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“Adventures in Pacific Northwest Airtightness”
September 22, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
After more than a decade of mandatory whole-building airtightness testing in Washington, there have been many lessons learned about how to build an airtight building. Airtightness has long been recognized in the building science community as a relatively inexpensive way to reduce energy usage in buildings along with many other benefits. As energy costs increase around the country and the effects of climate change are becoming more visible, building airtight energy efficient buildings has become more important than ever. The process starts in design and needs to continue throughout construction and must include testing. A quality air barrier depends on many different parties, including the building owner, architect, general contractor, enclosure consultant, and several different subcontractors. The coordination and communication of each party throughout the design and construction phases is often where things fall short. This presentation will focus on several case studies that include some good, some bad, and some ugly when it comes to air barrier design and construction.
- Understand the impact of airtightness on building performance.
- Define the key components of air barrier design.
- Summarize common air barrier quality control issues.
- Understand procedures for addressing design deficiencies during construction.
Denali Jones, BASc, PE (WA)
Denali has been involved with air barriers and airtightness testing since 2010, having worked for a major blower door manufacturer prior to joining RDH Building Science in 2013. He has performed hundreds of airtightness tests throughout North America and is the co-chair of ABAA’s Whole-Building Airtightness Testing Task Group.
Denali’s work at RDH is focused primarily on new construction projects, reviewing the design and constructability of building enclosures to ensure the primary control layers are maintained through all assemblies, details, and fenestration systems. He also regularly performs field review of ongoing enclosure construction, verifying conformance with project details and manufacturer’s instructions, and troubleshooting complex interfaces which have not been adequately detailed.
Denali is also 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.