So there’s four 6 x 8-foot wall assembly mock-ups. Each has a window and several through-wall penetrations. They’re identical except for the air barrier coverings. One is a fluid-applied system — that’s our own FastFlash. It’s got seams, joints and gaps sealed with Joint & Seam Filler; a rough opening for the window flashed with FastFlash; the main wall covered in Cat 5; and the window frame sealed with Air Dam.
The other three mock-ups included a peel and stick membrane air barrier, a mechanically fastened air barrier and a bitumen membrane. They were all on display at Portland BEC’s (Building Enclosure Council) 2012 Technical Symposium, June 4, in Portland, Ore. Those products belonged to big names who you’d definitely recognize, and all of whom, along with BEI/PROSOCO sponsored or supported the event.
The day-long program featured recent national and international research focusing on air barriers in existing and new building enclosure design. The symposium presented academic research complemented with real-world applications and case studies.
Sessions and speakers included some of the leading experts and practitioners of air barrier and building envelope science, including Laverne Dalgleish, executive director of the Air Barrier Association of America.
The reason I’m writing you about it is that the symposium included an independent test for air-tightness of the four air barrier mock-ups. And I love the fact that they conducted the test in an objective, highly technical environment in front of some of the industry’s best and brightest engineers, contractors and architects.
They used ASTM E783 to test the mock-ups.
This method, according to the ASTM website, “is a standard procedure for determining the air leakage characteristics of installed exterior windows and doors under specified static air pressure differences.”
Short version– PROSOCO R-GUARD FastFlash kicked butt.
The test simulated wind loads of about 25 mph (75 Pa WIN-ISO) and about 50 mph (299 Pa WIN-ISO). Since the testing equipment couldn’t measure down to zero leakage, the results had to show the minimum it could measure, which is why the FastFlash results show any leakage at all, says BEI’s Tom Schneider, one of the participants.
“This was one of the proudest moments of my career,” he said. “It was great to be part of such an accomplished group of building envelope professionals, and even greater to show them undeniable proof of the capabilities of the products we developed.”