How Many Blower Door Fans Does It Take to Test Airtightness at the Evergreen Brickworks?
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in some airtightness testing at the Evergreen Brickworks (a LEED Platinum building). The testing was for a research group from Ryerson University and was led by Greg Labbe and Shervin Akhavi from the BlueGreen Group.
To sufficiently depressurize the building, seven blower door fans were required! We were very happy to lend the Greening Homes fan to the cause (the same fan we use to ensure continuous air barrier detailing on our builds).
The test has to be conducted while the building is empty so that all the windows can be closed and mechanical systems shut down. We started setting up at 4:30 p.m. and were finally ready to start testing at 8 p.m. One triple bank of fans was installed on the main floor and another on the second. A seventh fan was added after the initial six failed to achieve a 75Pa differential. The fans and gauges were connected via a very complex array of wires and cables to a laptop by an energetic (and almost possessed) Greg Labbe. Meanwhile five stories of windows had to be closed and interior doors propped open, as well as several exhaust fans sealed.
After ironing out a few glitches to get all the fan controllers working in unison, a depressurization test was run, followed by a pressurization test, and then leak chasing and infrared thermography. We look forward to seeing the results from Blue Green and Ryerson.
By Steven Gray, Construction Manager at Greening Homes