New Energy Code Impacts on Whole Building Air Leakage Testing

Track 1

Tuesday, May 2, 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Over the past decade, energy codes have brought a number of changes with respect to improving the performance of the building envelope both in design and construction. Most notable is the increasing importance placed on air-leakage through the enclosure and how this often unknown value affects many of the energy efficiency metrics that define the performance of the building. Currently, there are multiple codes and standards requiring varying levels of air tightness as well as varying performance levels and methods of verification. As the requirements and performance implications become understood, common design and construction practices will experience shifts toward better performance, as was experienced in the early years of the USACE requirements on which the private sector codes are based. Through a review of multiple case studies of current enclosure consulting and whole building air leakage testing, including high-rise, multi-family, and other commercial new and renovation construction, this presentation will provide a critical review of these codes and standards for validity, impact, and relevance.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the theory and historical progression of air tightness requirements and understand the metrics that provide the baseline for levels of air tightness.
  2. Understand the basic phases of holistic enclosure consulting related to air barriers and performance verification of air barriers.
  3. Familiarize participants with specific building envelope requirements related to air leakage testing in the most recent and upcoming energy codes and how those codes and standards are being enforced.
  4. Understand validity, impact, and relevance of the wide range of air tightness codes and standards.
Level of content:

Lee Durston

Morrison Hershfield, Stillwater, MI

Lee Durston is a Principal, Sr. Building Science Consultant with the Building Specialty Services division of Morrison Hershfield.  Lee has over 19 years of building science experience over a variety of project types including military, mid-rise, high-rise, natatoriums, government, multi-family residential, and sporting venues.  Lee performs holistic building envelope consulting and commissioning as well as forensic investigations using his skills in science and engineering to define, analyze, and remediate problems or failures in the building enclosure. Lee provides training for industry professionals, contractors, architects, developers, Navy Facilities Command (NAVFAC) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on topics including Buildings Science, Infrared Thermography, and Air Barrier Design, Construction & Testing. He has served as a contributing editor for the USACE Air Leakage Testing Protocol.