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Building Science Live: Trending Toward Tighter Buildings
June 1, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Course Times: 9:00am – 5:00pm PST
Increasing demands for energy efficiency in buildings is driving renewed focus on low air leakage rates. Having a high quality air barrier is an essential part of an energy efficient building in any climate zone, and air barriers come with many added benefits such as improved control of interior air quality, comfort, acoustics, and durability. Testing the air barrier is the only reliable way to determine the effectiveness of the installation, but performing testing on large and complex buildings requires trained technicians to ensure accurate and repeatable results. Airtightness testing requirements are primarily driven by energy codes, but in many cases are met with resistance due to unfamiliarity by design and construction teams. In some cases code officials have been reluctant to require airtightness testing due to concerns about having enough trained and qualified testing technicians.
This presentation will review trends in air tightness testing over the past 10+ years for 100’s of buildings in Washington state to demonstrate that code requirements can be met while becoming incrementally more stringent. As more buildings require testing more education is needed due to complexity of testing large and multizone buildings. In this presentation Laverne and Denali will discuss these factors and how training air tightness professionals is necessary for supporting progression of policy and code for more energy efficient buildings. There will be a focused discussion around ABAAs latest training opportunity (Whole Building Airtightness Technician Training Course) developed by RDH.
- Describe how building code requirements for mandatory air tightness testing have impacted building air tightness performance over the last 10+ years.
- Identify modern air tightness test methods and their impact on air tightness test result repeatability.
- Identify the unique factors that contribute to challenges with large or multi-zone building tests.
- Describe why training for whole building air tightness testing technicians is an important consideration for improving air tightness of new and existing building stock.
Denali Jones, BASc, PE (WA)
Associate, Senior Project Manager
RDH Building Science
Denali focuses on new construction projects. He works closely with design and construction teams to help identify key performance goals early and provide practical solutions to unique building enclosure challenges. His building science interests include air barrier design and performance testing, 3D evaluation and modeling of challenging enclosure interfaces, and water leakage testing and diagnostics. Denali also leads RDH’s air barrier testing services, and regularly carries out qualitative and quantitative testing to assess the performance of installed assemblies.
Expertise + Experience
Regarded as an industry expert at air leakage testing, Denali 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.
Before joining RDH’s Seattle office in 2013, Denali was an Engineering Lead for a building diagnostic tools manufacturer in Vancouver, BC, where he worked on new product design and development and performed large-building air leakage testing, conducted training, and provided technical support for air leakage testers worldwide.
Denali is a shareholder of RDH and is committed to the success of RDH projects.
Mr. Laverne Dalgleish is the Executive Director of the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). As such, he works to champion energy conservation in buildings while educating the building owners and designers about the benefits of energy conservation such as durability, comfort, reduced maintenance, reduced HVAC equipment costs and the positive impact on the environment.
Mr. Dalgleish travels North America on a weekly basis to educate building owners and designers on the benefits of effective and working air barrier systems in buildings. This education mission includes working with standards development organizations, training and education groups, government policy departments, and quality assurance program developers for the construction industry. Mr. Dalgleish is the Secretariat of two ISO Committees, ISO TC61 SC10 Cellular Plastics and ISO TC163 SC3 Thermal Insulation Products. He is also Chair of the ULC Thermal Performance in the Building Environment Standards Committee.
Mr. Dalgleish was the key developer of the ABAA Quality Assurance Program for the installation of air barrier systems in buildings. This program is based on ISO9000 and ISO 12576-2 but brings the ISO requirements together with practical applications for the air barrier industry.