In North America, approximately one-fourth of low-slope buildings are roofed with a mechanically attached assembly (MAA) with a single-ply membrane. During wind suctions, the membrane can lift and billow. This creates localized suction under the membrane. If design provisions are not made to control the air intruison at the deck level, this suction pressure can draw the indoor conditioned air into the assembly. Two main factors influence the air intrusion: the air permeability of the components and shape or volume changes during the wind uplift. Available standard test procedures can quantify the former for roof materials. However, there is no widely accepted standard specification or test to address the air intrusion characteristics of roofing assemblies. Air leakage measurement techniques used for walls are also not applicable for roof assemblies due to the membrane shape and volume changes in the roof assembly. Research efforts are under way at the National Research Council of Canada to quantify the air intrusion rate of roof assemblies. This paper presents the details of the experimental setup, test procedure, and validation effort of this newly developed test method.
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