As the first state to adopt mandatory whole-building air leakage testing, Washington has been at the forefront of air barrier testing for more than a decade. Over the years of testing, there have been many lessons learned to help streamline the testing process as well as improve the quality of air barrier installation. Testing requirements have been gradually shifting toward tighter results as the industry gains experience both on the design side and construction side.
Several case studies will be discussed to illustrate some of the challenges that have been overcome and challenges that have yet to be solved. Local industry trends will also be discussed that are driving airtightness forward.
As more jurisdictions look to adopt mandatory testing provisions in their energy codes, the importance of trained and qualified testing agencies is becoming increasingly important. Education and training are a large part of ABAA’s mission, and together with RDH and other industry experts they have developed a training course that has just debuted in Washington. This training will be part of a larger certification program that will help move the industry toward testing all new buildings, which is an essential part of air barrier quality assurance.
- Identify air barrier testing requirements in US energy codes.
- Understand the impact and importance of mockup testing.
- Describe the impact of residential exhaust fans on airtightness test results.
- Describe the key elements of an air barrier quality assurance plan.
RDH Building Science
Denali’s work is focused on building enclosure consulting, primarily on new construction projects, where he works closely with design and construction teams to help identify key performance goals and provide practical solutions to unique building enclosure challenges. Denali also leads RDH’s air barrier testing services and is regarded as an industry expert at air leakage testing. He has extensive experience conducting whole-building air leakage testing on large buildings and has led training seminars throughout North America. He is often consulted by code officials about air leakage testing procedures and results and has contributed to several national air leakage testing protocols and standards including the new ABAA Standard Method for Building Enclosure Airtightness Compliance Testing as well as the US Army Corps of Engineers Air Leakage Testing Protocol.