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May 15, 2019

Building Smart with Airtightness Testing: Building Preparation

Why do we need to prepare the building for airtightness testing? What does this involve? Are there guidance and tips?

Potential heat loss due to air leakage through an enclosure with moderate or poor airtightness has a significant and measurable impact on the required heating energy for a building. An enclosure that has good or exceptional airtightness can provide major energy savings.

Building codes require that building enclosures include continuous air barriers; the integrity of those air barriers can only be measured with an airtightness test. Airtightness testing is typically carried out using blower fans to pressurize and depressurize the building to measure the overall building airtightness.

This half-day workshop is the second in the “Building Smart with Airtightness Testing” series, and is of interest to builders, developers, designers, energy advisors, and building officials. This workshop will cover:

  • Quick recap of Part 3 and Part 9 requirements and practice
  • Why do we need to prepare the building for airtightness testing
  • Planning, scheduling and preparation steps
  • Preparing mechanical, plumbing and electrical openings
  • Readiness of air barrier and building enclosure
  • Power and HVAC conditions
  • Common issues, checklist and tips
  • Case studies

About the presenters

Einar Halbig, B.A.Sc., CEA is Principal at E3 Eco Group. Trained as a civil engineer and works as an Energy Advisor, he has evaluated over 2000 existing homes and hundreds of new homes.  Einar provides Building Science for New Homes training and Certified Energy Advisor training, and serves as the Chair of the CHBA BC Technical Advisory Committee.

Stephen Wong, EIT,  is a Building Science Consultant at Morrison Hershfield.  Stephen works mostly on larger Part 3 buildings, involving building envelope design and field review, building component energy modeling and thermal performance analysis.

James Higgins, AScT, works as a Building Science Technologist across several groups at RDH, from research and investigation in the Building Science Labs division, to building enclosure design and construction field review in the New Buildings division. James has co-led several of BC Housing’s Illustrated Guides, including the Illustrated Guide to Achieving Airtight Buildings.

Head to the BC Housing page for more information and to register.


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