Air Barrier Assemblies: From The Test Mock‐Up Results To The Field Performance: Why Training Is So Important

Track 2: Construction & Testing Sessions

Wednesday, May 9, 15:30 – 16:30

The growing demand for Air Barrier System Assembly testing has shown that it is feasible to develop Air Barrier Assemblies that will meet the required performance in terms of air tightness. The standard tests methods, like ASTM E2357 ‘’Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage of Air Barrier Assemblies’’ and ULC S742 ‘’Standard for Air Barrier Assemblies’’, clearly define the mock‐ups needed to demonstrate conformance. Those standards require several penetration details to be included in the testing mock‐up, in order to evaluate the ability of the assembly to achieve continuity of the air barrier. The performance of the air barrier system will be establish by the results obtained on mock‐ups usually prepared by the proponent or approved trade personnel, in a laboratory environment. The experience has shown that the knowledge acquired during the development and testing phases of the mock‐up is not always transfer to the on‐site installer or trade. A lack of information and/or training provided to these trades may lead to performance issue with respect to the as installed air tightness of the air barrier assembly.

This presentation will focus on a process by which the proponents of an air barrier system assembly can improve the as installed performance of his product or system. This process includes:

  • Training on the basics of air barrier design and performance, review of the methods of performance evaluation;
  • On hand installation of the air barrier assembly on a mock‐up representing a small building to include all the important details of construction;
  • Air tightness testing of the mock‐up similar to the test performed as per ASTM or ULC standards;

The outcome is to evaluate the as‐build condition and performance in order to identify defects and propose corrective measures. The presentation will describe the process in detail and show example of the propose method.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Acquire knowledge of the basic principals of air barrier design.
  2. Review the requirements of the testing standards.
  3. Identify the important information to be transfer to the trade.
  4. To be able to compare the performance results.
Level of content:
Construction & Testing

Robert Jutras

Principal Engineer

Robert Jutras is a Principal Engineer for the Building Envelope Performance Group at UL LLC. He is a graduate of École Polytechnique, the engineering department of the University of Montréal, earning a Bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. He has devoted the last 32 years of is career to building components testing and evaluation as well as standard and code development. He actively participates at ASTM, CSA, AAMA, NFRC, ULC and IGMA. He is also a voting member of the standing committee for environmental separators (Part 5) of the Canadian building code. He is also the codes and standards director at CLEB a UL company located in Varennes, Québec.