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Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA)

The Center of Excellence for the Air Barrier Industry

Web-Based Energy Savings Calculator for Building Envelope Air Tightness

Thursday, November 17, 2016; 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Eastern Cost:


Register here:

Uncontrolled heat, air, and moisture transfer through the building envelope has a significant impact on energy usage. A comprehensive strategy for concurrently regulating these factors will have a major impact on reducing energy consumption. The DOE Windows and Building Envelope Research and Development Roadmap for Emerging Technologies shows that in 2010, infiltration was responsible 4 quads of space conditioning primary energy use in the residential and commercial sectors. In aggregate, infiltration accounted for greater energy losses than any other component of the building envelope, including fenestration and is responsible for over 4 percent of all the energy used in the United States. Furthermore, the roadmap shows that the payback for the addition of air barrier systems would have a payback that is much less than 5 years.

The roadmap further states that “computational tools are critically important for the design of commercial buildings with energy efficient envelope materials. As new technologies are developed, models and simulation tools must be updated to account for increased performance.” An impediment for the wider adoption of air barrier systems into buildings is the lack of a simple credible tool that can be employed by building architects, designers, and owners that accurately estimates the energy savings that could be expected if an air barrier system was added to the design. This calculator fills this void, is based on the best science available, and is easy to use. Participants are eligible for one AIA LU credit.

Learning Objectives

• The significance air tightness plays in the overall energy efficiency of buildings

• How whole building computer simulation tools handle air tightness of buildings

• A proposed methodology for developing a database of simulation runs to extract air tightness benefits

• How much money a building owner can save by requiring improved levels of air tightness for their buildings

Presenter: Andre Desjarlais Oak Ridge National Laboratory

A native of Woonsocket RI, Andre O. Desjarlais earned a degree in Aeronautics with an option in fluid mechanics from Boston University in 1973. Mr. Desjarlais joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1991 as a mechanical engineer. In 1998, he was promoted to group leader of the Building Envelopes Group. In 2000, the group was increased to include the Building Materials Group and an additional staff member researching radon issues with buildings. In 2006, the group was grown again with the addition of the Building America research staff. This staff was later spun off into a new group in 2008. Prior to joining ORNL, Desjarlais was Manager of Testing Services at Holometrix, Inc. (formerly Dynatech R/D Company). At Holometrix, Mr. Desjarlais oversaw the technical, marketing, and administrative performance of a contract laboratory and analyses business specializing in the thermal performance of materials and systems. Desjarlais has been a Member of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) since 1987 and serves on Committees C16 on Thermal Insulation, E06 on Building Systems, and D08 on Roofing. He is the past Chairman of ASTM Committee C16. He has been a member of ASHRAE since 1991, serves on Technical Committees TC 4.4 on Thermal Insulation and Building Systems, TC 1.8 on Mechanical Insulation Systems, and TC 1.12 on Moisture Control in Buildings, and is presently Chairman of TC 4.4 and Research Chairman of TC 1.8. Since 1992, Desjarlais has been a member and Past Director of the Single Ply Roofing Institute (SPRI) Technical Committee and Board of Directors. He also has served as a Member and Director of the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) since 1993. Desjarlais is the ORNL representative and former Chairman of the Federal Roofing Committee and past Member of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)