Report 02

Methods and techniques for airtight buildings

Authors: F.R. Carrié, R. Jobert, V. Leprince

This paper gives an overview to the design principles and construction methods for building airtightness. Its primary objective is to disseminate basic information on steps to follow at design stage as well as on tightening products and frequent field issues.

It stems from the MININFIL project run between 2009 and 2010 under the PREBAT programme with the support of ADEME. In particular, it can be read as an introduction to the over 150 construction details developed within this project.

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CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3
ABSTRACT 4
INTRODUCTION 5
1. KEY QUALITY PRINCIPLES FOR ACHIEVING AIRTIGHT ENVELOPES 6
2. AIRTIGHTNESS DESIGN 7
2.1. OVERALL DESIGN PRINCIPLE 7
2.2. ENVELOPE PENETRATIONS 8
2.3. COMMON LEAKAGE SITES 9
2.4. COMMON TRAPS 10
Gypsum board ceiling 10
Suspended ceilings 13
Floor joists 13
3. IMPORTANT PRECAUTIONS 15
3.1. RUN-OFF WATER 15
3.2. WATER LEAKS FROM WALLS AND ROOF 16
3.3. CAPILLARITY 17
3.4. COMPATIBILITY WITH VENTILATION SYSTEM 18
4. TIGHTENING PRODUCTS 19
4.1. TREATMENT OF OPAQUE WALLS 20
Plasters 20
Vapour barriers or retarders 21
4.2. TREATMENT OF JOINTS BETWEEN OPAQUE WALLS AND OTHER BUILDING COMPONENTS 22
Pre-compressed impregnated foams 22
Adhesive membranes and tapes 24
Extruded mastics 25
Expanding foams 27
Specific sealing products 27
CONCLUSION 29
REFERENCES 30