What is Dropshipping?

Designing a home for a Better Seal | Part 2

[Music] John: So what does it take to build more airtight on your next project? Well, if you’re just wanting to build to meet building codes, it doesn’t take much, but there are a few big things you should pay attention to. You use the same techniques to make a pretty good house into a top performer. The design stage is the best time to make big gains in performance. At this point, you’re just thinking in real rough terms. What’s inside, and what’s outside? You would think that it would be pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s actually not. To help you get the right start, let’s do something really basic. The Pen Test is something that anyone with a pen can do to help get a better performance for their project. Again, start with the simple things first. Pick a point on your floor plan that separates the inside from the outside. Like this wall around the lounge room. Now, trace your pen around where you think the envelope is without lifting it off the plan. Obviously it follows the exterior walls, but then what happens when you get to this attached garage? Is the garage inside or is it outside? You don’t want the fumes from the car getting into your house, right? You don’t want to pay to keep the garage heated or cooled, right? So consider the garage totally outside. That means the insulation, and any air sealing you do, has to include that wall of the garage. Make it simple, that wall is to the outside, And the door from the inside to the garage, that has to be sealed, just like any other door to the outside. When you do a blower test, you’ll see that this garage door leaks like crazy. Keep the garage outside and seal it off from the house, keep going with the Pen Test. Soon you’ll notice a few more of the details. What about all these plumbing services on the wall with the garage? Those are on the inside of the envelope. Run your building wrap or air barrier around this wall as if it was outside. And this box for telecom services, that doesn’t need to be inside run the membrane behind this, keep it outside and seal it where it pokes through. So that’s how the Pen Test can very simply, help you plan where your membrane or air barrier needs to be continuous, and where your air sealing efforts are going to be most effective. Trust me. Keep it simple, and you’ll have no problem passing a blower door test. Decide what’s inside, and decide what’s outside, and then keep it straight and continuous. The Pen Test is a powerful tool. Now, onto a few more details. I’ve mentioned an Air Barrier before. What is that? Well an air barrier system is all the parts that go into a seal between the inside and the outside. That means it’s not just the exterior water resistant barrier, it’s all the other parts as well. Think in basic terms again, the air barrier system is the floors, the external walls, and the ceiling on the roof of your building. Make this into a well-sealed system and provide good ventilation. Once this is done, all the other stuff like your attached garage, your porch, even your roof, those can be thought of as separate things, that are attached to your box. Air sealing a slab is not a problem. The walls we’ve just talked about, and the ceilings, all sorts of things poke through these elements and they can have some major air leaks. One last thing about basic air barrier design. Use simple materials to your advantage. How about your kitchen cabinets? They’re usually really bad, but for no good reason. Often there is no plasterboard behind, or above them. Bugs or even rodents get in through gaps around pipes and joints in cabinets. That’s because cabinets were never meant to be a part of the air barrier system, and there’s no air barrier installed at those areas. You can make one very easily. But if you use simple and cheap materials, like a bit of plasterboard over the area, carefully stopped and sealed, before you place the cabinets, this turns into a non-issue again. It’s really easy if you think of it beforehand. If you take an approach like this, think of the big things first. Outline very clearly, what’s inside and what’s outside. You’ll have a really easy time getting a respectable air tightness test result, and you’ll be well on your way to Build Tight and Ventilate Right. The future of residential building in Australia will be strongly influenced by consumer demand for energy efficiency, comfort, climate resilience and quality. Both the Building Codes Board and Australian Governments, are committed to the COAG trajectory for low energy buildings, and this will affect building regulations including the NCC. Builders will be expected to place increased emphasis on meeting and proving energy efficiency compliance. You’ll be asked more and more, to understand and deliver both code compliance and long-term building health and performance. You will need to Build Tight and Ventilate Right. [Music] [Music]

Reader Comments

  1. Every home needs to have a blower door test done during construction before the drywall is installed.
    The home also needs to be retested after completion.

  2. This is a great resource to help explain these concepts of making a "pretty good house, into a top performer".

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