Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2022: 12th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Investigation of Residential Building Envelope Airtightness on Operational Performance

Adam Douglas Wills, Patrique Tardif, Iain Macdonald, Heather Knusden
National Research Council Canada, Canada

Abstract: Section 9.36 of the 2015 National Building Code of Canada (NBC) provides the minimum performance requirements for new construction housing and small buildings. There are currently no prescriptive requirements for whole-building airtightness performance or testing, however, under the performance path airtightness testing and building performance simulation can be used to obtain credits for airtight design. The purpose of this study was to examine the operational impacts of airtightness to building owners and occupants. A calibrated ESP-r model of a contemporary semi-detached building was used to explore impacts on energy consumption, utility costs and indoor environmental quality under different climate, occupancy, and air leakage scenarios. The range of airtightness considered in the study was informed by recent guarded fan depressurization test results of 34 new attached residential units from five different Ontario builders. The results demonstrate the significant impacts high air leakage can have on building operational performance.
Keywords: airtightness, building codes, calibration, residential, cost analysis