Oliver Solcher
Bibliographic info:
9th International BUILDAIR Symposium, 8-9 May 2015 Kassel, Germany

Purpose of the work

The German Industrial Standard DIN 4108-7 has been the standard to stipulate the requirements as well as recommendations for planning and implementing airtight construction for a long time (since 2001). However, the principles of airtight building have not yet been well established in general building practice.

The German government-owned development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), requires planning the airtightness of the building (airtightness design) in the minimum technical requirements in its funding program for energy-efficient building or rehabilitation (programmes 151, 152, 153, and 430) among the service of building. The experts themselves wildly diverge on what is to be understood by this.

Method of approach

In the FLiB e.V., experts and KfW employees have teamed up in a working group with the purpose of facilitating the implementation of the airtightness design in practice. Their work includes drawing up guidelines clarifying the process, necessities, and responsibilities, as well as the gradual implementation of a database with building details containing the usual details with connecting materials, recommendations for implementation, as well as potential for risk.

Content of the presentation

In a first step, the idea was to lend support in the implementation of building projects that are carried out without an architect accompanying the construction process. However, implementing a permanently airtight building envelope requires diligence in planning, call for tenders, and awarding contracts, but above all, a good level of coordination among all the contractors involved in constructing the airtight building envelope. The presentation will show how this is to be carried out in practice.

Results and assessment

These guidelines for airtightness design are for building owners, experts, developers, and contractors, and explain the general approach. An important aspect in planning is not only to determine the layout of the airtight layer but also to describe the required implementation of details like connections between building elements, window connections, penetrations, etc. An internet platform on these topics is being set up as “work in progress”.


The “Guidelines for Airtightness Design” offer a description of what a building expert is to provide when implementing the airtightness design. It gives examples of how building owners, developers, contractors, and building experts can cooperate well on implementing “simple” airtightness designs. Further work like setting up the database is necessary.


For more information, please contact the reference author at: solcher@flib.de