ASTM E3158 - 18

    Standard Test Method for Measuring the Air Leakage Rate of a Large or Multizone Building

    Active Standard ASTM E3158 | Developed by Subcommittee: E06.41

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.12


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method does not establish requirements for airtightness but provides means of assessing compliance with specified air-leakage rates established elsewhere.

    5.2 This test method is used to determine the airtightness of building envelopes or portions thereof by measuring the air leakage rate at specified reference pressure differentials.

    5.3 This test method provides:

    5.3.1 Specific directions for determining acceptable weather conditions for conducting the test.

    5.3.2 Two different test boundary preparation conditions; building envelope (9.1.1.1), and operational envelope (9.1.1.2).

    5.3.3 Testing conducted in a range of pressures from 10 Pa (0.04 in. WC) to 100 Pa (0.40 in. WC).

    5.4 A measurement of the air-leakage rate of the constructed building envelope. Test methods that measure the air permeance of materials (Test Method E2178) and air leakage of assemblies (Test Method E2357) alone do not address the various complexities of the constructed building envelope, including but not limited to design, sequence, constructability, workmanship, and the transitions between assemblies.

    5.5 This test method applies to all multizone and large building types and portions or subsections of buildings. It can be used to test envelopes that consist of a single zone or subsections of a zone that can be tested as a single zone. Test envelopes that are entirely composed of subsections separated by interior partitions or floors, or both, may be tested as a single zone by maintaining baseline relationships between these subsections throughout testing. (See Appendix X1. See also Test Methods E779 and E1827.) Isolated subsections, each with its own specified air-leakage rate, shall be treated as separate test envelopes and tested separately. While testing isolated subsections, monitoring must be conducted for any extraneous/flanking air movement between the different zones.

    5.6 The building preparations prior to testing (fenestration positions and preparation of intentional openings such as HVAC penetrations and equipment) are critically important and can have a strong influence on the final test results. This test method includes guidance for testing of the building envelope both including and excluding HVAC-related openings.

    5.7 Compliance with a specified air leakage rate does not imply that all potentially problematic leaks have been sealed.

    5.8 While this test determines the air leakage rate of an envelope, it does not identify the location of leakage sites.

    Note 1: See, for example, Practices E1186 for locating leaks. The location of leaks, in addition to their cumulative leakage area, is also an important determinant of leakage under normal operating conditions.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This standard test method provides a quantitative field-test procedure and calculation method for assessing an air leakage rate using a fan-induced pressure differential(s) across the building envelope, generated by blower doors or equivalent equipment.

    1.2 Building setup conditions in accordance with defining the test boundaries appropriate for testing the envelope’s air leakage are defined in this test method.

    1.3 Procedure to determine the air pressure boundaries of the test envelope to be tested are provided in this test method.

    1.4 This test method applies to all multizone and large building types and portions or subsections thereof.

    1.5 This test method defines three test procedures: multipoint regression, repeated single point, and repeated two-point air leakage rate testing.

    1.6 This test method allows for testing the test envelope in a pressurized condition, a depressurized condition, or in both conditions and averaging the results.

    1.7 This test method applies to an air leakage rate specification with a reference pressure greater than 10 Pa (0.04 in. WC) and not greater than 100 Pa (0.40 in. WC).

    1.8 This test method describes two methods of preparation for the building in order to conduct the test: the building envelope where HVAC-related openings are excluded, and on the operational envelope where the HVAC-related openings are included.

    1.9 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.11 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics

    E631 Terminology of Building Constructions

    E779 Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization

    E1186 Practices for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes and Air Barrier Systems

    E1258 Test Method for Airflow Calibration of Fan Pressurization Devices

    E1827 Test Methods for Determining Airtightness of Buildings Using an Orifice Blower Door

    E2178 Test Method for Air Permeance of Building Materials

    E2357 Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate of Air Barrier Assemblies


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.120.10 (Thermal insulation of buildings)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E3158-18

    Citation Format

    ASTM E3158-18, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Air Leakage Rate of a Large or Multizone Building, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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