SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 17 October 2019

Impact of Pre– and Post–Whole Building Airtightness Testing on Multi-Unit Residential Buildings Undergoing Deep Retrofits


Air leakage through a building’s envelope affects its overall durability and energy consumption, while also influencing the indoor air quality and the comfort of its occupants. To reduce the amount of air leakage in multi-unit residential buildings undergoing deep retrofits, we performed whole building airtightness tests on three buildings before remedial work commencing to obtain baseline air leakage rates for the building and to identify any major leak paths. This consisted of the airtightness test along with diagnostic examinations using smoke pencils, theatrical fog, and thermography to identify air leakage pathways through the building envelope. We then performed post-retrofit whole building airtightness tests to verify changes in the respective air leakage rates. In one of the buildings tested, the post-retrofit examination identified several significant deficiencies that were corrected before tenants moved back in. This paper summarized results from multiple buildings that underwent deep retrofits in conjunction with pre– and post–whole building airtightness testing. In addition to the air leakage numbers, we also compared building energy consumption data before and after the retrofits.

Author Information

Spewak, Rob
Building Envelope Technology Access Centre, Red River College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Buzunis, Chris
Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 71–86
DOI: 10.1520/STP161520180019
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7676-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7675-1