6 years of envelope airtightness measurements performed by French certified operators: analyses of about 65,000 tests

Since 2000, the French EP-calculations have been considering thermal losses due to building envelope airtightness. The last two regulations (RT2000 and RT2005) had included a default value for airtightness and the possibility to use a better-than-default value with a mandatory justification of this value, especially for voluntary approaches such as the BBC-Effinergie label. In 2013, strengthening the airtightness has become a requirement of the current EP-regulation (RT2012).

Consideration of Envelope Airtightness in Modelling Commercial Building Energy Consumption

As strategies for improving building envelope and HVAC equipment efficiencies are increasingly required to reduce building energy use, a greater percentage of energy loss will occur through building envelope leakage. Although the energy impacts of unintended infiltration on a building's energy use can be significant, current energy simulation software and design methods are generally not able to accurately account for envelope infiltration and the impacts of improved airtightness.

Lessons learnt from the regulatory quality management scheme in France

From January 1st 2013 on, the French energy performance regulation will demand that the airtightness level is justified and that airtightness of a building should be below 0,6m3/h/m² at 4Pa for single family housing and 1m3/h/m² for multi-family dwellings, resulting into an important growth in the airtightness market. It is the role of the State to accompany this market evolution and to supervise the quality of airtightness measurements used for the EP calculation. This is why it has been decided that there are two possibilities to justify the airtightness level of a building.