Air Barriers, Air Barrier Systems, Green Building, Energy Consultant, Passtionate Green Builder, Energy Auditor, Energy-Efficient Homes, DFW, Dallas, Texas, Fort Worth, TexasPlease Note:This website explains green building for a climate zone comparable to North Central Texas, such as the climate of Arlington or Addison, Texas, or Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. It is important to hire an energy consultant and a green builder who are experts in energy-efficient building in your climate zone.
Air-Barriers in Green Building
The Control of Air Flow
| Air Barrier
The primary function of an air barrier is to control air flow between a conditioned space and an unconditioned space. Many performance problems of homes can be traced to air leakage through the building envelope. These problems include everything from high heating/cooling costs to poor temperature control in occupied spaces. The air barrier is a very important aspect of green building.
Air Barrier Materials
Air barrier materials are defined by their air permeance. Air barrier materials are combined with air barrier components to form air barrier assemblies. These assemblies are then connected to form complete air barrier systems. Air barrier material types for green homes include:
Air Barrier Systems
This system essentially“wraps” the shell of the home and protects it fromthe effects of air leakage. Air leakage can have detrimental effects on how ahome functions and even reduces the life span of the structure. Air leakage mustbe reduced in a green home.
A properly functioning air barrier system provides a barrier against both theair leakage and the diffusion of air caused by
Air barrier systems also typically define the location of the pressure boundary of the building location. In multi-unit construction such as townhouse/apartment units, the air barrier system separates the conditioned air from any given unit and its adjacent unit or units. It is also the fire barrier and the smoke barrier which separates units and must meet the fire-rating requirements.
There are many types of air barriers to choose from, and there are many important factors to consider when determining the best barrier for a green building. The complete air barrier system is comprised of materials and assemblies, each with their own performance requirements.
A well-designed and efficient air barrier system will:
One way to test the effectiveness of the air barrier system is with a portable pressurization fan which is also known as the "door rater" test or "blower door" test. This test is generally the first step in renovating a home for energy-efficiency.
In summary, air barrier systems are essential components of the home enclosure. They control concentrated condensation and the associated mold,corrosion, or rot, they improve durability & sustainability, and they allow reduction of the HVAC system when the"fudge factor" covering infiltration and other unknown factors is reduced or eliminated.
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