Air Leakage Testing a New Off-Grid High Performance House

We had the great pleasure of air leakage testing a new off-grid, high performance house last week. It was the most air tight building we’d ever tested!

DSC_0524

Situated on a hill overlooking the sweep of the Saugeen River below.

Builder Steven Dennison of Dennison Homes and building envelope consultant Patrick Andres, a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) have officially produced the most airtight home we’ve ever tested in Ontario for an off-grid build going up in Saugeen Shores. If there’s a tighter one we want to test it!

DSC_0522

From left to right; high-performance tester Shervin Akhavi (BlueGreen Group), Certified Passive House Consultant Patrick Andres and builder Steven Dennison of Dennison Homes take moment to celebrate the home’s air tightness record for Ontario.

This lovely house built on a hillock in farm country, overlooking the Saugeen River had a traditional look. Using Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for the basement walls and 8 inch Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) for the above grade walls Steve took it up to 11 and added more insulation!

The exterior walls were clad with another 1.5” of extruded polystyrene and the interior also had an interesting product from Nudura – expanded polystyrene with integral wood strapping at 16”oc.

ENVELOPE DETAILS:

  • R 24 underslab insulation
  • R30 below grade walls
  • R 58 above grade walls
  • R 75 cathedral roof
  • R 80 truss roof
  • Doors were from Fibercraft Door Company in Hanover, Ontario.
  • Windows were produced by  Southwall Insulating Glass of Chicago with a pair of Heat Mirror 88 film in the sealed glazing.

 

DSC_0530

The poly air barrier on the top floor being puffed in by the air tightness test.

The Southwall super-insulating glass with suspended film in a fiberglass window frame were beautiful. These units have a high frame R-value and come in multiple colours with optional stainable wood veneer interiors. George Strickland, the manufacturer’s representative, has been promoting the line in Ontario for the last two years. George says “The Southwall glass units can be included in any type of window frame allowing for adaptability in style and design, in commercial or residential applications.”

George also supplied the exterior thermal doors which were made by Fibercraft. These high performing single and dual (French) doors are made with Fibergalss skins and come in smooth or wood grain stainable finishes. They also came with the Southwall glass built-in.

DSC_0518

Window detail showing the Southwall’s super-insulating glass with suspended films in a fiberglass window frame.

The air leakage rates, with a leaky cellar door came in at an amazingly low 0.52 Air Changes per Hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) with a mere 32 square inches of equivalent leakage area (ELA). Though the wood stove and HRV were not in yet, this basement door was super leaky and the drywall wasn’t clamping the poly on the second floor.

DSC_0514

Driving in we crossed a half dozen wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo).

Views: 805

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Greg Labbe on December 2, 2013 at 9:35am

Dennis,

I didn't do the WUFI or the PH consulting on this project. Patrick Andres may be able to help you with your query:

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=80946049&authType=NAME_...

Comment by Dennis Heidner on November 22, 2013 at 4:35pm

What does WUFI show for the drying ability?  

The heat pump is there for spring,summer and autumn cooling to (prevent over heating) correct?

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Jason Szumlanski posted a blog post
4 hours ago
Andrew Schnizel posted a blog post

Energy shortage and HVAC business in Canada!!

Being a country of highest life expectancy, how much self reliant is Canada in power sector??? HVAC…See More
5 hours ago
Jennifer Stutzman commented on James P. Weingardt's photo
Thumbnail

Can anyone see what is going on here?

"Was there any dampness? Did the cable guy drill a hole all the way through the exterior wall…"
5 hours ago
Jennifer Stutzman commented on Michael Dunseith's photo
Thumbnail

WT*

"Beer can radiator?"
6 hours ago
Profile IconAndrew Schnizel, Tyrone Fagin, Navin Kumar and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros
6 hours ago
Scott Stubbs added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Retrotec Commercial & Residential Blower Doors $4800

My business no longer has the need for my Retrotec blower door equipment so I am selling both the…See More
23 hours ago
Chris Stratton replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"I like that idea. Giving people as many options to engage as possible (without overwhelming them)…"
yesterday
Colin Genge posted an event

Duct Testing 101 Webinar at Online

July 2, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
•Testing for Energy Code or envelope performance •Measure a known hole to prove to yourself you and…See More
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service