Designed in collaboration with the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) and with input from the building science community, this cutting-edge, technically advanced and fully automated laboratory allows measurement of air leakage contributing to energy loss and sustainability of the built environment. Air barrier system components and integration techniques will be exposed to varying levels of differential air pressures, simulating wind loads, as well as water spray and thermal conditions to determine their resistance to various environmental exposures.
Connectivity at critical transitions is key to long-term performance of the building envelope. Air movement into the building through the wall assembly at gaps in transitions, terminations or penetrations carries moisture vapor, which can lead to deterioration of structural components and the opportunity for mold and mildew. It is estimated that as much as 90% of all water intrusion problems may occur within the 1% of the total building exterior surface that contains the terminations and transition detailing: window-to-wall tie-ins, roof-to-wall tie-ins, foundation-to-wall tie-ins, penetrations and corners.
Testing of these connection points between air/vapor building protection systems is a key focus of our Sustainable Building Solutions Test Facility as well as other building and design challenges facing the sustainability and performance of our built environment. Integrated design is critical to the success of the high-performance building.