SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Simple Test Method for Evaluating Exterior Wall Airtightness of Tall Office Buildings


C. Y. Show, D. M. Sander, and G. T. Tamura developed a test method to measure the air leakage characteristics of exterior walls of buildings that utilized an outdoor air supply system of ventilation and air handling, taking into account the influence of the stack effect. They applied this method to eight tall buildings in Ottawa, and results were reported.

However, windows and wall constructions in Japan are so different than those in Canada that those results cannot be used directly. To obtain our own data, the authors developed a simple test method that utilizes buoyancy caused by the stack effect instead of fans for pressurization. To open doors on the ground floor or the window at the bottom part of the building while the stack effect is operative is the same as pressurizing the whole building, and to open an exit door at the roof or the window at the upper part of the building is the same as decompressing the whole building.

This method was applied to three tall buildings of Sendai and Tokyo, whose walls were cast-in-place concrete (Building A), precast concrete panel (Building B), and metal panel (Building C). For the test results, infiltration rates through the exterior wall were estimated by approximate calculation. Of the three, it was found that Building A was the tightest and Building C was the loosest. This paper reports the results of the application for the simple test method we developed.

Author Information

Hayakawa, S
Kajima Institute of Construction Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Togari, S
Kajima Institute of Construction Technology, Tokyo, Japan
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 231–245
DOI: 10.1520/STP17218S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5128-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1451-7