The air barrier is an important component of a building enclosure system that can improve HVAC system performance, increase occupant comfort, improve smoke/fire/ contaminant control, reduce noise transmission, and perhaps most importantly reduce energy consumption. The reduction in uncontrolled air movement through a building enclosure will also minimize the potential for condensation development within the wall cavity by inhibiting moisture-laden air from contacting enclosure surfaces below the dew point temperature. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) performed a comprehensive study on building air tightness and concluded an air barrier system can reduce heating energy consumption by over 40% in some climates and will reduce heating and cooling loads in all climates. Verification of the air barrier system via performance testing and diagnostic evaluations will ensure the benefits of air tightness are realized by the building end user and owner.
Air Barrier Testing
Pie Consulting & Engineering is the premier large building air barrier performance testing firm in the nation. We have been retained by contractors and design professionals across the United States to provide air barrier design and construction consultation, testing, and diagnostic evaluations for over 100 federal sector buildings for compliance with the United .States. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) building envelope air leakage requirement.
Pie was a primary technical consultant to the USACE in their development of the air tightness testing protocol, thus ensuring our clients that our large building testing methodology and equipment will conform to the requirements of their project (USACE Protocol, ASTM E 1827, ASTM E 779, ASTM C 1060, ASTM 1186, and ISO 678.
Pie accomplished the 1st new construction air tightness benchmark testing and diagnostics for the USACE newly developed requirement in June 2008 at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
Pie’s successful large building air barrier performance testing and diagnostic expertise includes buildings ranging in size between 10,000 and 329,000 finished square feet.
In the private sector, Pie was retained directly by DuPont Building Innovations to conduct case study large building air tightness testing and diagnostics on a new collegiate building at the University of Pennsylvania.
Our air barrier consulting services include:
Pre-design consultation with the design-build team on air barrier assemblies and systems, detailing, and material specifications.
Technical plan and specification reviews to ensure that air barrier components, joints, interfaces and penetrations are identified and appropriately detailed.
Preconstruction training seminars custom tailored for your project focusing on proper material installation methods and typical leakage areas.
Material submittal reviews and mock-up testing services.
Quality assurance field observations during construction identifying typical compliant and non-compliant construction methods.
Air barrier testing and diagnostics
Follow-up testing, diagnostics and consultation in the event that the air barrier system fails to meet the required air tightness metric.