Airtightness workshop – March 2012

TightVent Europe AIVC

International workshop

Achieving relevant and durable airtightness levels:

status, options and progress needed

Brussels, Belgium, 28-29 March 2012




Adequate ventilation as well as good envelope and ductwork airtightness represent a specific challenge for new or renovated nearly zero-energy buildings. Alone, they can represent over 50% of a building’s total space heating (or cooling) needs, and their share often increases with increasing energy performance.

This is the reason why many issues have arisen in the past few years regarding regulatory and voluntary initiatives to improve envelope and ductwork airtightness, bringing forward apparently simple questions such as:

  • Should there be specific airtightness requirements? If so, should they be differentiated with climate, building usage, and ventilation system type?
  • Should there be a minimum level of air leakage?
  • Are quality management approaches appropriate instruments to push and/or pull market players? What are the pitfalls to avoid? What can be learnt from pioneering experience in this field, including in the inspection of ventilation systems?
  • How does airtightness change with time, and how does that affect the building’s performance over its lifetime?

The objective of this workshop was to discuss those questions with key experts. It was divided into three parts:

  • Philosophy for setting airtightness requirements: recommendations and pros and cons of various approaches
  • Durability of seals and bonds: what we know and where we need to go
  • Dealing with airtightness in the construction process: lessons learnt and potential for quality management approaches.


This workshop received financial support from the Flemish Energy Agency as part of a project dealing with the philosophy on building airtightness requirements.
The workshop was supported by REHVA and BUILDAIR.

Worskop organizers

The conference was organized by the International Network on Ventilation and Energy Performance (INIVE) on behalf of the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) and TightVent Europe (the Building and Ductwork Airtightness Platform).

About the AIVC

The AIVC activities are supported by the following countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Korea, Sweden, USA.
Created in 1979, the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre ( is one of the projects/annexes running under the Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems implementing agreement, within the context of the International Energy Agency. With the support of 15 member countries as well as key experts and two associations (REHVA and IBPSA), the AIVC offers industry and research organisations technical support aimed at better understanding the ventilation challenges and optimising energy efficient ventilation.

About TightVent Europe

TightVent Europe ( aims at facilitating exchanges and progress on building and ductwork airtightness issues, including the organization of conferences and workshops. It fosters experience sharing as well as knowledge production and dissemination on practical issues such as specifications, design, execution, control, etc., taking advantage of the lessons learnt from pioneering work while keeping in mind the need for adequate ventilation.
TightVent Europe has been initiated by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance) with at present the financial and/or technical support of the following partners: Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BlowerDoor GmbH, European Climate Foundation, Eurima, Lindab, Retrotec, Soudal, Tremco illbruck, and Wienerberger.


INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance) was created in 2001 as a so-called European Economic Interest Grouping. The main reason for founding INIVE was to set up a worldwide acting network of excellence in knowledge gathering and dissemination. At present, INIVE has 11 member organisations (BBRI, CETIAT, CIMNE, CSTB, ERG, ENTPE, IBP-Fraunhofer, SINTEF, NKUA, TMT US and TNO) (
INIVE is coordinating and/or facilitating various international projects, e.g. the AIVC, the European portal on Energy Efficiency (, TightVent Europe and Dynastee ( INIVE has also coordinated the ASIEPI project (, 01/10/2007 – 31/03/2010) dealing with the evaluation of the implementation and impact of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

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