Understanding Air Barrier Assembly Testing

Track 1: Air Barriers

Wednesday, April 8, 11:00am – 12:00pm

As more codes and specifications are requiring air barrier assemblies, components and materials, questions about testing protocols and requirements are increasing. Test protocols and standard specifications have been developed by numerous different industry segments including not only those specifically designated as air barriers, but also other components that control air and water leakage. This presentation will survey and analyze air and water resistance test protocols for building envelope components and assemblies that are included in codes and standards in North America. Included in the survey will be wall assemblies, roof assemblies, windows and curtain walls among others.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the standard test methods and specifications referenced in codes.
  2. Understand the test method protocols of assembly air leakage assessment.
  3. Understand the test method protocols of assembly water resistance assessment.
  4. Understand the durability considerations included in assembly air and water test methods.
Level of content:

Theresa Weston, Ph.D., Member ASHRAE

DuPont Shelter Solutions, Richmond, VA

Dr. Weston leads building science and construction technology research for DuPont Performance Building Solutions.  She has developed and introduced to market many new products and is an inventor of four U.S. patents.

Dr. Weston earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

She joined DuPont in 1985 at the Fibers Pioneering Research Laboratory (PRL) at the Experimental Station.  After that she worked at for the Flooring Systems Business (Wilmington, Waynesboro, VA and Dalton, GA).  In 1995, she transferred to Richmond, VA and began working for Tyvek® in the construction segment market and product development.

Dr. Weston is actively involved with many professional organizations and chairs technical and standard development committees.  She is a member of the executive committee of the ASTM Committee on the Performance of Buildings and chairs the Sub-Committee on Air Leakage and Ventilation. At ASHRAE, she is the immediate-past-Chair of the Residential Buildings Committee and immediate past-Chair of the Standard for Energy Efficient Design of New Low-Rise Residential Buildings (90.2) and a past chair of the Technical Committee on Building Materials and Building Envelope Performance.  Dr. Weston is active in the ICC code development process. She is also active in publishing technical papers and presenting at construction industry and building science conferences.

She has received industry honors including most recently, in April receiving the E. George Stern Award of Excellence from the ASTM Committee E06 Performance of Buildings which is awarded for continuous and outstanding contributions to the work of Committee E06, standardization development and the building community, evidenced by the awardees leadership qualities, such as publications, presentations, activities promoting ASTM E06 standards, industry recognition or other activities that have greatly advanced the performance or preservation of buildings.

Andrea Wagner Watts, LEED Green Associate, ABAA Technical Committee Co-Chair

DuPont Performance Building Solutions, East Aurora, NY

Andrea Wagner Watts is the Commercial Wall Application Technology Leader for Dow Building Solutions. Andrea started her career at Dow Corning as a sales engineer and then continued for 7 years as an Application Engineer within High Performance Building focusing on preventing air and water infiltration through the building envelope. She has successfully helped to develop products including sealants and air/water barrier system solutions. In her current role, she is focused on improving the overall air/water/thermal performance of the building envelope through application innovation and new product development. Andrea has authored articles, papers and conference presentations relating to building air/water tightness, interface details, building science, durability and resiliency and she has 2 patents. She is a LEED® Green Associate and is active in a number of industry organizations including ASTM and is the Co-Chair of the Technical Committee at ABAA. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cornell University.