Whole building airtightness testing is a regulatory requirement for residential and non-residential new construction projects in British Columbia under the BC Energy Step Code. With an increased focus on airtight buildings, verification of the performance of the air barrier system is required via whole building airtightness testing to demonstrate reduced air leakage rates through the building enclosure. Improved airtightness impacts the overall energy efficiency of the building by reducing heating and cooling loads while helping to provide a comfortable indoor environment.
Watch this video for a virtual experience of a demonstration airtightness test of a multi-unit residential building at the University of British Columbia. The video summarizes
The UBC Mundell House is a new 123,000 sq ft rental residential project with 135 units for faculty and staff comprising two linked 6-storey buildings. While the building was designed to meet an energy target through UBC’s policy, it was not designed and constructed to meet a specific BC Energy Step Code performance target. Airtightness testing was optional at that time, however the Project Team decided to conduct an airtightness test in July 2020 to understand the building’s performance and to serve as an example for future UBC Properties Trust projects which will be required to meet the Energy Step Code.