DURABILITAIR2: An experimental ongoing research study of the evolution of buildings’ airtightness through field measurement and laboratory approaches
As the energy performance of buildings, the indoor air quality and the preservation of buildings from constructive pathologies are based – in particular – on good airtightness of the envelope, the durability of the latter is recognized now as an issue of prior concern.
The project DURABILITAIR2 is a continuation of the DURABILITAIR project, carried out between 2016 and 2019 by Cerema, PLEIAQ, CETII and RESCOLL. DURABILITAIR has made it possible to highlight results recognized as particularly innovative and praised by the scientist international community in the 2017 and 2019 AIVC conferences, with Best Paper Awards at both conferences. Indeed, DURABILITAIR results have contributed to improving our knowledge on the on-site characterization of the evolution over time (i.e., the durability) of the airtightness of housing and on the definition of an accelerated aging test protocol under controlled laboratory conditions. It showed, among other things, that the airtightness of the envelope, although it can vary over time, it might mainly change during the first year of the building’s life, and then stabilize. These conclusions were consistent with other similar studies carried out in the United States. All the results of DURABILITAIR have been presented in AIVC conferences and webinars (see references below). The major objectives of DURABILITAIR2, that will be carried out between 2021 and 2024, are:1) to establish the possible factors degrading the airtightness of the envelope during the first year of occupation,2) to provide concrete recommendations in order to limit or even eliminate these factors; in particular those relating to the conditions of use of airtightness products (depending on parameters such as temperature, humidity, dust, etc.)3) to quantify the impact of these poor processing conditions on the durability of the airtightness. To do this, various bibliographic and metrological approaches will be carried out both onsite in field measurement campaigns and in controlled conditions in the laboratory. The first task of the project will consist in updating and completing the current bibliographic review (DURABILITAIR state of the art). The second task will aim at quantifying and qualifying the very short-term evolution of the envelope airtightness of a sample of 12 French low energy detached new houses. For this, instrumented and visual inspections during stages of the construction sites will be carried out to identify the conditions of use of airtightness products related to the building envelope. Secondly, measurements of the air permeability of the envelope will be achieved on this sample at close periods (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 12 months) after acceptance of the site in order to precisely assess the change in air permeability during the first year of use of the building. The DURABILITAIR laboratory test protocol will be adapted during the third task, depending on the nature of the samples. The main adjustments will concern the duration of the applied aging as well as certain conditions of aging cycles (temperature, hygrometry, pressure). Other experimental conditions will be studied such as the level dusting of the supports.Last, DURABILITAIR2 partners will form a mirror group during the project, in order to obtain an advisory opinion from professionals on their research. Any stakeholder (industry, researcher, etc.) interested in it can contact them to participate to the mirror group.
Support for this work is provided by ADEME, under contract n° 2104D0023 and by the French Ministry in charge of Construction (DGALN/DHUP).
Contacts: Andrés Litvak (Cerema, email@example.com), Valérie Leprince (PLEIAQ, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- DURABILITAIR website durabilitair.com
- Durability of building airtightness, review and analysis of existing studies (https://www.aivc.org/resource/durability-building-airtightness-review-and-analysis-existing-studies)
- Assessment of long-term and mid-term building airtightness durability: field study of 61 French low energy single-family dwellings (https://www.aivc.org/resource/assessment-long-term-and-mid-term-building-airtightness-durability-field-study-61-french)
- Assessment of the durability of airtightness products in laboratory controlled conditions: development and presentation of the experimental protocol (https://www.aivc.org/resource/assessment-durability-airtightness-products-laboratory-controlled-conditions-development)
- TightVent & AIVC Webinar | Durability of building airtightness: Assessment through laboratory testing | 21 February 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLePIXF5cKbhPlYfirKgvzcF9v4C_Vbadb)
- TightVent & AIVC Webinar | Durability of building airtightness: Assessment through field measurements | 30 January 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLePIXF5cKbhOACePotYQ7vDdjKCUPU5A6)