REHVA                     The REHVA Federation of                     European HVAC Journal European Heating, Ventilation ...
A . I .1201_ I Q - C U B E _ b a s i c . E N //                                                              Bitzer   EXPE...
The REHVA    www.rehva.euEuropean HVAC Journal                                                                            ...
The world’s leading trade fair                    The Bathroom Experience, Building,                    Energy, Air-condit...
EditorialBuilding and ductwork airtightness:     a critical factor for nearly zero-energy buildings                       ...
Articles                                                                       Over 160 persons attended the joint ’33rd A...
Articles              Ventilation and Health track  Willem de Gids               The ventilation and health related presen...
Articles    Most important pollutants indoors                                                                   “What dete...
Articles                     Ventilative Cooling track                                      The current development in bui...
Articles     spaces and excess solar ra-     diation during daytime is     partly distributed to night     time. Therefore...
Articles                                   Airtightness track                                   The airtightness track at ...
Articles     certification schemes for craftsmen were given by FLiB     in Germany (Fachverband Luftdichtheit im Bauwesen)...
Articles                                                     Living room                                                  ...
Articles              Industry visions on RD         for better buildings in the future     The programme of the 33rd AIVC...
Articlestive cooling is reflected in government regulations, pro-     six experimental low-energy buildings that are used ...
Articles           History has shown that the most efficient way         manner. The construction industry consists mainly...
Articles       Proper building preparation for        envelope airtightness testingProper building preparation is required...
Articles     Preparation of HVAC systems                                                                    ly-mounted air...
ArticlesSealing the mechanical ventilation systems is often nec-essary. There are three options:  •	 Sealing the air termi...
Articles     Performing intermediate checks and     early-stage testing of airtightness                       Tormod Aurli...
ArticlesFigure 2a. Thermography from inside of construction           Figure 2b. Leaky wind barrier detail, from anchoring...
Articles     etc. being tight). If the craftsman using the fan failed to     achieve any pressure difference across the wa...
AHRI
Articles      Research into the effect of improving      airtightness in a typical UK dwelling     The UK’s Airtightness t...
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013
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Rehva Journal Magazine issue 1/2013

  1. 1. REHVA The REHVA Federation of European HVAC Journal European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning V o l u m e :  5 0 I s s u e :  1 J a n u a r y  2 0 1 3 w w w. rehva .eu AssociationsSpecial issue onAIRTIGHTNESSHow to make airtight buildingsEffect of envelope airtightnesson energy useSummary of AIVC TightVentConferenceDuctwork tightness:Swedish and Portuguese experience
  2. 2. A . I .1201_ I Q - C U B E _ b a s i c . E N // Bitzer EXPERIENCE FORMS THE BASIS FOR OUR COMPRESSORS. INTELLIGENCE GIVES THEM THE EDGE.Intelligent compressors from BITZER – they analyze, communicate, and respond. This enables them to meetour tried and tested compressors constantly consider what is best for you, guaranteeing precise, simple,reliable, and economical refrigeration. Our extensive product range offers you intelligent solutions for themost diverse applications. Learn more at www.bitzer.de
  3. 3. The REHVA www.rehva.euEuropean HVAC Journal ContentsVolume: 50 Issue: 1 January 2013 Editorial 47 A new innovative Ground Heat Exchanger forRehva Board heating, cooling and energy storagePresident: Michael Schmidt 5 Building and ductwork airtightness: a critical John Ljungqvist, Thomas Vogel and Lars Nielsen factor for nearly zero-energy buildingsPresident elect: Karel Kabele François Rémi Carrié and Peter Wouters 50 Improved energy efficiency of air cooledVice Presidents: chillersStefano Corgnati Articles Maurizio BurbaIoan Silviu DobosiJarek Kurnitski 6 Summary of the AIVC-TightVent NewsZoltán Magyar Conference 2012Bjarne W. Olesen Ventilation and Health track 54 Eco design of energy related products Willem de Gids 7 – time for industry to wake upEditorial Board - 2013 Jorma RailioFrancis Allard, France Ventilative Cooling trackAhmet Arısoy, Turkey 56 Substantial benefits of cogeneration to Per Heiselberg 9Jan Aufderheijde, the Netherlands European economyDerrick Braham, UK Airtightness trackMarianna Brodatch, Russia Arnold Janssens 11 57 National energy efficiency policies in EU: Vincenc Butala, Slovenia The view of 750 expertsFrancesca R. d’Ambrosio, Italy 14 Interview: Industry visions on R&D for betterIoan Silviu Dobosi, Romania buildings in the future 64 Indoor environment in the focus of the 10thSignhild Gehlin, Sweden Ventilation Conference in ParisJaap Hogeling, the Netherlands 17 Proper building preparation for envelopeKarel Kabele, Czech Republic Guangyu Cao and Aimo TaipaleJarek Kurnitski, Estonia airtightness testingZoltán Magyar, Hungary Christophe Delmotte Product newsEduardo Maldonado, Portugal 20 Performing intermediate checks and early- 66 Zephir³ by Clivet: air renewal and purificationLivio Mazzarella, ItalyRenato Merati, Italy stage testing of airtightness at the centre of year round comfort andBjarne W. Olesen, Denmark Tormod Aurlien energy savings in the new and existingDušan Petráš, Slovakia buildingsMichael Schmidt, Germany 24 Research into the effect of improvingOlli Seppänen, Finland airtightness in a typical UK dwelling 67 Window installation system for projectingJerzy Sowa, Poland windows Rob CoxonBranislav Todorovic, Serbia 68 The MEZ air duct profile complies with leakMaija Virta, Finland 28 Swedish experience with airtight ductwork tightness classes C and D Johnny AnderssonGeneral Executive: Süleyman Bulak 69 Increased energy efficiency with TELLUS 33 Ductwork airtightness requirements in Climate system from SwegonEditor-in-chief: Olli Seppänen Portugaloseppanen@rehva.eu 70 BlowerDoor Measuring Systems feature high Eduardo Maldonado and Fernando BritoAssociate Editor: Stefano Corgnati, Italy and consistent accuracystefano.corgnati@polito.it 36 Evaluation of air leakage and its influenceEditorial Assistant: Cynthia Despradel on thermal demands of office buildings in 70 Infitrometer from RetrotecGuest Editors:   MadridRémi Carrié and Peter Wouters Books Jordi Pascual, Aleksandar Ivancic, MariaAIVC/INIVE 72 Review of the REHVA Guidebook No. 17 Casanova, Oscar Cámara and Damien Tavan ‑ Design of energy efficient ventilation andAdvertisements 41 Energy efficiency strategy at the portfolio ofMs Cynthia Despradel air conditioning a property ownercd@rehva.eu Yona Kamelgarn and Frank Hovorka 74 Events in 2013 – 2014Subscriptions andChanges of addressesREHVA OFFICE: AdvertisersWashington Street 401050 Brussels, BelgiumTel: 32-2-5141171, Fax: 32-2-5129062  Bitzer................ Front cover interior  Scanvac...................................... 59 .info@rehva.eu, www.rehva.eu  ISH Frankfurt.............................. 4  Friterm....................................... 63Publisher  Blower Door GmbH.................. 10  Swegon....................................... 71Sektorel Fuarcılık A.Ş (Inc.)  Hitema....................................... 13  ACREX 2013.... Back cover interiorBalmumcu, Barbaros Bulvarı,Bahar Sok, Karanfil Ap.  AHRI......................................... 23  REHVA Supporters........Back coverBeşiktaş İstanbul TürkiyeTel: 90-212-2758359Fax: 90-212-2749273 In the next issue of REHVA Journalwww. teknikyayincilik.comREHVA Journal is distributed in over 50 countries through the Theme: Air Conditioning and Ventilation. .Member Associations and other institutions. The views expressed Guest Editor: Zoltan Magyar.in the Journal are not necessarily those of REHVA or its members.REHVA will not be under any liability whatsoever in respect of Email: zmagyar@invitel.hucontributed articles. Send the manuscripts of articles for the journal to .Cover photo: © Lemminkainen.fi oseppanen@rehva.eu or to zmagyar@invitel.hu
  4. 4. The world’s leading trade fair The Bathroom Experience, Building, Energy, Air-conditioning Technology Renewable EnergiesFrankfurt am Main12 – 16. 3. 2013 Energy Energy that moves the world. ISH is the world’s most important showcase for efficient building and energy technology in combination with renewable energies. Make sure you’re here to experience sustainable system solutions. Keep ahead of your competitors with ISH Frankfurt the latest information and benefit from new inspirations for your business. www.ish.messefrankfurt.com
  5. 5. EditorialBuilding and ductwork airtightness: a critical factor for nearly zero-energy buildings Building and ductwork airtightness represents a key challenge for the François Rémi Carrié and Peter Wouters building sector. Guest editors, AIVC/INIVE T he 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) already indicated the poten- tial importance of airtightness. With the 2010 EPBD recast and its ambitious 2020 tar- gets, there is even more pressure on these aspects since for most European climates and countries, good envelope and ductwork airtightness levels are necessary to achieve nearly zero-en- ergy buildings. Several studies report an energy impact of leaky buildings on the order of 10 kWh per m² of floor area per year for the heating needs in a moderately cold region (2 500 degree-days) and 0 to 5 kWh/ m²/year for the ducts plus the additional fan energy use. There is a growing number of studies show- ing the significant impact of building and ductwork leakage in hot and mild climates as well. The general consensus from these studies is that attention must be paid to building and ductwork air- tightness in nearly all climate regions of the European Union to meet nearly zero-energy targets. How do we achieve this in practice? First of all, building and ductwork airtightness has to be seen as a part of the building system. Legitimate concerns for energy efficient ventilation, comfort, skills development and market uptake must be considered in a holistic approach, addressing both new and existing buildings. There are promising signals with regard to the measures taken in several Member States to encourage better building and ductwork airtightness. For example, there are over 10 countries, covering all climate regions of Europe, with active (and usually very active) networks of professionals specialized in airtightness issues. Also, the steps taken by some Member States to improve building and ductwork airtightness, including actions on regulation, financial incentives, training, control and awareness raising, look promising. In 2011, the TightVent Europe platform (www.tightvent.eu) was launched with a strong focus on market change in airtightness. The large number of attendees at the two last AIVC-TightVent conferences, as well as the large range of countries and issues addressed during these conferences, linking airtightness, comfort, indoor air quality and market transformation, show the growing in- terest in this topic. The 2012 AIVC-TightVent conference, held in Copenhagen, included three tracks specifically fo- cussed on airtightness, ventilative cooling, and indoor air quality and health. As can be seen from the summaries presented in this issue, as well as from the initiatives presented by experts from vari- ous Member States, the route towards nearly zero-energy buildings has many challenges, but it is also a unique opportunity to investigate new paths for product development, construction methods, commissioning, and building operations. To seize this opportunity, the building sector needs to be both creative and reactive: sharing experience and knowledge is surely key to meet this need. REHVA Journal – January 2013
  6. 6. Articles Over 160 persons attended the joint ’33rd AIVC Conference‘ and ’2nd TightVent Conference’ in Copenhagen, on 10-11 October, 2012. Photo: OS Summary of the AIVC-TightVent Conference 2012 Optimising Ventilative Cooling and Airtightness for Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings, IAQ and Comfort T he conference focused on ventilation and infiltra- The conference was organized by the International Network tion in nearly zero-energy buildings and more par- on Ventilation and Energy Performance (INIVE) on behalf ticularly on challenges and perspectives for venti- of the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) and lative cooling (the use of ventilation systems to cool indoor TightVent Europe (the Building and Ductwork Airtightness spaces), on the rationale and solutions for better building Platform) with support from the VELUX group. and ductwork airtightness, as well as on developments of ventilation requirements based on health. The programme Per Heiselberg, Willem de Gids, and Arnold Janssens included presentations of invited world-renowned and key give here below a summary of the three tracks. experts as well as 75 papers selected from the call for ab- stracts for long- and short-oral presentations. Visit www.aivc.org or www.tightvent.eu for additional information. Next AIVC conference will be in Athens, Greece, 25−26 September 2013. It will be organised in conjunction with the   1st Venticool conference and the 3rd TightVent conference. More information will be soon available at www.aivc.org REHVA Journal – January 2013
  7. 7. Articles Ventilation and Health track Willem de Gids The ventilation and health related presentations and papers on the 33rd AIVC con- VentGuide, the Netherlands ference were very interesting. We could learn a lot from these papers. Many were presented results of international projects/initiatives such as: • HealthVent “Health-Based Ventilation Guidelines for Europe” • IAIAQ “Promoting actions for healthy indoor air” • EnVie “Co-ordination Action on Indoor Air Quality and Health Effects” • “Health and comfort in highly energy efficient buildings” Clear Up “Clear and resource efficient buildings for real life” This summary synthesizes the papers and describes what we can learn from them. It is not a classic overview of papers but more a vision paper for future developments.Why we ventilate? tilation levels. On the other hand, ventilation can sig-Ventilation is often seen as the ultimate solution to all nificantly affect comfort, health risks, damp problemskind of indoor air quality problems. However venti- and performance of people in buildings.lation is not a panacea for all indoor air quality prob-lems: “just a little bit more ventilation and all problems Health, comfort and performance are the key aspectsare gone” does not always work. It is very clear that for ventilation.ventilation plays an important role in the control of ahealthy environment in buildings. But to understand In the built environment the existence of ventilation iswhen, where and how much ventilation is a necessity is in most cases based on dilution and mixing processes.a question which is not easy to answer. However, removing the unavoidable pollutant by local ex- traction is of course more effective. Displacement ventila-Let’s first of all look to the functions and effects of tion is the most effective mechanism to control ventilationventilation: flow and prevent from spreading of pollutants. Engineers often try to apply this so called “piston flow” mechanism, • Supply of oxygen for breathing to survive in because of its effectiveness. But in practice due to distur- buildings bances, for instance, moving people and buoyancy driven • Minimize exposure to hazardous contaminants to flows, it is difficult to maintain and realize the flow pat- reduce health risks terns we had in mind during the design process. • Minimize the nuisance of odors due to bio effluents to control comfort In the Ventilation and Health track, there were sessions • Dilution and transport of moisture to prevent organized around Health and Demand Controlled from damp problems Ventilation (DCV). Sometimes the results of the studies • Creation of an environment in which people can presented seem to conflict with each other. But analyz- perform in a optimal way ing the results more carefully, the conclusion appeared • Creation of an environment in which people feel to be that the results of the studies were more comple- thermally comfortable mentary than conflicting. The main reason for this is the time frame which was considered in the studies, forThe supply of oxygen, although an absolute necessity, is instance short term exposure (a few hours) versus longnot an issue in buildings with the normally realized ven- term exposure (a few years) REHVA Journal – January 2013
  8. 8. Articles Most important pollutants indoors “What determines the ventilation flow at a certain From the most leading international studies, it looks moment on a certain or specific place?” like that the main important pollutants which effect our health indoors are: For short term health effects for instance due to expo- sure of formaldehyde, which cause eye and throat irrita- 1. tobacco smoke (ETS) tions an immediate level of ventilation is required. For 2. ultra fine particles (UFP) long term health effects (exposure during years) such as 3. acrolein (unsaturated aldehyde) long term exposure to formaldehyde at very low concen- 4. formaldehyde tration a yearly average ventilation of a certain ventila- 5. benzene tion level may the answer. Looking at moisture behav- 6. naphthalene ior in buildings, the processes of condensation, absorp- 7. carbon tetra chloride tion, desorption and evaporation in relation to building 8. NOx fabric and furniture are typically processes of a number 9. ozone of hours so that diurnal average ventilation might be 10. radon sufficient. For all these pollutants the general rule is: control the Looking into the performance of people in most cases source therefore minimize their presence in the indoor again an immediate level of ventilation is required to environment. Only for that part of these pollutants perform well. which can be considered as unavoidable the exposure can be minimized with ventilation means. The time frame, the moment, the reason why one will ventilate gives the answer to the question what is the ETS can be seen as an avoidable source in some build- dominant pollutant at a certain moment on a certain ings, while for instance radon should be minimized in place. Demand controlled ventilation in future should most cases by special measures and not specifically and develop its control algorithms and control sensors in only by ventilation. line with this view. In the field of CO2 and VOC sensor control, some papers indicate that much progress has Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not mentioned as an impor- been made over the last years on sensor technology and tant pollutant at all, because it is a marker for bio-efflu- sensor development. ents of people. The level of CO2 can be related to nui- sance of odor. This was established since Pettenkofer in Disability Adjusted Life Years 1860 the basis for almost all ventilation requirements in Many studies in this 33rd AIVC conference have tried to buildings. Later Yaglou, Cain and Fanger were under- find a single expression of the effect ventilation might lying this “odor nuisance driven” ventilation approach. have on health. More and more common becomes the Odor nuisance has not much to do with health, it is expression DALY, Disability Adjusted Life-Years. The comfort driven. DALY is more and more used as an indicator for health. It combines in fact three aspects: There are also recent studies indicating that CO2 it- self might of influence to the cognitive performance of • life expectancy people. In case the performance of people is the most • quality of life important parameter in rooms such as classrooms, lec- • number of people effected ture-rooms and even in some cases offices, CO2 levels should determine more the ventilation level than nui- With the aid of the metric DALY, all kind of decision sance and/or comfort. can be made more objectively also in combination with cost on the basis of cost effectiveness. When is ventilation needed and at what level? Several speakers reported that, only for Europe, around This question is most important when discussing de- 2.2 million DALYs/year are related to the indoor air mand controlled ventilation. The only answer can quality in buildings. We can make progress in minimiz- be: It depends on the specific effect you are ventilat- ing this problem by controlling the indoor air quality. ing for on the place of consideration. The important Ventilation may contribute to that in a significant way question is: in case we find effective solutions. REHVA Journal – January 2013
  9. 9. Articles Ventilative Cooling track The current development in building energy efficiency towards nearly-zero energy buildings represents a number of new challenges to design and con- struction of buildings. One of the major new challenges is the increased need for cooling present in these highly insulated and airtight buildings, which is not only present in the summer period but also in the shoulder seasons and in offices even during occupied hours in winter. In most post-occupancy studies of high performance buildings in European countries elevated temperature levels is the most reported problem, especially in residences. These new challenges were strongly reflected in the programme of the 33rd Per Heiselberg AIVC conference where about 30 papers and presentations in 6 sessions Aalborg University, Denmark dealt with different issues related to ventilative cooling.Performance Criteria icant individual differences in the preferred air velocity,The first question to ask in the design of ventilative cool- which indicate that personal control is very important.ing systems is what are the performance criteria? What isconsidered as overheating and how can ventilative cooling Prediction Methodsbe a solution? Research on different strategies to offset of Prediction of energy use in residential buildings is of-warm sensation in high temperature conditions showed ten based on simplified monthly methods and is esti-that increased air velocities can compensate and ensure mated for the residence as a whole. Averaging the needcomfortable conditions at higher temperature levels and for cooling in both time and space underestimates thethat air fluctuations and turbulence intensity play an im- need for cooling. Excess heat in spaces exposed to solarportant role. But, the research results also showed signif- radiation is considered to be distributed fully to other Number of subjects choosing a certain velocity. [Giulio Cattarin et al.   AIVC Conference proceedings,   pp. 8-12, 2012]. REHVA Journal – January 2013
  10. 10. Articles spaces and excess solar ra- diation during daytime is partly distributed to night time. Therefore, the need for cooling to ensure ac- ceptable temperature lev- els in all spaces will be higher in reality. The anal- ysis of the risk of overheat- ing is often based on the calculated cooling need. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between the cal- culated cooling need with The Nicosia Townhall where special façade vents were developed to realise these simplified methods ventilative cooling in the building. [Flourentzou et al. AIVC Conference and the number of hours proceedings, pp. 233-237, 2012] with elevated temperature levels. So, even if no cool- ing need is predicted and designers do not expect over- The outcome of the Ventilative Cooling track was that es- heating problems, the number of hours with elevated pecially for residences there is a need to improve both the temperature levels can be considerable. Several presenta- way we estimate the need and the performance of venti- tions dealt with these issues both from a more theoretical lative cooling as well as for development of new, off-the- approach analyzing the energy balance and heat trans- shelf and competitive technical solutions. fer processes within spaces in buildings but also differ- ent methods to predict Ventilative Cooling performance and the risk of overheating was presented. Case Studies A number of case studies on the application of ventila- tive cooling were presented. The case studies demon- strated ventilative cooling solutions both in residences, schools and shopping malls and in many situations con- siderable energy savings was obtained. Several of the case studies highlighted the need for devel- opment of new technical solutions. One example was in the new Nicosia Townhall, where it was concluded that Blower Door free cooling by night ventilation was the simplest strate- gy to keep comfortable temperatures, but using standard openings was not the best solution. In order to ensure bet- ter opening possibilities as well as protection from insects, dust and vandalism special façade vents were developed. Conclusion Ventilative cooling can be an attractive and energy effi- cient solution to avoid overheating of both new and ren- GmbH ovated buildings. Ventilation is already present in most buildings through mechanical and/or natural systems and it can both remove excess heat gains as well as increase air velocities and thereby widen the thermal comfort range. As cooling becomes a need also outside the summer pe- riod the possibilities of utilizing the cooling potential of low temperature outdoor air increases considerably..10 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  11. 11. Articles Airtightness track The airtightness track at the AIVC conference consisted of 29 presentations organ- ized in 7 sessions. In 3 sessions research work was presented dealing with various air- tightness related aspects as requested in the call for papers. In 4 sessions invited pres- entations and structured discussions were offered to give an overview of some specific conference topics: • Ductwork airtightness • Quality and building airtightness • Quality of domestic ventilation systems Arnold Janssens • Philosophy and approaches for building airtightness requirements Professor of Building Physics, Ghent University, Belgium In the following paragraphs a bird’s eye view is given of trends and conclusions that appeared in the presentations and discussions in the airtightness track.From airtightness requirements to tice and requires careful planning of the overall build-quality assurance ing process. Therefore a number of quality manage-A number of presentations showed experimental evi- ment and training schemes were presented in order todence of the fact that new buildings become increasingly master this process. Sweden has a long experience withmore airtight, compared to buildings built in previous the implementation of quality ductwork systems anddecades. This evolution is attributed to the strength- has included quality requirements in the AMA speci-ening of energy performance requirements, typical- fication guidelines, based on subsequent partial test-ly in European countries, and to innovations in con- ing. In France regulatory quality management processesstruction practice. According to the European Energy are operational for building airtightness compliance byPerformance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) the influ- constructors, based on self-declared testing of a sampleence of air infiltration on the energy use of a building is of the housing production. Control tests have showntaken into account when assessing the energy perform- that these schemes are very effective in achieving goodance. As a result, building designers pay more attention airtightness in practice (Figure 1). Good examples ofto airtightness in order to meet more severe energy per-formance requirements for new buildings. However, insome countries also explicit airtightness requirementsare set in order to prepare the market for a change to-wards ‘nearly zero energy buildings’. An example of thisapproach is the French RT2012 legislation, which re-quires the airtightness of all new residential buildings tobe tested in order to show compliance to legal limits.Several presentations showed that the specification ofairtightness requirements alone is not enough to achievegood building airtightness in reality. When no qualityframework is adopted, design intents for airtightnessare not systematically met because of flaws and varia-tions in workmanship. This was shown in a project inGreenland where a large number of identical flats in a Figure 1. Results of control tests showing effectivenessbuilding was tested and a standard deviation of 47% of French quality framework for building airtightnesswas reported. Creating airtight building envelopes en- compliance (85% compliance demanded, 89% compli-tails profound changes in design and construction prac- ance achieved). [Juricic et al.] REHVA Journal – January 2013 11
  12. 12. Articles certification schemes for craftsmen were given by FLiB in Germany (Fachverband Luftdichtheit im Bauwesen), with guidelines for selection and installation of air bar- Air Infiltration and rier systems. Ventilation Centre Air leakage testing and infiltration modelling In recognition of the significant impact of ven- When airtightness requirements become more severe, tilation on energy use, combined with concerns also fan pressurization equipment and testing proce- over indoor air quality, the International Energy dures to show compliance should allow to obtain relia- Agency (IEA) inaugurated the Air Infiltration and ble and repeatable test results. Several presentations were Ventilation Centre in 1979. The AIVC is one of dealing with these issues. For testing single apartments the annexes running under the ECBCS, Energy in multifamily buildings different experimental proce- Conservation in Buildings and Community dures exist, and it is not always clear what one is meas- Systems, which is one of the Implementing uring. A number of test results were presented quantify- Agreements of the IEA. The AIVC offers indus- ing the leakage distribution in apartments for different try and research organisations technical support purposes: eg to assess the transfer of pollution between aimed at optimising ventilation technology. It of- individual flats, or to assess the air leakage distribution fers a range of services and facilities, including ratio between internal and external partitions of apart- comprehensive database on literature standards, ments. A large-scale measuring campaign in high rise and ventilation data. AIVC also produce a se- residential buildings in South Korea revealed that inter- ries of guides and technical notes. The Centre nal walls between flats often show the highest leakage holds annual conferences and workshops. The (30-60% of total leakage). operating agent of the AIVC is INIVE eeig (www.inive.org) A better knowledge of the air leakage distribution over the building envelope is also important to come to a more reliable extrapolation of fan pressurization test re- sults at 50 Pa to air infiltration rates under natural driv- were presented addressing IAQ performance in airtight ing forces (and related heat losses). While this extrapo- houses. Although simulations showed that IAQ may im- lation is typically based on rules of thumbs (the ‘rule- prove with enhanced building airtightness, specifically of-20’) or simplified steady-state models (Normalized for exhaust ventilation systems where designed air trans- Leakage), advanced simulation studies were presented fer is reinforced, the IAQ and indoor humidity achieved to analyse the influence of uneven leakage distribution in airtight houses is sensitive to ventilation system design, and unsteady wind conditions on air infiltration rates. sizing and installation errors. Ultimately these studies should allow to develop more refined and accurate leakage models for infiltration heat However, some presentations discussed results of large- loss assessment in high performance buildings. scale field studies showing striking evidence that in- stallation quality of residential ventilation systems is IAQ and ventilation in airtight typically insufficient. This was the case for studies buildings performed in the Netherlands, Belgium and Estonia. The fact that new buildings become more airtight is good Common shortcomings were insufficient supply ven- news for the energy performance of buildings, but is also tilation capacity compared to design standards (in a reason for concern when indoor air quality and health more than half of the investigated houses, Figure 2), issues are considered. In countries where residential ven- increased noise levels in case of mechanical ventila- tilation traditionally relied on air leakage and on occa- tion systems, and poor operation and maintenance. sional opening of windows, such as in New Zealand, it An overall conclusion was that together with increased is now found necessary to introduce reliable ventilation building airtightness, more attention should be paid solutions to achieve acceptable IAQ and moisture con- to ventilation system performance and installation trol in new airtight houses. Even in countries where the quality, in order to guarantee healthy indoor environ- installation of residential ventilation systems is part of the ments. This requires a change of mind set, not only building code requirements, such as in most European with building practitioners, but also with builders who countries, acceptable indoor air quality is not necessar- should be more willing to pay the price for good qual- ily achieved. A number of multizone simulation studies ity ventilation systems.12 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  13. 13. Articles Living room Master bedroom Other bedrooms 1.4 1.4 1.4 Air supply rate [l/s per m²] Air supply rate [l/s per m²] Air supply rate [l/s per m²] 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 low medium high low medium high low medium high Setting of the control switch Setting of the control switch Setting of the control switch Figure 2. Air supply rates (average, P10 and P90) in the living room, master bedroom and other bedrooms in dwell- ings with balanced mechanical ventilation, at different control settings. The horizontal line gives the reference (minimum) level according to the Dutch Building Code (0.7 l/s/m2), (Boerstra et al.). References Boerstra A., J. Balvers, R. Bogers, R. Jongeneel, F. van Dijken. 2012. Juricic S., S. Charrier, F. Boithias, J. Bionier. 2012. Lessons learnt Residential ventilation system performance: outcomes of a from the regulatory quality management scheme in France. field study in the Netherlands. Proceedings of the 33rd AIVC Proceedings of the 33rd AIVC Conference and 2nd TightVent Conference and 2nd TightVent Conference, Copenhagen, Conference, Copenhagen, INIVE, 148-151. INIVE, 170-175. HVAC-Designs for Data Centers and Switch Rooms Total Load @ 4,5 MWCooling equipment with superior operational qualities and high performance levels!Energy Efficient Cooling Solutionscustomizable and meeting the specs of even the mostcomplex installation Hitema We Manufacture Solutions! Hitema, Global Presence Advanced technology, absolute quality and closing at the Customer strong points that Hitema uses for its growth. Hitema is a Company that has shown competitive capacity and a big flexibility at Market requirements and it has been able to pay a leading role thanks to the ability to place good technological solution for industrial refrigeration, close control units and HVAC design for data center and switch rooms and compressed air treatment. Surely, determinated factors of our growth are the importance of the full satisfaction of the Customer and the various of the offer, with new products marked by Innovation and Quality.Inverter TechnologyCompressors - Total Load 3,2 Mw Z.I. San Gabriele – 35024 Bovolenta (Padova) - Italy Madrid - Spain Düsseldorf - Germany Tel.: +39 049 5386344 - Fax: +39 049 5386300 26 Feb - 01 Mar 2013 16 - 23 Oct 2013 E-mail: sales@hitema.it - Web page: www.hitema.it Hall 6 - Stand 6D06 Hall 10 - Stand 10B76.5The ENGINEERED SOLUTION for FLEXIBILITY and PERFORMANCE REHVA Journal – January 2013 13
  14. 14. Articles Industry visions on RD for better buildings in the future The programme of the 33rd AIVC Conference began with a panel discussion facilitated by Kirsten Engelund Thomsen from SBI, Denmark. REHVA Journal had an opportunity to have a short interview with the panellists, experts of leading companies in energy efficient technologies. REHVA Journal presented the following four questions to the experts: What challenges do you see for the next 10 years (2020 objectives) and beyond (2050) in research and development in the building sector? What are to your mind the major barriers to innovation e.g., legislative issues, calculation methods, costs, etc.? What are the ways to explore to overcome the barriers? What would be your suggestions to improve the quality of works (e.g. training and qualification of craftsmen)? scarce public funds. One answer to that challenge is to activate the large sums accumulated in private founda- tions and pension funds throughout Europe. Mrs. Lone Feifer In terms of technology, the solutions are already here, Strategic Project Director but to meet the challenges of the future, we have to find VELUX Group a way to implement them in today’s buildings. In other words a public demand must be created. In that perspective it is important to not only focus on the energy efficiency of buildings, but to also se- It is a fact that most of the buildings that have al- cure a healthy and comfortable indoor climate with ready been built represent a very large part of our fresh air and daylight. One of the solutions is to pro- future building stock. So I first and foremost believe that mote the use and development of ventilative cooling it is important to keep a long-term focus on finding and in buildings. developing solutions that will ensure that the existing building stock lives up to the 2020 objectives and - fur- The implementation of a number of mechanical so- ther ahead - the goals for 2050. lutions like air conditioning is constantly increasing. Those are solutions that use a lot of energy and do not Renovation of the current building stock represents a necessarily provide the buildings with sufficient air qual- large economic potential and an enormous job creation ity. One of the major challenges is to secure that more potential. We are, however, faced with the challenge of environmentally and healthier solutions such as ventila-14 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  15. 15. Articlestive cooling is reflected in government regulations, pro- six experimental low-energy buildings that are used bymoted by the building industry and demanded by the ordinary people. The houses have demonstrated thepublic - the people who will be living in the low-energy benefits of such technologies as ventilative cooling.buildings of tomorrow. Through Model Home 2020 we learned that another One of the biggest barriers to create more sustain- benefit is that experimental building projects also en- able living in buildings is that promotion and im- courage creativity and innovation because the focus onplementation of the technology requires financing - fi- single technical values is redirected into looking at thenancing of theoretical studies, test buildings and usabil- building from more holistic and qualitative perspectives.ity tests. This is also why it is important to promote a This of course speaks highly for allowing a more experi-public awareness and demand for the solutions. mental approach in today’s building regulations.Building regulations also represent a barrier. Often they In my opinion we need to focus on promotingdo not allow new technology to be implemented and simple solutions based on good building physicsthey are often based or focused on quantitatively de- instead of over-complicated, maintenance-demandingsigned values instead of qualitative objectives. Strict systems.rules and a one-sided focus on minimising energy con-sumption can create major barriers to the development In addition to training of craftsmen, there should alsoof sustainable living in low-energy buildings. be increased focus on the installer’s ability to advise the private buyer to make the right choices. In the ideal First of all, we have to show and not only tell world the installers must have both relevant and up- about the need for new ways of building houses. dated knowledge on how to build low-energy buildingsIn the VELUX Group we’ve done this through the that also deliver a sufficient indoor climate with plentyproject Model Home 2020. In the project we’ve built of fresh air and daylight. a doubling of the existing renovation rate; and the ex- isting renovations are not focused on energy efficien- cy. This can only be done if new long-term financing mechanisms are put in place; such as the suggested “pay Claus Bugge Garn as you save” schemes. Rockwool These renovations will have to be done with craftsmen without expertise in energy efficiency; ventilation and indoor air quality; and with low education levels. By far most of the renovations will be done; without having a building engineer involved in optimizing the solutions. In Europe we have app. 200 million dwellings, and we are constructing app. 1 million new dwell- We thus need to develop standardized “fool-proof ” meth-ings per year (0.5% from total number). The new dwell- ods that can be installed by an untrained workforce.ings are mainly an expansion of the total building massand not a replacement of existing buildings. Even if we The biggest barrier to innovation in the Europeanfrom tomorrow only constructed nearly zero energy construction industry is probably building tra-buildings; we would not reduce the energy consumption ditions. The construction industry is a very conserva-in buildings; but only maintain it at the current level tive industry that do not “like to experiment”; espe- cially within the private home sector. Building invest-The focus, in order to fulfill 2020 and 2050 targets set ments are very high; and often a once in a lifetime de-by EU, thus have to be on how to make a deep renova- cision; and we thus do not like to experiment. Thistion of existing building stock. We need to deeply ren- combined with the rather low knowledge level in theovate app. 2.5 − 3% of our existing dwellings per year; construction industry; makes it very difficult to intro-equal to app. 6 − 9 million dwellings. This is more than duce innovations. REHVA Journal – January 2013 15
  16. 16. Articles History has shown that the most efficient way manner. The construction industry consists mainly of to control and change the constructions sector very small companies; and in general a rather un- is via legislation (building codes). It is expected trained workforce, often with language barriers due in the construction industry that a number of re- to many nationalities involved. quirements have to be fulfilled when construction a new building or when making a major renovation. In I believe that the best way to secure sufficient qualifi- general the construction sector strives to fulfill cations is by introducing authorization requirements requirements. for companies within the construction sector. Meaning that in order to bid for a construction job; the compa- There is no doubt that there is a strong need ny needs to have an authorization. In order to have this for training of craftsmen. The question is how- authorization; the company needs to document that ever how to get this training organized in an efficient the craftsmen have received sufficient training. technical equipment fit together and operate optimally in the building. • The contractor has to be educated and informed by the designer so that systems are installed as Lars-Åke Mattsson designed and operate as intended. Lindab Ventilation AB • The politicians should create the business environment such that it is advantageous to meet the environmental targets. The biggest barrier is the fact that supplier that has the cheapest product will win the project. The The challenge is very difficult and has a lot of system of procurement is often very complicated and approaches and a lot of stakeholders. The easi- many involved can make money on a project that is est part is to develop relevant products and systems right on the lowest limit of the regulation. that work and have a great impact on the energy con- sumption and at the same time gives an excellent in- The most important issue is knowledge, all the door air quality with productive, healthy and happy way from the house owner to the politicians and people. the whole building industry. To educate everyone can- not be done by a single company. This can only be done I see the following items as problems in the current. by clusters of organizations like AIVC, Tightvent, situation and challenges for the future improvements: REHVA, local branch organisations. • Building owners should have relevant The certification like LEED, BREEAM are quite new information on the consequences of their systems that enable the house owner to buy a house decisions so that the final building with its with a level of predefined requirements without being systems meets the expectations. an expert himself. • The current systems are not always sustainable and not based on life cycle cost analysis. Another idea is to change the way of procurement so • The building systems are not always easy to that the builder must take care of the operating costs operate, and may not operate on optimal way. the first five years or similar. • There must be an organisation that is able to maintain and service the system and takes the To improve the quality of the work is extremely responsibility of proper operation. difficult and has to be looked on from a holistic • If the system is broken there must be an view and see it all the way from school, and the educa- organisation that can help the building owner tion material to certified installers and certified compa- and reset the system. nies and associated salary systems. To make a reforma- • Designers have to have more responsibility on tion like this has to involve politicians, governmental the performance on system level so that that all school board, unions and employers confederation. 16 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  17. 17. Articles Proper building preparation for envelope airtightness testingProper building preparation is required before initiating an airtightness test. While this may seemsurprising, HVAC systems often account for the most difficult part of the work. Taking this intoconsideration at the design stage of HVAC systems, however, can make the preparation easier. Hence, defining the objective of the test is essential for Christophe Delmotte the operator who needs answers to practical questions: Head of Air Quality and Ventilation Laboratory Belgian Building Research Institute • What part of the building is to be tested? christophe.delmotte@bbri.be • What are the rules governing the test? • What are the intentional openings in the envelope of this part of the building? • What HVAC systems and other equipment areIntroduction present in this part of the building?When measuring the airtightness (or air permeability)of a building, there is a crucial question that needs to be All of this leads to the final question: What preparationaddressed before starting work: What is the objective does the building require?of the measurement? Preparation in standardsThis question, however, might be obscure for most peo- Preparation of the part of the building subject to theple and may need refinement. test (hereafter called “the building”) is specifically ad- dressed in ISO 9972:2006 [2] and EN 13829:2000 [1],There are various reasons why one could measure the where different methods are described depending onairtightness of a building: the purpose: • To check compliance with a building code or • Method A (test of a building in use); contract (e.g. n50 ≤ 2 h-1); • Method B (test of the building envelope); • To check the effectiveness of new construction • Method C (test of the building in use) (not details (compared with other details in other available in EN 13829). buildings); • To calculate the building’s energy performance; In the current revision of ISO 9972 [3], the third • To find and seal leaks; method is replaced by a ”free” method intended for • … specific purposes such as checking compliance with en- ergy performance regulations. It thus opens up the pos-There are also different parts of a building that can be sibility of preparing the building in accordance withtested: a national regulation while still complying with the standard. • The entire building; • The thermally insulated part of the building; A point in common with all three existing methods is • A new part of the building; that all doors and windows in the building envelope • One apartment in the building; must be closed. Another common point is the opening • All the apartments on a given floor; of all interconnecting doors within the building (note • A block of offices in a factory; that the present exception for cupboards and closets will • … probably be deleted in the revision of ISO 9972). REHVA Journal – January 2013 17
  18. 18. Articles Preparation of HVAC systems ly-mounted air transfer devices can be of great impor- In addition to these easily accessible openings and a tance, not only with regard to ventilation but also with number of secondary ones like post boxes or cat flaps, regard to the building’s airtightness. the main preparation work relates to HVAC systems. The same consideration could apply to smoke damp- First, all devices taking air from or removing air to the ers or shut-off dampers for ventilation systems, cooker outside must be turned off: heating systems with indoor hoods and open fires. air intake, mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems, kitchen hoods, etc. Since test operators gener- When openings must be sealed for the test, their tight- ally are not HVAC engineers, instructions for operation ness depends on various factors: should be available if needed. • The skill and caution of the operator; It is important to understand that measuring a build- • The accessibility of the opening; ing’s airtightness involves pressurising or depressurising • Technique and material. the envelope typically at 50 to 100 Pa. Therefore meas- ures must be taken to avoid diverting combustion gases Remember that the highest pressure exerted on the or polluted air from their intended routes and venting building envelope during an airtightness test is ap- them instead into occupied spaces. proximately 100 Pa, which represents 10 kg/m². Thus, sealing works must be able to withstand this pressure. In some cases, e.g. when open gas boilers in apartments However, this is not always easy with large louvres for are connected to the same chimney, it might be neces- example (Figure 1). sary to turn off the boilers of all apartments in the build- ing, even if only one of them is being tested. Second, all intentional openings in the building enve- lope dedicated to HVAC systems must be treated ac- cording to the measurement method. The three possible treatments are closed, sealed or open (Table 1). Figure 1. When openings must be closed for the test, leaks in Sealing a large the closing system are taken into account in the glo- louvre can bal air leakage rate of the building. This means that the prove to be a choice of HVAC components such as closable external- difficult task. Table 1. Treatment of the intentional openings in function of the test method (ISO/CD 9972:2012 [3]). Classification of openings Method 1 Method 2 Method 3 Test of the Test of the building Test of the building for building in use envelope a specific purpose Ventilation openings for natural Closed Sealed Closed, sealed or open as ventilation specified Openings for whole building mechanical Sealed Sealed Closed, sealed or open as ventilation or air conditioning specified Openings for local mechanical ventilation Closed Sealed Closed, sealed or open as or air conditioning (intermittent use) specified Windows, doors and trapdoors Closed Closed Closed, sealed or open as specified Openings not intended   Closed Sealed Closed, sealed or open as for ventilation specified18 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  19. 19. ArticlesSealing the mechanical ventilation systems is often nec-essary. There are three options: • Sealing the air terminal devices; • Sealing the air intake and exhaust; • Sealing the main ducts. Figure 2. Rubber bladders can be use-Sealing the air terminal devices (ATDs) is often an easy ful for sealing ventila-job in single dwellings but can be very tedious in mul- tion ducts.ti-family buildings or in office buildings for example.The most often used technique consists of removing theATDs from the ducts and replacing them with rubberbladders (Figure 2). Alternatively ATDs can be sealedwith adhesive tape.Another option is sealing the air intake and exhaust vents,but this often requires access to the roof or the top of a Figure 3. Sealing thewall, which might entail specific security measures. main ducts just be- fore or after the airThe third option consists of sealing the main ducts just handling unit is anbefore or after the air handling unit (AHU). This, how- option, but it gener-ever, requires access to the inside of the ducts through ally requires disman-the AHU or a partial dismantling of the ducts, work tling the ducts.that cannot be done by the test operator (Figure 3).Proper inspection panels in these ducts might be veryuseful here.To eliminate the need to seal the ventilation systems,shut-off dampers could be installed in the air intakeand exhaust ducts. These of course should be suffi-ciently airtight when closed, in order not to degradethe results of the airtightness test. These damperswould also be useful when taking shelter in buildingsis necessary, e.g. in the case of a large-scale outdoorpollution release.It is also important to note that the airtightness of theventilation ducts can influence the results of a building’s Figure 4. Access hatches in chimney flues can be very use-airtightness test. During the test, air indeed could leak ful if the flues need to be sealed for the airtightness test.out of or into the ducts within the building envelope,and again leak into or out of the ducts outside the build-ing envelope. Sealing the ducts precisely where they go Referencesthrough the building envelope could avoid this prob- [1] EN 13829:2000 Thermal performance of buildings -lem, but it is generally not feasible in practice. Making Determination of air permeability of buildings - Fanthe ducts airtight is therefore recommended not only for pressurization method (ISO 9972:1996, modified).ventilation purposes. [2] ISO 9972:2006 Thermal performance of buildings -Chimney flues for boilers, air heaters or stoves are often Determination of air permeability of buildings - Fanopen (or even closed in the case of stoves) during the pressurization method.airtightness test of the building. They, however, could besealed if required for the test. In this case, access hatches [3] ISO/CD 9972:2012 Thermal performance of buildingsprimarily intended for soot removal can be very useful - Determination of air permeability of buildings - Fan(Figure 4). pressurization method. REHVA Journal – January 2013 19
  20. 20. Articles Performing intermediate checks and early-stage testing of airtightness Tormod Aurlien Professor Dept. of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences tormod.aurlien@umb.no Good building airtightness is now commonly re- garded as an important prerequisite for both good energy performances, user comfort and service life of most modern buildings. Builders want to avoid the surprise of a poor airtightness measurement result in the finished phase of a new building. Repairing documented air leaks can then be a very costly experience and a complicated process. This paper gives effective methods to overcome Photo: Tormod Aurlien this problem, by sharing some good experiences from the process of avoiding pitfalls and achiev- ing good airtightness of buildings. Early-stage testing Figure 1. Temporary “tent” made from plastic foil, with Performing intermediate checks and early-stage testing a (red) blower door mounted. The amount of air that of airtightness of the building envelope is becoming part is sucked out of the tent by the fan in the blower door of common practice in Norway. Locating and repairing equals the leaking air that pass through the details of the leaks is at this stage is usually a very cost-effective task. façade being tested. A person inside the tent may easily detect air-leak- ages in the facade by just feeling with his hand along joints and details in question, if the air pressure inside the tent is kept at a lower level than the outside (around 50 Pa). There are several approaches to early-stage testing: This picture is from a new large building with passive-house ambition (n500.6 h-1). TESTING REPRESENTATIVE SMALL PARTS OF and contractors may draw conclusions of good detailing, THE ENVELOPE: In large building projects one may if one reaches good levels of airtightness. In the opposite test representative parts of the envelope details that case, one may not draw too strict quantitative conclusions, have been completed early compared to the rest of the as some of the leaking airflow may come from the tent. project. The purpose of this is to gather experience that can be used further on other the parts of the project. TESTING ZONES: Another approach is to pressu- This test is also useful as an extra quality assurance of rize a zone. These zones are often volumes of the build- as-built design, details and description of workmanship ing that are supposed to be airtight from other zones issues. This is especially helpful when the builder is con- for other reasons too, like fire zones of a large building. fronted with building products or details that are new In early stages of this kind of a building project, extra to the firm or to the industry. preparations are often required to insure airtightness from the other zones. Just achieving a pressure differ- One method of doing this testing is by defining and ence by use of a fan (not needing to read the measured pressurizing a temporarily isolated representative zone, leakages), and using a thermography camera, the tech- as shown in the Figure 1. nician may detect problems that need to be fixed for the rest of the project. Figure 2 shows one example of In this case, one measures the leakages from the test zone, a practical issue that had not been thought about in the including leakages from the temporary “tent”. Designers design phase of the project: temporary anchoring of the20 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  21. 21. ArticlesFigure 2a. Thermography from inside of construction Figure 2b. Leaky wind barrier detail, from anchoring ofshown in next photo. the outside scaffolding (Photos: Tormod Aurlien).outside scaffolding. In this case, the design was imme- are readily detected in this stage, by just feeling with thediately changed for the rest of the building project, and hand, having an inside under-pressure through use ofthe already built part has been repaired. the measuring fan. Furthermore the repair of these leak- ages is very cheap and easy.WIND-TIGHT-LAYER TESTING: What seemslike a Norwegian speciality is our relatively new em- We know of three measurements in this early wind-phasis on testing detached and semi-detached houses in tight-stage being performed in the 80’s in Norway.early wind-tight-stage, often by using low-cost simpli- A later similar measurement that took place in 1998fied equipment. A very large part of our population lives caught great interest.in these houses, and small firms usually build them. An initiative from The Norwegian HomebuilderCommon experience from numerous airtightness meas- Association soon led to simplified equipment beingurements that have ended up with high air permeability designed and spread to the market of their memberslevels, shows that trying to repair leaks on the inside of- in the building industry (Figure 3).ten is nearly fruitless. A report often has thermogramspinpointing the leaks, but the technician only detects The initial philosophy was to just create a pressure dif-where the leakage airflow enters the inside of the build- ference between the building and the outside (exceed-ing, not its source. The source may be somewhere in the ing around 30 Pa and possible to feel by hand on foilsouter wind-tight layer. Once the air has leaked in fromthe outside, it is easily distributed through cavity con-structions that are filled with highly permeable insula-tion. As constructions have become thicker, often withthe vapour-barrier being placed at a defined distancefrom the surface materials, it has become increasinglymore challenging to detect the flow paths using infra- www.villavent.no (Systemair) Small 500 m3/hred cameras or other detection techniques. Medium 500 – 1 500 m3/h www.Flexit.no Large 1 500 – 3 000 m3/hA natural response to this has been to perform airtight- 300 – 1 500 m3/h @ 50 Pa @ 50 Pameasurements in the stage where the outer layer is com-plete, doors and windows are in place etc, but before in- Figure 3. Simplified Norwegian equipment for  sulation is placed from the inside and covered. Leakages airtightness measurement of smaller buildings. REHVA Journal – January 2013 21
  22. 22. Articles etc. being tight). If the craftsman using the fan failed to achieve any pressure difference across the wall, then his Figure 4. Norwegian job was to find the leaks and repair them, until a pressure wooden building could be detected. This simple approach was very good!. being in early-wind- The project caught on, and it soon evolved into having tight-stage. Wind- some quantified results coming out of the process too. break layers are of non­woven HDPE Response from craftsmen fabric. Some parts of Doing airtightness testing on a more regular basis has the wall have gypsum been met with a bit of scepticism by some building boards in addition, to firms. On the other hand, a very common reaction by reach fire resistance skilled craftsmen, is that they very much appreciate be- goals. ing valued for the effort that they put into good crafts- manship and reaching technical goals, like airtightness; not only being valued for their effort towards the aes- part of the building process may cause extra air-leak- thetic finish. It is nice being told in forehand in the ages to the buildings. Examples include ventilation project that measurements are planned, though. Being ducts being installed in a late phase, with little atten- given the tools to perform these checks by oneself is even tion to making penetrations airtight, or balconies be- nicer. This last point has been an important reason for ing mounted delayed in the building process, the im- development of the simplified-method testing: the pos- provised anchoring causing leaks. sibility for the builders to perform testing themselves. The conclusion is that early wind-tight-stage measur- An important additional argument for performing ing should be followed up by a finished-state measure- these simplified-method tests is that airtightness test- ment. The early wind-tight-stage measurement should ing requires being on site on exactly the right time in be recognized as a good insurance for the builder against the building process, when the level of completeness blunders or incidents causing trouble with the customer is just appropriate. Craftsmen dislike being stopped in a later stage. It also serves as a powerful tool in the in progression, having to wait for someone with the process of gathering experience to achieve the intended right equipment to come when they have the capac- level of airtightness, especially with unfamiliar process- ity to do it themselves. As an illustration, one might es, details and materials, and thereby becoming every- note that the early-stage measurement on the building day practice in a rapidly changing industry. shown in Figure 4 was performed a little bit too early; one balcony door was not mounted yet, the result of The level of measurement accuracy for the fans and oth- challenges in timing. er equipment used is not extremely important, when used in early stage measurements. The purpose of these The importance of final-state initial depressurisations is not data with high accuracy. measurement We must assume that the following final measurements Quite recently the airtightness of the whole building are carried out with sufficiently precise equipment. It is from which Figure 1 is shown was measured. In this equally important that competent users of the equip- case governmental funding for passive house activity, ment, who understand and perform this according to requiring airtightness measuring, was released based international standards, do these measurements. on the preliminary measurements from the tents. It could have been awkward, though, if the required CHANGE OF NORWEGIAN REGULATIONS: airtightness goals were not met in the final measure- 3rd party independent inspection of design and work- ment of the whole building. Fortunately, the final- manship for airtightness level is becoming mandatory state measurements met the ambitious goals. Both at the start of 2013 for most of the Norwegian new builder and customer were happy. buildings. It is going to be exiting to follow how this turns out and develops. Experience from several measurements in both early stage and in finished stage on the same building shows Measuring is being recognised as being needed to prove that one might end up with a poorer airtightness at this important quality: Detailed design is necessary, but the final stage compared with the early-stage-measure- not sufficient to reach targeted level of airtightness needed ments. In fact, many things happening during the late for low-energy buildings.22 REHVA Journal – January 2013
  23. 23. AHRI
  24. 24. Articles Research into the effect of improving airtightness in a typical UK dwelling The UK’s Airtightness testing Measurement Association (ATTMA) is a trade body that represents the UK’s leading air-tightness testing and consultancy firms. Most of the work undertaken by these firms is for the builders of new housing and buildings, who are required to prove that they have achieved the required level of air-tightness in their buildings in order to satisfy Building Regulations. Experiment needed for reliable data Rob Coxon Airtightness testing Measurement What is needed is more reliable evidence as to the posi- Association (ATTMA), UK tive impact that improved air-tightness can deliver in a R.Coxon@stroma.com typical UK building or dwelling, alongside an appropri- ately designed and controlled ventilation system. Aside of those whose at the extremely sceptical end of the I n England and Wales, it has been a requirement aforementioned spectrum, most building professionals, that all types of new buildings and dwellings have and indeed the general public would acknowledge the to be tested since 2006. Prior to this, most build- general principle that a less air-leaky building is likely ings were neither designed nor built with air-tightness to be more energy and carbon efficient, and more com- in mind; primarily because there was no requirement for fortable for the occupants (providing the ventilation is testing. Consequently it is generally accepted that older appropriate). However, the problem is the lack of a sense UK houses and buildings are on average quite ‘leaky’. of scale or quantity. Indeed, research conducted by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) over 10 years ago determined that With this in mind, in 2010 the ATTMA decided to at- a typical UK dwelling leaked at a rate of 11.48 m³, per tempt to provide some evidence by means of commis- m² of their external envelope, per hour at an air pressure sioning a research project by the BRE, who are them- differential (between inside and outside of the envelope) selves members of ATTMA and acknowledged experts of 50 Pa (see below). The minimum standard permissi- in air-tightness, but who are also unrivalled in their abil- ble under current UK Building Regulations is 10m³/(m². ity to undertake building performance research projects hr) @50 Pa, although usually in order to attain overall of this type. compliance with calculated CO2 limits, a far lower (bet- ter) figure has to be both specified and achieved. The brief given to BRE was to undertake research to demonstrate the impact on the space heating load in a Effect of envelope airtightness on typical UK dwelling that arises when the air-permeabil- energy use? ity of its external envelope is improved. For this purpose, A frequent point of discussion among ATTMA members is the BRE provided two of its purpose-built ‘test houses’, the fact that, set against this background of generally ‘leaky’ located on the BRE’s, Watford site. The two dwellings existing building and housing stock in the UK, there is an are largely identical mid-terrace houses situated side-by- opportunity to significantly improve the energy and carbon side, with construction details that are typical of mil- performance of our existing building and housing stock by lions of existing UK dwellings. means of simple, low-tech but effecting air-sealing meas- ures. The barrier to this seems to be in lack of awareness as to the extent of the benefits that can be realised by this The two dwellings in the approach. This is reflected in the range of attitudes that test are largely identical air-tightness specialists come up against amongst builders, mid-terrace houses situ- building inspectors and even building managers/owners; ated side-by-side, with ranging from some who regard air-tightness as being as construction details that fundamental and vital as weather-tightness to those who are typical of millions of regard it with apathy, scepticism or even hostility. existing UK dwellings.24 REHVA Journal – January 2013

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