Energy Savings from Air Sealing Commercial Buildings

The presentation includes results from air leakage investigations of 25 commercial and institutional buildings. It includes information on the type of leakage and estimated sealing costs. Seven of the buildings were air sealed. For those buildings we conducted pre/post whole building envelope leakage tests to document the leakage reduction from the sealing. Building pressure measurements and detailed infiltration modeling was used to estimated space heating and cooling energy savings. In general, the buildings were much tighter than the national average. The building leakage was reduced by an average of 9% - which was much less than predicted by the contractor estimates - and the simple paybacks were > 25 years for these tight buildings. The presentation also includes results on building inside/outside building pressure measurements and the impact of building pressurization on air infiltration. Overall, HVAC operation pressurized the buildings, but not to the degree assumed by system designers.