Single Family: Brinner-Novak Residence [Solana Beach, CA]
New Construction of Single Family Custom Home
Solana Beach, California
95% air leakage reduction in less than 2 hours
This AeroBarrier install in Solana Beach (San Diego County), California was performed during the new construction of a two-story story, 2,766 sq.ft. single family residence. In 80-minutes of spraying the AeroBarrier sealant, we were able to bring the home down from 11.01 ACH50 to 0.54 ACH50, achieving a Passive House level of air-tightness. This installation was crucial in helping the owner’s achieve their goal of having a highly energy efficient home. Anticipating that we would be able to achieve such a level of envelope tightness, the home has been equipped with a Heat Recovery Fresh Air Ventilation System, as well as having filtered make-up air for bath fans, the dryer, and the range hood.
STUDY: FOAM GUN AT PRE-INSULATION VS. AEROBARRIER: A component of this installation was to first do as thorough a job as possible to seal every leakage point that was visually identified. For this experiment, an experienced technician dedicated 8-hours using a foam gun to seal up every hole in the envelope that we could find. After completion of that work, we operated three large theatrical smokers inside the home while under positive pressure using a blower door. This smoker exercise revealed that there were many, many small leakage points that were difficult or impossible to have seen to seal with a foam gun. Furthermore, we were surprised to find that there were a lot of leakage points that occurred where foam sealant had been applied. That result, along with the result of a test-in leakage of 11.01 ACH50, proves that even the best job of sealing with a foam gun does not work very well. Air leakage in homes can be considered as being “Death by a Thousand Cuts” – even if all the larger easy-to-see holes are filled with foam, all the small leakage points add up to one big hole. Utilization of the AeroBarrier process is the most cost and time effective way of dealing with with all those small holes. When California implements an air-tightness standard as shall be required to meet its Net Zero Energy Homes goals, AeroBarrier will be the go-to solution.