This paper applies established and new testing methods to discover the ventilation performance of various residential building envelope constructions in Australia. Under the definition of 'ventilation performance' we imply the building envelope leakage (or infiltration) of the living space air change rates, the volumetric flow rates and the pathways of air flow between subfloor, living and roof spaces. All of the methods applied and discussed here are on-site, evidence-based performance of actual structures as tested by the Mobile Architecture and Built Environment Laboratory and Air Barrier Technologies. The testing processes primarily involve the Tracer Gas Decay Method (TGDM) and rhe fan pressurisation method (FPM a.k.a 'blower door'). All the measurements are performed with respect to the external wind speed and direction as well as the typical weather parameters. This paper discusses the differences and similarities of both testing methods as well as several other testing procedures that can inform the researcher on air leakage pathways. Findings of a simultaneous TGDM and FPM air leakage rate comparison are also encountered in this paper. One of the most informative testing methods, is the application of three different tracer gasses introduced into different spaces (subfloor, living and roof) to discover pathways of air flow within residential construction.
This paper was also presented at the Conference of A.N.Z.A.Sc.A. (42nd : 2008 : University of Newcastle, N.S.W.) 26-28 November 2008.
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