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Calculate Envelope Air Tightness
with New Tool
ORNL'S NEW CALCULATOR ADDRESSES AIR LEAKS IN BUILDINGS
Anew tool developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) now addresses one of the most overlooked energy issues facing commercial buildings: build- ing envelope air tightness. The laboratory’s new web-based energy savings
calculator now offers FMs and other building professionals the ability to see firsthand
how envelope improvements might be able to reduce costs in their particular facilities.
The calculator, which was developed in conjunction with the Air Barrier
Association of America and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, looks
particularly at the practice of introducing air barrier systems into buildings, as air
leaks can significantly harm energy efficiency.
“Air leaks are responsible for over 4% of all energy used in the U.S.,” says ORNL’s
Som Shrestha. “This energy savings calculator can demonstrate the benefit of con-
structing airtight buildings.”
allows users to
an air barrier
improve a build-
putting in a
on 52 U.S. cit-
type, floor area,
costs. It then
gas and elec-
tricity the user
will be able to
reduce and the
avoided costs of
Try the calculator yourself at airleakage-calc.ornl.gov.
The calculator was created to fill a void that prevents widespread adoption of air
barrier systems into buildings. Because the tool can be used by architects, designers
and owners, it can accurately estimate the energy performance of a given air barrier
system at any stage for a building.
THE CALCULATOR COMPUTES HOW MUCH YOU MIGHT SAVE
in energy costs with an air barrier system. It takes loca-
tion, building type and size, and leakage rates to deter-