Air Barrier

What is an Air Barrier?

An air barrier creates the boundary or envelope of the building. A continuous and unbroken air barrier on your building is a cost effective way to control air leakage and maintain correct moisture levels. This boundary will increase building envelope durability, overall energy efficiency, and protect indoor air quality.
When a commercial envelope is specified to have a full air barrier, it is assumed by the designer that it will be properly installed. Unless an actual measurement and verification is done, there is no way to validate the performance of your building envelope.

Testing Standards:

US Army Corps of Engineers Air Leakage Test Protocol

  • ASTM E 779
  • ASTM E 1186
  • ASTM E 1827

It is not by accident that the Army Corp of Engineers has adopted new building air leakage standards in all of the nearly $9 billion of new construction that was started in 2009. Now actual verification is being done for several reasons. Electrical and gas consumption can be reduced from 25 to 40 percent, according to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) estimates. Mechanical equipment life can also be extended. Ambient biological infiltration can also be slowed by a more tightly sealed building.

There is no better way to control the indoor environment than through controlled air leakage. When appropriate ASHRAE ventilation standards are met, energy consumption is reduced and indoor air quality is improved.