TAOshouse Achieves .23 ACH air-tightness rating

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Blower door equipment installed and testing

The first blower-door test was done today on the TAOshouse.  The project achieved a very respectable .27 ACH based on Passive House Institute / German protocols. The Passive house standard air-tightness is .60 ACH.  This is at rough framing with sheeting installed. Also installed at this point, was all rough mechanical and electrical.  The Zola windows and doors were not yet installed. Plastic was temporarily placed over all window and door openings.  The windows and doors will be installed over the next couple weeks, and the blower-door test will be completed again. By comparing these results we will be given a rare understanding of the distribution of air-leakage in the house.   I, as a practitioner will have a much better understanding of where to focus more training or detailing for example.   The primary air-leakage concerns I had during this blower door test were the plastic electrical conduit runs that ran from within the building to the exterior. These are notoriously difficult to seal. However, during todays test where all areas were smoke testing, no signs of leakage were visible.  The only leaks that were seen came from the exterior corners of the building where the under slab poly sheeting must wrap up and joint the wall air-barrior. in these points it is almost inevitable that the plastic is bunched up in spots and very difficult to seal.

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The crew, left to right, Electrical contractor Derric Dumrese of All-Current, General contractor Doug Bridges of Maya Builders, Owner Ross Ulibarri, Crew member, Owner Kristin Ulibarri, and Green Rater Stephen Onstad of Evergreen Building Solutions.

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Fire stop foam used for sealing conduit, allowed by inspectors. We typically do not like foam for air sealing as it becomes brittle and shrinks over time. This will be cleaned up and covered with a NP-1 sealant for longevity.

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First of five steel wickets around the house that carry all shading structures.