Large Building Air Leakage Testing

Air leakage is now widely recognized as one of the most critical parameters affecting a building’s energy use, indoor air quality, comfort and durability. This is particularly true in Manitoba’s extreme climate, where there have been several notable and expensive large building envelope failures.

Red River College (RRC) and its research partner, Manitoba Hydro, have recently completed a project investigating the air leakage characteristics of 26 buildings. A CCI Applied Research Tools and Instruments grant provided funding to purchase equipment to conduct these tests.

This research project has helped to establish baseline air leakage rates and to develop a practical air leakage testing protocol for current building standards. The project findings have also influenced at least two building retrofit projects by identifying critical air leakage pathways.

“The whole idea of commercial building air leakage was not very well understood. The results from this project have provided significantly more data than we’ve ever had in the past,” said Harry Schroeder, Building Systems Engineer with Manitoba Hydro. “An advantage of working with the college has been that they have the resources and staff, but they also have the facilities, and there really aren’t a lot of facilities in Manitoba to do buildings-related research.”

Four RRC students were part of the research team. Continued work in this area will significantly expand knowledge about air leakage characteristics and testing techniques for commercial buildings at both a provincial and national level.

Learn more in this video.

Industry: Building
Partner(s): Manitoba Hydro
Funded by: Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grant

About Red River College Polytechnic

Red River College (RRC) is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning. The institution is renowned for providing accessible, innovative, applied learning and research in an... Learn more