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ASHRAE ORNL Buildings XV Conference
December 4, 2022 - December 7, 2022
ABAA is proud to sponsor and organize 3 specific pre-conference workshops at the Buildings XV conference on December 4, 2022.
The workshop themes will be:
Pre-Conference Workshop 2: Whole Building Testing and Inspection Workshop (9:00am – 12:00pm)
While many jurisdictions are beginning to dip their toes into whole-building air leakage testing, the state of Washington has jumped headfirst into it. Testing has been mandatory for all new buildings in Washington for over a decade, and there have been many valuable lessons learned through the years. Now that there is a sizeable data set of buildings of many different types and sizes that have been tested, there are noticeable trends emerging. While some of these trends could be expected, others have been surprising. Several case studies will be presented that highlight important lessons as well as upcoming challenges that will need to be confronted to move the industry toward tighter buildings.
Large building whole building airtightness testing can be a challenging functional performance test to execute, without proper training and experience. There is a significant amount of pre-test planning that must be performed to mitigate challenges that occur in the field. Contractor coordination, air barrier boundary verification, building preparations, access and more are all super critical to a successful test. 90% of the work occurs in planning and preparing for the test! We will discuss methods to address each of these key preparatory steps and what happens when the testing agency does not! Performing the test is not always a walk in the park either. With the proper preparatory items addressed, the hope is that we eliminate complications in the field. However, that is most often not the case. There is typically some element of troubleshooting required to complete the test resultant from building preparation issues, equipment malfunction/improper setup, wind. etc. We will discuss some common troubleshooting that the testing agency may experience while performing this test.
Lee Durston and Kelvin Liu
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. In North America, there are currently multiple jurisdictions requiring Whole Building Air Leakage Testing (WBALT) as a code requirement. Through a review of multiple case studies of WBALT, including high-rise, multi-family, and other commercial new and renovation construction, this presentation will provide a lessons learned approach of testing and how to achieve accurate results.
Pre-Conference Workshop 1: Achieving an Airtight Building (9:00am – 4:00pm)
An airtight building does more than simply reducing energy use, it makes the whole building work better. Many issues with buildings are solved with an airtight building but the connection is not made to airtightness of the building. This provides a high level overall of the benefits of an airtight building and outlines the ABAA Training and Certification Program for Blower Door Technician.
The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that air leakage (or “infiltration”) through building envelopes accounted for 6 % of the total energy consumed by commercial buildings in 2010. Air barrier requirements are now included in ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 189.1. Given the significant energy impacts of unintended infiltration on building energy use, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been developing tools to better account for infiltration in building energy models. This presentation will summarize the tools, their applications, and limitations.
Air quality remains an important issue, especially in light of the recent pandemic, and industry organizations continue to refine guidelines for design, construction, and operations professionals. Guidance impacts airflow strategies, pressurization control, as well as temperature and humidity controls, all of which have direct impacts on the building enclosure. One notable consideration is related to elevating the interior humidity; however, an existing enclosure may not have been designed or constructed to accommodate such an operational change without the potential risk of condensation. Additionally, a poor performing enclosure can limit the success of mechanical interventions. This presentation will discuss related highlights from recent research, as well as considerations for air control in new design, renovation, commissioning, and operation.
The presentation will locate the portions of the continuous air barrier that are not part of the above grade walls, roofing or fenestrations. It will provide a basic overview of below grade and elevated deck waterproofing systems, their installation challenges and performance testing techniques. Several critical transitions to surrounding systems will be identified and details reviewed.
Theresa Westin and Ben Meyer
Air barrier requirements for commercial buildings are undergoing big changes in the 2022 ASHRAE 90.1 Standard and the 2024 IECC. We will provide expert insight from two individuals who have been engaged in the code development process for years and were specifically involved with the air leakage updates in both the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard and the IECC. The air barrier updates include clarifications to the Whole Building Performance testing methods and stringency, Design phase requirements, Material and Assembly requirements, and onsite Installation Verification requirements.
This session will review the various types of site testing that can be and is often performed on air and water-resistive barrier (AWB) materials, components, and assemblies. Some of these test methods have a reference test standard relating to directly to AWB’s. However many of the tests are based on standard methods that were developed for other exterior enclosure assemblies such as fenestration. Of the methods that have a reference test standard, there is still a wide range in which the tests are being interpreted and implemented. There are other tests being performed that currently do not have a reference test standard or a complementary standard in another part of the exterior enclosure industry. Additionally, there is not consistency in how these test methods are executed and how the results are interpreted. This Workshop will discuss common tests such as ASTM E4541, ABAA T002, ASTM E783, ASTM E1186, ASTM E1105, ASTM E2357, AAMA 501.2, and others. The workshop is intended to be an interactive discussion to garner feedback from the participants on appropriate tests to be performed on Mockup’s or In-Situ, pressures used during some of the tests, frequency of the types of tests, failure criteria, and issues to consider when failure occur.
Pre-Conference Workshop 3: Building Assembly Air and Water Leakage (1:00pm – 4:15pm)
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars are spent annually by construction managers, trade partners, and insurance companies in Litigation and for repairing the water and moisture damage caused by construction defects in the Building Enclosure. WHY? We know this is an issue. It has been for decades, so is there a way to ensure the construction of high-performing enclosures? The answer is YES!!! This presentation will use actual Case Studies from projects around the country to discuss a process that can be put into specifications to ensure Durable, Sustainable and high-performing enclosures. This process has been practiced for over 20 years. It is based upon the industry-leading processes of NIBS Guideline 3 and the current ASTM BECx documents.
Corey S Zussman
With the many different air barrier systems to choose from, ensuring that the entire wall section works as a system is paramount to proper wall construction. Modern buildings utilize many building envelope materials and many backup construction types, such as masonry, CFMF & sheathing, concrete, and metal panel, each with its own detailing and concerns. The air barrier installation must be coordinated with the building envelope materials and the backup construction. The review for the constructability of air barriers starts at the building design phase and goes through the construction observation phase. This presentation will identify the many different substrate conditions and critical transitions on a complex building and will give you the tools to better understand the sequencing needed to complete the installation to prevent constructability issues and potential rework in the field.
The roof meets the wall at the intersection of design aesthetics, functionality, durability, construction sequencing and maintenance. Each of these perspectives have champions, often with competing interests, that can significantly influence the success of this critical interface. Proper alignment, detailing, coordination and execution are paramount for this important intersection.
We will review a variety of building types to discuss the continuity of detailing required to manage moisture, air, vapor and thermal performance, as well as wind resistance requirements at the critical wall-to-roof interface. This session will provide guidelines to successfully navigate these often-competing interests and provide strategies for achievable performance through design and specification without compromising the aesthetics with distracting details over the edge of the roof.
Our membership expertise will be on full-display with over 20+ individuals presenting at these workshops, along with the main conference.
Further details of the conference can be found here: