The importance of air tightness in building construction cannot be overstated. Very few factors affect energy performance in a cold climate more than air moving in and out of a building.
The Mill Creek Net Zero Home (MCNZ) has achieved an air tightness test result of 0.36 air changes per hour (ACH) at a pressure of 50 Pascal. In other words, when it’s really cold out, which creates a big pressure difference between the inside and the outside of a house, the 0.36 of the air in the MCNZH would leak out and be replaced with cold air over the course of an hour. It has the equivalent of a 13.8 square inch hole in it leaking air all of the time.
To put the number (0.36 ACH @ 50 Pa) into perspective, here are some average numbers:
Source: Biggs et. al. 1987
The 0.36 number is extremely small. In fact, the MCNZH is probably one of the most air tight wooden buildings in the world. read more... »