Christophe Debrabander, Kristof Neutens
Bibliographic info:
32nd AIVC Conference " Towards Optimal Airtightness Performance", Brussels, Belgium, 12-13 October 2011

Through the experiences gained by building a sufficient number of air-tight buildings, the author will illustrate the ease of detailing and constructing an air tight building. Using parallels to conventional building typologies, the methods of making an air-tight building enveloppe will be explained. The presentation will be divided into following chapters:

1. Precicious building methodology. 

When everything is detailled and executed with precision and according to art and best practices (e.g. finishing the interior of the windows with plaster in stead of using wood; using windows ‘better’ than class 4; correct placement of the vapour barrier to prevent internal condensation; using correct materials in the correct application; …), the n50 value will already be astonishingly low. All of these precautions taken to improve the quality of the building, benefit the airtightness. So the measures taken are a logical choice.

2. Quantity

Our tests prove that applying these logical choices lead to a great number of succesful tests (e.g. 10 tests a week, all of them lower than 0,6/h. Examples: 0,50/h; 0,43/h; …).

3. Example

The best examples are 2 of the employees of Bostoen who build their own passive zero-energy house. They took into account the quality precautions and reached immediately the n50 value of 0,47/h.

4.Quality through mentality and motivation.

The example and our experience prove that you can have a good blower-door score without making any special and/or expensive interventions. The quality of the materials, the mentality and the motivation of everyone involved suffices to be able to build and design air-tight buildings. One of the only prerequisites for buildings with an n50 that’s smaller than 0.6/h, is that all the people working on it,from architect to construction worker are aware of what they’re doing.

5.Other areas of application.

When we keep in mind that a cooler for fruit has a n50 value of around 0.05, we know that we still can do better.