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Benefits of Whole Building Air Leakage Testing for Higher Educational Institutional Buildings
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Pressure testing buildings for air leakage has increasingly become the norm for new high-performance buildings, especially for orgnameal owners where risk exposure is magnified in proportion to the size and value of the portfolio. Owners of higher educational academic and residential facilities are among the most demanding owners in terms of exterior standards and compliance requirements. Whole building air leakage testing can provide meaningful insights into whether or not a building meets given air leakage requirements. More meaningful, the process can be instrumental in identifying unseen construction defects with potential to compromise the building’s performance or the health and safety of its occupants. This paper explores the process of whole building air testing, including building preparation, the range of results and their meaning, relative costs and time associated with the test, and a review of kinds of diagnostic information and other benefits the procedure typically reveals. The costs of these efforts will be reviewed against the benefits to owners of private higher educational facilities to provide a decision-making matrix to aid owners in evaluating whether and how best to make use of the available whole building air tests and tools currently available.
building envelope commissioning, field testing, BECx, exterior envelope, mockup testing, air barrier, performance plane, ABAA, NIBS, ASHRAE 90.1
de Sola, David
3iVE LLC, Somerville, MA
Goody Clancy, Boston, MA