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Analysis of U.S Commercial Building Envelope Air Leakage Database to Support Sustainable Building Design



Steven J. Emmerich, Andrew K. Persily


In 1998, NIST published a review of commercial and institutional building airtightness data that found significant levels of air leakage and debunked the myth of the airtight commercial building (Persily 1998). Since then, NIST has expanded and maintained a database of whole building envelope leakage measurements of U.S. commercial and institutional buildings. In addition to building leakage values collected from research publications, low-energy building programs and private pressurization testing firms, the database includes basic building characteristics such as year built, building type, floor area, number of stories, location, and wall construction type for many of the buildings. The purposes of the database are to support the design and construction of low-energy buildings, to establish default values for building simulation, to estimate the energy savings potential of airtightness requirements in standards and codes, and to identify opportunities for additional improvements in building airtightness performance.
The International Journal of Ventilation


Airtightness, air barrier, fan pressurization test, infiltration, sustainable buildings


Emmerich, S. and Persily, A. (2014), Analysis of U.S Commercial Building Envelope Air Leakage Database to Support Sustainable Building Design, The International Journal of Ventilation, [online], (Accessed June 21, 2024)


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Created March 26, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017