Irene Poza-Casado
Bibliographic info:
13th International BUILDAIR Symposium, 2-3 June 2023, Hannover, Germany

Nowadays, it is unquestionable the fact that building airtightness impacts the energy and ventilation performance of buildings. However, in Mediterranean countries like Spain, air infiltration has traditionally been considered a source of ventilation, which complemented natural ventilation and window airing provided by the occupants. The improvement of energy efficiency and implementation of mechanical ventilation systems led to the introduction of whole-building airtightness requirements in 2019. This first approach established airtightness maximum values for new dwellings depending on their compacity. In addition, the airtightness of doors and windows is also determined based on the climate zone of the building. It is important to note, though, that airtightness testing is not mandatory to prove compliance with regulations. Instead, reference values can be used to estimate airtightness. Overall, compared to the requirements in other countries, the current maximum values set do not seem too stringent, but this first approach is seen as a way to rise awareness in the building sector and among professionals. A trend towards energy efficiency and more demanding requirements is expected, which necessarily involves airtight buildings. The lecture explains which requirements are placed on the airtightness of different buildings at national level and how the verification can be provided. 

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