News Analysis

New Standard Puts Air Barriers to the Test

The method provides the first uniform way to evaluate leakage through an air barrier as part of an actual wall assembly. According to Lance Robeson, AIA, president of Building Envelope Technologies, a founder of the American Air Barrier Association, and the principal author of the standard, before this standard existed, the only way to evaluate the performance of an air barrier was to evaluate the performance of the constituent materials. “This standard is designed to test a number of materials combined into a system,” Robeson said.

The test simulates real-world conditions by calling for the assembly of an 8’ x 8’ (2.4m x 2.4m) mockup of an exterior wall. The mockup includes a tie-in to a foundation wall, a tie-in to a roof, duct and pipe penetrations, outlet penetrations, a window, and brick ties, all of which must be addressed by the air-barrier system. The assembly is tested before and after exposure to sustained wind and wind gusts, which are adjusted to exert both positive and negative pressure on the assembly.

Published August 30, 2007

Roberts, T. (2007, August 30). New Standard Puts Air Barriers to the Test. Retrieved from