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Building Envelope Testing

What Is Building Envelope Testing?

Building Envelope Testing is a way to quantify, good or bad, the amount of air infiltration or leakage a new or existing building has. A blower door is used to induce a positive or negative pressure on a building so that air leaks can be more easily identified and measured. These measurements are used to determine the level of tightness a building has achieved.

Why Building Envelope Testing?Blower Door

Building Envelope Testing, Blower Door Testing, and Envelope Commissioning are all terms used to describe this process. High efficiency HVAC Systems are becoming the “norm” when designing a constructing a new building. To take full advantage of these systems, they need to be installed into a well-constructed, “tight” building. The building envelope is typically described as having three main components:

  1. The Air Barrier
  2. The Vapor Barrier
  3. The Conduction Barrier (insulation)

All three of these components play in critical role in constructing a tight building. For years, buildings have been designed with adequate conduction barriers. However, even today many design and construction techniques lack the critical air and vapor barriers. This “weak link” in the building envelope chain means equipment runs longer, occupants are less comfortable, and buildings are much more vulnerable during extreme weather conditions.

Building Envelope Testing offers a way for building scientists to identify, document, and quantify the level of tightness a building has achieved. A tight building envelop has a direct effect on lowering energy costs, providing better comfort for occupants, minimizing runtime on HVAC equipment, and limiting many other issues associated with a leaky building. We believe the blower door has become one of the most powerful tools when it comes to validating construction quality. Simply put, blower door testing is the best way to ensure your new or existing building can reach is intended potential.