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Basics & Theory

Building Science: Air Flow Control In Buildings
Building Science digest on Air Flow Control In Buildings details fundamentals and driving forces of wind pressures, stack effect, and mechanical air handling equipment. It describes how to control air flow using air barriers, air barrier systems vs vapor barriers, common air barrier systems, and references.

Building Science: Air Pressures In Buildings
Building Science paper describes how air flow in buildings is one of the major factors that governs the interaction of the building structure with the mechanical system, climate and occupants.

Building Science: Hollow Buildings Create Problems With Air Flow
Building Science paper says buildings today are hollow and multi-layered with numerous air gaps or void spaces. Problems are created with air flows when chases, shafts, soffits and drops abound because everything is connected to everything else, typically unintentionally.

Building Science: How Do Buildings Stack Up?
Building Science describes theory and considerations for stack effect in buildings. In houses we have learned to live with lower neutral pressure planes by designing and constructing walls to be more moisture tolerant and we have learned to compensate for the lack of active chimney induced air change by providing controlled ventilation systems. In tall buildings we are learning to compartmentalize and to provide distributed ventilation, distributed space conditioning and distributed hot water.

Building Science: Principles Of Moving Air
Building Science online slide show presentation by David Hill provides an introduction to the principles of moving air quietly and efficiently. (PDF)

CCHRC: Stack Effect in Northern Homes
Cold Climate Housing Research Center online video explores how stack effect works and how it affects homes in the cold climate.

Construction Instruction: Convection In A House
Construction Instruction online animation shows convection air flow in a house.

Construction Instruction: Mechanical Pressure
Construction Instruction online animation shows negative pressure air flows caused by mechanical pressure.

GBA: Air Flow Effects Humidity, Mold, Indoor Air Quality
Green Building Advisor describes how humidity, mold and IAQ are affected by air flow created from air leaks, wind, stack effect, and fans.

GBA: Air Leaks Waste Energy & Rot Houses
Green Building Advisor article describes how leaks through holes in your house can cause moisture and indoor air quality problems, and waste energy. Also covered are air leakage via wind, stack effect, and fans, as well as moisture issues.

IE3: A Little History of MAD AIR
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency describes how some discoveries and research work over the past four decades have led to our current understanding of air leakage in buildings.

Padfield: Equations For Physical Properties Of Moist Air
Tim Padfield provides the formula that describe those properties of water vapour in air that concern conservators. The derivation of these equations is explained concisely and the useful equations are emphasised by bold type. This datasheet is intended for reference, not as a friendly introduction to the topic! (PDF)

US DOE: Forces & Conditions Allowing Air To Flow
Building America Solution Center examines the forces and conditions that allow air to flow into, out of, or within a building, including: controlled versus uncontrolled airflow; causes of air pressure; holes and pathways; effects of air flow.

WBDG: Air Flow Problems & Design Of Air Barrier Systems
Whole Building Design Guide article on air barrier systems, with drawings, focuses on large buildings, but is relevant to houses also. It covers air infiltration & exfiltration, problems, air pressures, and design suggestions.

Building Science: Air Flow Control
Building Science Seminar presentation by Dr. John Straube covers why control air flow, driving forces, air barrier systems, airflow within enclosures, air leakage condensation, and tall buildings. (PDF)

Building Science: Building Pressures & IAQ
Building Science online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for building pressures and indoor air quality. (PDF)

Building Science: Case Studies Of Air Pressure Issues & Building Envelopes
Building Science paper describes case studies that show how understanding the significance of the complex flow and pressure distribution problems created by the interaction of the building envelope with the mechanical system and climate can lead to changes in building design, commissioning, operations, maintenance, diagnostics and rehabilitation. (PDF)

Building Science: Passive Air Cavity Convection
Building Science online slide show presentation describes effects of passive air cavity convection on the wetting and drying behavior of building envelopes. (PDF)

Canadian Contractor: Do Buildings Need to Breathe?
Canadian Contractor says interior building envelope ventilation should occur via a controlled system, not by random chance.

CMHC: Considerations Of Air Pressure & Building Envelopes
CMHC article for architects covers the consequences of air pressure on building, including how and where pressure differences drive moisture, how these contribute to moisture problems, how to calculate pressure differences, and strategies to offset problems. (PDF)

CMHC: Problems & Remedies For Moisture & Air
CMHC fact sheets help you recognize the typical signs of moisture and air quality problems in your home, to identify the probable causes, and to propose practical solutions. Topics covered include mold and mildew, ventilation alternatives and combustion spillage. Includes a review of potential problems on a room-by-room basis. (PDF)

Ecohome: Balancing Air Pressure In A House
Ecohome describes how, at any given time, the air pressure in your house may be out of balance and either drawing air in or forcing it out.

GBA: Cool Stack-Effect Tool
Green Building Advisor says the simple SEE STACK computer program helps designers understand the relationship between stack effect and mechanical ventilation.

RDH: Pressure Differences & Airtightness In Tall Buildings
RDH Building Engineering study Pressure Differences and Airtightness in Tall Buildings, Theory & Reality aims to improve the general understanding of factors affecting airflows in buildings and how these factors combine to influence the performance of building mechanical ventilation systems. The results of the study allow for general recommendations with regards to the design of ventilation systems, building enclosure airtightness, and compartmentalization strategies. (PDF)

US DOE: Managing Drivers Of Airflow & Water Vapor Transport In Existing Homes
US Department of Energy guideline Managing the Drivers of Airflow and Water Vapor Transport in Existing Single-Family Homes describes how to manage drivers that cause airflow and water vapor transport across the building envelope (and within the home), control air infiltration, keep relative humidity (RH) within acceptable limits, avoid combustion safety problems, improve occupant comfort, and reduce house energy use. (PDF)

Waterloo Univ: Understanding & Controlling Air Flow In Building Enclosures
Canadian University of Waterloo professor John Straube paper describes why and how air flow in building enclosures is important for building performance, moisture control, energy savings, and comfort & health. (PDF)
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