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Projects | Kankakee RCAASF Passes Airtightness Test

20170801 132848

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Bailey Edward began the design for the Kankakee Readiness Center and Army Aviation Support Facility (Kankakee RC/AASF) over seven years ago, and on August 1st, those plans were validated as the building passed the Airtightness test. A principle goal of the Kankakee RC/AASF is to provide a state-of-the-art facility that is sustainable and efficient, featuring high performance walls. The airtightness test, designed and implemented by ECS, proved that the building construction achieved that goal.

Air tightness tests are a more common practice on residential buildings, but are not typically required for larger facilities. Kankakee is a building hybrid, housing both offices and a training facility, which makes implementing an airtightness test more difficult. When a building is not airtight, there can be a significant loss of energy when the building is air-conditioned or heated, since the air leaks out of the building. Furthermore, water vapor can get into the building through air leaks which can lead to the deterioration of building elements.

Bailey Edward works to create buildings that promote the social good and an important factor in that is environmental sustainability. Not only does creating a sustainable building save the client money, it also reduces emissions and energy consumption. Despite the difficulty of creating an airtight facility that is as large and multipurpose as the Kankakee RC/AASF, Bailey Edward, in coordination with all the general contractors and their subs were able to build a building that can pass the airtightness standard.

For a more technical breakdown of the criteria that Kankakee RC/AASF met in order to pass the airtightness test, please see below.

156,550 square feet comprise a two-story Army Aviation Support Facility and National Guard Readiness Center divided into five (5) areas—A through E. The air tightness test assessed the building’s exterior wall assembles composed of exterior sheathing, fluid-applied membrane air barrier and masonry block veneer as well as curtain wall and storefront window system.
• The air leakage testing was performed and air leakage was not to exceed 0.25 cfm per square foot at a static pressure difference of 0.3 inches of water (75 Pa)
• Testing was performed in accordance with ASTM E 779-12 “Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization”
• Testing was performed in accordance with ASTM E 1827-11 “Standard Test Methods for Determining Airtightness of Buildings Using an Orifice Blower Door”
• Testing was performed in accordance with ASTM E 1186-03 (2009) “Standard Practice for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes and Air Barrier Systems”
• The building air leakage was determined by measuring the air flow through the blower while maintaining the specified pressure difference. Prior to the start of the test, the zero air flow pressure differences measured were subtracted from the envelope pressures measured during pressurization and depressurization. Each measurement was averaged over a 20-second interval
• Positive and negative pressure were both induced and measured with digital manometers and were measured at the highest ceiling level, lowest floor elevation and on the windward and leeward sides of the buildings.
• Increments of 5 to 10 PA were implemented for the full range of induced pressure differences.
• Locations of excessive air infiltration were accomplished with thermal imaging equipment and a smoke-tracer so that remedial repairs could be made in the event that the building did not pass the test.