Third-party Performance Testing

While energy modeling was performed as part of the design process for this house, verification of the actual tightness of the home is required as part of the perfornance testing for LEED® for Homes Energy and Atmosphere, AE category. This test is performed by utilizing a diagnostic tool called a blower door which is designed to measure the airtightness of buildings and to help locate air leakage sites. A blower door consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an airflow rate, and a pressure-sensing device to measure the air pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan-flow measurements are used to determine the building airtightness.

The blower door being installed in the Maseter Bedroom door to the deck. The fan is on the floor, behind the technican.

The technican is recording readings from the pressure-sensing device connected to the blower door.

The data from this test will be used to determine the final HERS rating the house will receive.

Since we are not now going to qualify for Indoor airPLUS, we lost 13 points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category. In order to still be certified at the Gold level and achieve as many points as possible in this category, we now need to take the alternative Pathway 2 which is the Perscripitive Approach. This pathway includes 9 sub-categories that can be used to achieve points. Compliance with two of the sub-categories, EQ 5 Local Exhaust and EQ 6 Distrubution Systems will allow us to regain 3 points.

This test pictured below is for EQ5 and is performed for all the exhaust fans in the house. An exhaust fan flow meter measures the cubic feet/minute (cfm) at that particular fan and that data is compared to the fan manufacturer’s rating.

View of the test being performed in Bath 2.

The test pictured below is for EQ6 and is performed for all the supply air duct openings in the house. This device, a balometer capture hood, measures the cubic feet/minute (cfm) at a particular opeining and that data is compared to the original design criteria.

The hood being used on a supply duct opening in the basement Family Room.

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