Experimental insights into the airtightness measurement of a house-sized chamber in a sheltered environment using blower door and pulse methods

Xiaofeng Zheng, Edward W. Cooper, Joe Mazzon, Ian Wallis, Christopher J. Wood

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper introduces a comparison study of measuring the airtightness of a house-sized test chamber using the novel pulse technique and a low range blower door method in a sheltered environment. Eight different testing plates were prepared and applied to the improvised envelope of the chamber to establish different leakage characteristics. Each testing plate has a unique opening in its centre, achieved by obtaining different combinations of shape and thickness of the opening. By using the sheltered environment, the vagaries of the natural condition when testing within buildings have been reduced providing a more robust testing environment. This investigation focuses on how the air leakage rate calculated from the measurements made by both techniques compare with each other. Comparable results (0–5.3%) under most scenarios have been obtained. Larger discrepancies (14.6% and 21.8%) were observed in the two airtight scenarios due to insufficient pressure range achieved in a standard pulse test. This finding guided further improvement on the testing performance. Further pulse tests under different scenarios, involving the use of an internal barrier and various locations of the pulse unit were also performed to investigate the uniform pressure distribution and resilience to external interferences. It showed the internal barrier and location had minor impact (1.62%–4.65%) on the test results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106269
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume162
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Blower door
  • Building airtightness
  • Pulse
  • Sheltered environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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