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MEEF - Middle East Economic Engineering - Articles  - Air Barriers  previous page

Assemblies

An air barrier assembly is a collection of air barrier materials and air barrier components assembled together in a specific manner. A wall air barrier assembly would include the main air barrier material and then use air barrier components to join the air barrier materials together, to connect to a window or door assembly, to connect to a roof assembly, to connect to a foundation assembly and to connect to penetrations. The performance of a air barrier assembly is far greater important that the air permeance of the material.

The testing of an air barrier assembly for air leakage is done in accordance with ASTM E 2357. The results will include the air permeance of the material (the amount of air that passes through the material) the air permeance of the components ((the amount of air that passes through the material) and the air leakage that results from joining all the pieces together. The air leakage of the air barrier assembly is not to exceed 0.2L/(s•m2) @ 75Pa. (0.004 cfm/ft2  @ 1.57 psf)

For a manufacturer to declare that they provide an air barrier assembly, the manufacturer must determine what materials will be used, what components will be used to join the materials together and how penetrations will be dealt with. This is a major benefit to the design professional issues such as compatibility is dealt with by the manufacturer rather than the design professional using a trial and error method.

The issue of installation is also dealt with in that the manufacturer must declare the level of skill required to assembly the various materials. When the assembly is put together for testing, the installers will have the skill level required and declared by the manufacturer. If there are no requirements – “anyone can do this”, then that is the type of person used to assemble the specimen for testing purposes. If the manufacturer sends his most qualified engineers to assemble the test specimen, then they are declaring that they must use people of this caliber to install their material in the field. Most manufacturers declare that their installers have to be trained in their installation instructions and prove that they have the knowledge to install the materials properly by being certified.

The test specimen is configured as follows;

Specimen 1 - Opaque Wall

Specimen 1 - Opaque Wall

Specimen 2 - Continuity at Penetrations

Specimen 2 - Continuity at Penetrations

Foundation Interface and Opaque Wall (with Modifications)

Foundation Interface and Opaque Wall (with Modifications)

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