Predicting Envelope Leakage in Attached Dwellings (Fact Sheet)

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The most common method of measuring air leakage is to perform single (or solo) blower door pressurization and/or depressurization test. In detached housing, the single blower door test measures leakage to the outside. In attached housing, however, this "solo" test method measures both air leakage to the outside and air leakage between adjacent units through common surfaces. Although minimizing leakage to neighboring units is highly recommended to avoid indoor air quality issues between units, reduce pressure differentials between units, and control stack effect, the energy benefits of air sealing can be significantly overpredicted if the solo air leakage number is ... continued below

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2 p.

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Creator: Unknown. November 1, 2013.

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Description

The most common method of measuring air leakage is to perform single (or solo) blower door pressurization and/or depressurization test. In detached housing, the single blower door test measures leakage to the outside. In attached housing, however, this "solo" test method measures both air leakage to the outside and air leakage between adjacent units through common surfaces. Although minimizing leakage to neighboring units is highly recommended to avoid indoor air quality issues between units, reduce pressure differentials between units, and control stack effect, the energy benefits of air sealing can be significantly overpredicted if the solo air leakage number is used in the energy analysis. Guarded blower door testing is more appropriate for isolating and measuring leakage to the outside in attached housing. This method uses multiple blower doors to depressurize adjacent spaces to the same level as the unit being tested. Maintaining a neutral pressure across common walls, ceilings, and floors acts as a "guard" against air leakage between units. The resulting measured air leakage in the test unit is only air leakage to the outside. Although preferred for assessing energy impacts, the challenges of performing guarded testing can be daunting.

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2 p.

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  • Related Information: Building America Case Study: Technology Solutions for New and Existing Homes, Building Technologies Office (BTO)

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO-102013-4061
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1114061 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1114061
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc867770

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 1, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Sept. 25, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

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Predicting Envelope Leakage in Attached Dwellings (Fact Sheet), report, November 1, 2013; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc867770/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.