What’s a Blower Door Test?

Recently our sister company has been working on a project we’ve dubbed “The Most Energy Efficient Structure in West Virginia”.  Built with SIPs, of course, this 2000 sq. ft. community craft studio also features energy saving devices such as an ERV, mini split HVAC, and destratification fan system.

Tools used in the blower door testTo support our claim, we’ve used the blower door test to confirm correct envelope construction and detailing.  A blower door test is mandatory when attempting to show compliance with an air-tightness metric like Passive House Certification (0.6 ach@50) or the recently launched SIPA Builder Certification Program (2.0 ach@50).

This test is commonplace  for those seeking higher performance in their buildings, but I feel it should be standard practice for all new construction. I know a tight envelope isn’t as sexy as a lot of the green add-ons consumers can buy today, but if you start with an energy-efficient structure you won’t spend as much on eco-bling.

In this SIPschool video, we’ve attempted to give a brief demonstration on what happens during the blower door test.  Our initial test came back at 1.7 ach@50, and after a lot of foam, tape and mastic, we’re pleased to report that Randy’s follow-up test came back at 0.54 ach@50 –  we’re betting that proves CraftWorks is the most energy efficient structure in West Virgina (insert WV joke here).

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