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Blower door tests of a group of identical flats in a new student accommodation in the arctic

Martin Kotol,Carsten Rode, Jan Vahala, 2012
blower door test | air tightness | cold climates | residential buildings
Bibliographic info: 33rd AIVC Conference " Optimising Ventilative Cooling and Airtightness for [Nearly] Zero-Energy Buildings, IAQ and Comfort", Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-11 October 2012
Languages: English

A new student accommodation for engineering students “Apisseq” was built in the town of Sisimiut, Greenland in 2010. Its purpose is not only to provide accommodation for students. Thanks to its complex monitoring system it enables researchers to evaluate the building’s energy performance and indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as performance of some single components. In summer 2012 a blower door test was performed on all 37 living units out of which 33 are identical single room flats and 4 are larger double room flats. The purpose was to evaluate the air tightness of the envelope and to find out how much the flats differ from each other in terms of air tightness. The overall average specific leakage measured was w50 = 2.05 l/(s·m2) of heated floor area corresponding to an air change n50 of 2.96 h-1. Furthermore, the results showed that the difference between the most and the least tight flat is as high as 400%. This result is without consideration of one particular flat which had the extreme result of being 940% as leaky as the unit with the highest air tightness. The reasons for such poor air tightness are lack of the installation gap between the vapour barrier and the inner wall, and insufficient connections of the vapour barrier to the interior walls as explained in the paper. The large variation in results can be attributed to insufficient consideration of the importance of airtighness during construction of some parts of the building – despite of an intent to make a rather air tight building.


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