What kind of experience have folks had using blower doors in multifamily buildings?

I hear conflicting info on when and how BDs can be used and useful here.  What are your experiences?  Photos?

Views: 290

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I did a couple of duplex/triplex units last week and was told to test one unit at a time and disregard adjacent units. I wonder if the numbers might be slightly lower if the units were all depressurized at the same time, and I may get a chance to find out.

 

More on this topic: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-communities/bl...

Blower door testing multifamily buildings is just as useful as testing single family homes. The energy savings is usually correspondingly less, since there's typically less exterior exposure. The big difference, of course, is in learning how to deal with leakage to adjacent units. In a row, or townhouse complex, this can be a very minor consideration. Adjacent units would tend, on average, to be pressurized similarly with respect to the outdoors. For accurate testing, we would want to have access to the neighbors units, either to install a blower door in them, and equalize the pressure across any shared walls, or at the very least to open a window/door to treat neighboring units as the outdoors.

 

In larger, multi-floor, buildings, the leakage within the building begins to have a significant impact. If we restrict ourselves to energy savings, and ignore the equally significant indoor air quality concerns, air leakage to the outdoors is no longer the only concern. Depending on a units location within the building, top floor vs. bottom floor etc.., the air leakage due to the stack effect (movement of warm air up the building column) can have major energy savings implications. In a cold climate, it's entirely possible to see units at the top of a tall multifamily building with their windows open. This is typically because the movement of warm air from the lower floors is so significant that the top units are feeling too hot. The net effect of opening windows, naturally, is to draw yet more warm air up, further cooling lower units, causing them to want even more heat. You can see where this is going...

 

The solution, when it comes to air sealing, is to not only isolate leakage to the outdoors, which can be done by neutralizing leakage to adjacent units and floors, but also to learn to isolate leakage to each adjacent unit, hallway, and floor. Not easy once a building becomes occupied.

RSS

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Simon joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Online Training

Online training coursesIf you provide ongoing online training for home performance or…See More
16 hours ago
Simon added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Wanted - Blower and door frame kit for Minneapolis system

Hi everyone,I'm new to this line of work and have bought some equipment (Minneapolis blower door…See More
yesterday
Simon replied to Steve Mann's discussion TEC Blower Door Frame in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Hi, I'm interested, but could you send to UK?,I'd pay shipping of course. My email is :-…"
yesterday
Simon replied to Jeffrey Anthony's discussion Blower Door Equipment - 9 shrouds, 10 fans, 5 fan controllers in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Hi, if you able to sell sepereately, I'd be interested in a blower and a frame kit. My only…"
yesterday
Simon joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
yesterday
Simon is now a member of Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker joined Leslie McDowell, BPI's group
Thumbnail

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI is the nation's premier standards development, quality assurance and credentialing organization…See More
yesterday
Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker posted a discussion

Indoor Air Quality Monitors and Meters

I'm considering purchasing the AirAdvice for Homes indoor air quality monitor but it seems to have…See More
yesterday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service