Change is in the Air (barrier!)

Track 1

Tuesday, May 2, 9:45 am – 10:45 am

Air barrier requirements for commercial buildings are undergoing big changes in the 2022 ASHRAE 90.1 Standard and the 2024 IECC. Continuous Air Barriers have been required in most buildings for a number of years. Recently the model commercial energy codes, ASHRAE 90.1 Standard and the 2024 IECC, have been updated to provide more specific and more stringent requirements for buildings. This paper will provide expert insight from two individuals who have been engaged in the code development process for years, and were specifically involved with the air leakage updates in both the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard and the IECC. The air barrier updates include clarifications to the Whole Building Performance testing methods and stringency, Design phase requirements, Material and Assembly requirements, and onsite Installation Verification requirements. We will discuss the appropriateness of applications and the interaction between the Building and Energy code requirements. This paper will discuss new code development updates, design-based applications, and construction best practices.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the impact of air barrier systems on energy efficiency.
  2. Recognize the changing building and energy codes, and their interaction with building envelope systems.
  3. How to implement an air barrier strategy to comply with the code and owner performance requirements.
  4. Apply specific examples and air barrier systems to current and future project designs.


Level of content:

Theresa A. Weston, PhD, CPHC, NAHB CAPS, NAHB CGP

The Holt Weston Consultancy, Richmond, VA

Dr. Theresa Weston is a building science research professional specializing in the durability and energy efficiency of buildings.  Theresa started The Holt Weston Consultancy in November 2020 to foster innovation of building materials, and products to improve the resilience and sustainability of buildings.  Prior to starting the Holt Weston Consultancy, Dr Weston was a DuPont Laureate with the Dupont Safety and Construction business, having worked for DuPont for 35 years.   Dr. Weston is active with industry standard and code development activities, including with ICC, ASHRAE and ASTM.  Currently, Theresa represents ABAA and RAiNA in code advocacy activities.  Additionally, Dr. Weston is a prolific author and industry speaker.    Recent activities include chairing an ASTM Symposium and resulting special technical publication on Whole Building Air Leakage: Testing and Building Performance Impacts (STP1615) as well as presentations as an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer. She is the Vice-Chair of the ASHRAE sponsored Buildings Conference Series.

Benjamin Meyer, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Siplast, Moseley, VA

Benjamin Meyer, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is the Building Enclosure Business Director for Siplast. He has worked previously in building envelope product technical management, commercial design, real estate development and construction management on a range of projects that included residential, educational, offices, and DuPont industrial projects. Industry positions include: Voting Member of the ASHRAE 90.1 Envelope and Project Committees, Board of Directors of the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), Co-chair of the Codes Task Group (ABAA), LEED Technical Committee member, and past Technical Advisor of the LEED Materials (MR) TAG. Mr. Meyer has MBA, B.S., and M.Arch degrees from the University of Cincinnati.