building envelope air tightness studies

Hi everyone,

This is a question from Australia, (I think I’m the only Australian member of BPA).

Our national building code is being updated in 2022. We currently do not address air tightness in our building code and the ‘code writers’ are reluctant to include it.

They state, "Unfortunately, air leakage testing of new dwellings in Australia has not been sufficiently extensive to develop an evidence base sufficient to allow the development of new regulation."

Does anyone know of any studies that may be available regarding air tightness of the building envelope?

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          • Take a look at this paper -

            In it Joe makes the point that blower door testing can be good or it can be nearly worthless. Depend on what people interpret the results to mean.

            BSI-053: Just Right and Airtight
            An edited version of this Insight first appeared in the ASHRAE Journal. Folks are building houses and retrofitting existing houses with increased air…
            • That's brilliant Kent.

              I think Joe is on the money here. My own experience has taught me that it's not that hard to achieve around 3ACH50 for a "normal" house, and the benefeits are great. Our housing stock will improve dramatically with a sensible baseline target. Maybe it's baby steps for us with visual inspections.

              I love technical stuff and I like measuring with my blower door but I am always mindfull of cost/benefit and sensible applications..... I grew up on a farm, we just like to make stuff work.

              Thanks again. 

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