Corbett performs a blower door test on LG Squared Architecture's #OffGridHomestead. Will Chris's toolshed beat the record set by the #DryVault? Will Passive House standards be outperformed? Will Corbett remember to plug in all his hoses?
Home performance articles and stories from the field with internationally respected building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford at the Building Performance Workshop. Hear new episodes of the Building Performance Podcast, see new videos from the Home Performance YouTube channel, and learn all about how diagnostic testing (more than an 'Energy Audit') can make home improvement and new home construction a proven process!
Last week I made my first site visit to the mountains of North Carolina to start performance testing the #OffGridHomestead. This is an uber-homebuild with LG Squared Architects (now also LG Cubed Builders) and Chris Laumer-Giddens has a lot to show us, even at this rough in stage, with saws running and tractors rumbling around.
Good day Corbett,
I wanted to let you know, that I really enjoy your approach to the whole building science and your building performance workshop website. I am relatively new as a Resnet Rater and the county where I live is Collier County in Florida.
They recently adopted the new code standard set by the state. My question relates to multifamily condo units. I have a client that did renovations to a 2,500 sq. ft. penthouse condo and the front door to the unit is I a common area. The county wants them to perform a blower door test in order to obtain their certificate of occupancy.
I realize this would be a compartmentalize test, since I can only have access to the unit they renovated for their client. Knowing that I will encounter not only leakage to outside but also internal leakage between units. I was wondering what the best approach would be to ensure a successful test. Collier County requires between 3 ach and 7 ach for a test to pass code.
Any information would be appreciated. Thanking you in advance.
Thanks for your question, it's a good one! First off, you should be fine if they did a good job with the renovations- 7 ACH50 is not terribly hard to achieve.
When you set up your blower door at the front door of the condo, you'll blow air out into the common hallway, so you want to make sure all possible windows/doors in that hallway are open to the outdoors. Use the emergency exits if necessary (make sure maintenance knows what you're up to).
You'll be testing the condo's leakage to everything outside of it, including the downstairs unit, but that's intended. They really will have air leaking between the two condos, if there are leakage pathways, and you want to be testing for that and including it in your blower door test result.
Ask your code official if they want the result to pass the residential code or commercial code, because you have to test at 75 Pa in commercial. I always advise doing a multipoint test (get the flows on at least two pressures, like 25 Pa and 50 Pa) so you can extrapolate the 75 Pa if anyone ever wants it in the future. Saves you a trip.
AS AN ADDED BONUS, consider doing a Zonal Pressure Test on the unit downstairs, to see how much the blower door is affecting it. Always nice to have more data than you need.
Grace and Corbett built the world's highest performance tiny house on wheels in 2016. It was perfect. Then they toured it 13,000 miles across America and let 7,000 people come inside to feel, hear, and smell what perfectly tuned home performance is like.
What's the house performing like now, after all that torture? And under 2 inches of snow in Atlanta, Georgia? See for yourself in this 20-minute tour, complete with testing, demonstrations, and metrics that show Proof Is Possible, even for people who have never built a house before. The #TinyLab is still the undisputed most scientifically superior home performance demonstration in the world, and we sincerely hope others start challenging our work!
BIG THANKS to the first five companies to put their money where their mouth is! These teams are investing in the future of home performance in mainstream America through the first TV show about a scientific approach to homebuilding and home improvement: Home Diagnosis!
SEE THE SHOW'S SIZZLE REEL AND LATEST UPDATES AT: HomeDiagnosis.tv
Trutech Tools: https://www.trutechtools.com/
475 High Performance Building Supply: https://foursevenfive.com/
HVAC School: http://hvacrschool.com/
CPS Products: http://www.cpsproducts.com/hvacr
Phil Rivas of Fantech shows Corbett around the Fantech booth at the International Builders Show 2018. Demonstrations of Inline Kitchen Exhaust hood with silencer, Energy Recovery Ventilator with balancing registers, HEPA filtration, and Dryer Booster Fans. Learn more at http://Fantech.net
I'd love to show you this, but my client has asked that I take this video down while they try to reconcile with the installer. Fingers crossed everybody, and sorry to be a tease.
Today Corbett talks with Bill Lazar of St. Johns Housing Partnership about how his organization built hundreds of affordable homes in St. Augustine, Florida, that are scientifically superior to the million dollar mansions going up across town. Recorded from the #TinyLab on the Proof Is Possible Tour.
Corbett sits down with Kathy Swahn, award-winning director of The Drake House, which provides temporary housing for homeless women and children in Atlanta. Reportedly, the average age for homeless people in Atlanta is 9 years old- whoa.
Corbett likes tools that are sexy and scary at the same time. This flow hood is both. Measure CFM, Drybulb, Wetbulb, Dewpoint, Velocity, and more with this very affordable tool that will help revolutionize the HVAC industry.
Corbett breaks down the pros, cons, and best uses for six infrared thermal cameras: Flir ONE, C2, and MR160, ThermApp, Fluke TiR110, and Flir T660. All of these can be seen at https://TruTechTools.com
Corbett gives you 8 podcasts, video channels, and blogs you may not have heard of, all about home performance, HVAC, and building awesomeness:
Matt Moreman's Obsessed Garage channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MattMoreman
Bryan Orr's HVAC School podcast and channel: http://hvacrschool.com/
HVAC with Stephen Rardon channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jewvenile77
Neil Comparetto's HVAC channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCICyuKv5NCGJu2gazjzgiGA/videos
Blake Reid's Terrawatt Home blog: http://www.terrawatthome.com/news/2017/10/23/keeping-things-dry-waimea-s-wet-side
Chris Laumer-Giddens' LG Squared channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2sJ6CQzqJ3DdeP7acjPRrg/videos
Adam Cohen's PassivHaus for Everyone channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmhV0KEJZWrMlmFHV0Je02Q
Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvEqfg2sIH0