Archive for September, 2010

How can “infiltration” affect energy efficiency for your building permit?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Dr Maria Spinu CSI webinar presenter

Are energy $ leaking out of your client’s buildings through infiltration?

In our constant search here at Building Design Compliance for the meaning of Energy Efficiency, ESD and sustainability we come across more and more references to issues related to “construction of buildings to reduce infiltration“. Infiltration is potentially one of the key factors that undermine a modelled building’s star rating when constructed. We understand that this assumption is implicit in the energy modelling software, but the reality of the construction of our buildings may be quite different.

In a US context Wikipedia quotes:

In typical modern U.S. residences, about one-third of the HVAC energy consumption is due to infiltration. Another third is to ground-contact, and the remainder is to heat losses and gains through windows, walls, and other thermal loads. As such, reducing infiltration can yield significant energy savings, with rapid payback.

Max Shermann states it simply in the abstract to his Berkeley PHD Thesis:

“In the last few years, researchers have recognized that infiltration (the flow of air through leaks in the building envelope) is a critical factor in energy loss in buildings and merits concentrated research effort if national energy conservation goals are to be served. We know, for example, that the energy loss due to infiltration is between 6% and 9% of the total energy budget for the nation.”

So how do you find out more about infiltration? We recently came across this on-demand webinar on the Construction Specification Institute wesbite – called “Green Building Envelope Design”. It is all about designing a Green Building Envelope to reduce infiltration. Webinars can be a great way to learn and may be better for those of us who don’t pick up us much through text on a page or screen. The webinar refers to the LEED rating system which is widely held to be the equivalent in the US of the GBCA rating systems in Australia. So maybe some of this is not directly transferrable, but the concepts certainly are. So what can you expect to learn from this webinar for only $US 75? (more…)

For a building permit can your building surveyor prepare and submit an application to the fire brigade?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010