Stefanie Rolfsmeier
Bibliographic info:
13th International BUILDAIR Symposium, 2-3 June 2023, Hannover, Germany

Worldwide, the demand for airtightness tests of tall buildings with a height of approximately 100 m is increasing. This report provides information on the planning and measurement concept for testing the entire building as a “single-zone” and presents the results and findings of the airtightness tests. The test set-up and the tests as such are based on the Passive House Institute's Guide to Measuring Tall Buildings [5] which includes recommendations that go beyond the ISO 9972 standard. The team conducted and recorded additional tests to learn more about the process when testing tall buildings for airtightness. 

The team focused on the following points: 

  • High buildings require a measurement concept for the test set-up as well as for preparing the building. Sufficient time - in some situations 2 to 3 days - should be allotted for these first steps.
  • Installing the measuring fans throughout the entire building height is necessary if the building envelope exhibits a very high air permeability and / or if the building has very small airflow paths, i.e. "bottlenecks". These preparations ensure that the building pressure does not drop below 10%.
  • Additional Differential pressure gauges were installed on the ground floor and the top standard floor to see the impact of stack effect and wind on the building pressure difference.
  • Based on the building pressure differences on the first and top floor, the data points of the multipoint tests can be adjusted in such a way that the entire building is fully depressurized or fully pressurized.
  • Boundary conditions for the weather during the tests are a maximum of 1000 - 1250 mK and a wind force equal to or. less than 3 Beaufort

Based on the findings, the test set-up and procedure can improved to achieve reliable and repeatable measurement results when testing tall buildings for airtightness in future. 

For further information please contact Stefanie Rolfsmeier at: