The Anatomy of a Blower Door Test for High Performance Construction

Learn How The Valle Group Uses Blower Door Testing in High Performance Custom Home Construction

If you’ve been researching High Performance construction then  you already know that this approach to custom home building is all about achieving the highest standards of construction to build homes that are extremely energy efficient and healthy.

You probably also know that there are a number of certifications that can be sought to ensure the built environment measures up to those standards. Some of these certifications include Passive House Certification, LEED Certification and Net Zero Energy. Part of the Passive House Certification process includes what is known as a “Blower Door Test”. This test uses specialized equipment ( a large multi-speed fan and digital pressure gauges) that put the home under negative pressure to measure airtightness. The aim of the testing process is to precisely calculate the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) exchange of air to ensure it is within the exacting standards required. An airtight home (with controlled fresh air intake/stale air exchange) is key to achieving energy efficiency and creating a healthy environment.

The video above shows a Blower Door Test in progress. In this case, the preliminary test was being done early to identify any air leaks before the interior walls were closed up. This would allow The Valle Group team to identify any points of air leakage while insulation was still exposed and easily remedied. A second test was conducted after addressing the leakage points and the results were well within the desired range. In fact, they were far below what is required for certification.

A final test would be conducted for official certification.

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