Air Barrier Testing

There is no greater industry champion than your speaker tomorrow — Laverne Dalgleish, Executive Director, Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). Mr. Dalgleish works tirelessly to champion energy conservation in buildings while educating the building owners and designers about the benefits of energy conservation such as durability, comfort, reduced maintenance, reduced HVAC equipment costs and the positive impact on the environment. His education mission includes working with standards development organizations, training and education groups, government policy departments, and quality assurance program developers for the construction industry, traveling around North America on a weekly basis to educate building owners and designers on the benefits of effective and working air barrier systems in buildings. His other credentials include: Secretariat of two ISO Committees, ISO TC61 SC10 Cellular Plastics and ISO TC163 SC3 Thermal Insulation Products, Chair of the ULC Thermal Performance in the Building Environment Standards Committee, and key developer of the ABAA Quality Assurance Program for the installation of air barrier systems in buildings, a program based on ISO9000 and ISO 12576-2 but brings the ISO requirements together with practical applications for the air barrier industry.


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