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The OAA building undergoes a Blower Door Test on a blustery fall evening

Toronto, November 10, 2016 –- More than 30 people came to OAA Headquarters, 111 Moatfield Drive Thursday evening to witness the Blower Door Test administered by Blue Green Consulting Group as part of the OAA Building’s renovation plans.

OAA Executive Director, Kristi Doyle welcomed everyone. For the architects in attendance, the test and informative presentations was a Continuing Education Opportunity.

Sheena Sharp, OAA Councillor and Chair of the OAA Building Committee presented an overview of the OAA Building Renew + Refresh program.

“We’re trying to address climate change and existing buildings,” explained Councillor Sharp. “With the OAA Headquarters we are aiming to hit and exceed the 2030 targets now and make this entire process an educational opportunity for members.”

This Blower Door test will provide a new baseline for the OAA Building Renew + Refresh program.

Michal Barko from the National Research Council (NRC) spoke about building energy performance. The NRC has joined the OAA’s Architectural Team to conduct the design challenge, Pre/Post Occupancy Studies and Performance Documentation.

 “This is the first step in our project with the OAA. There will be multiple tests over the next 3.5 years of the building project, explained Mr. Barko. During this period the NRC will be testing multiple non-residential buildings to add to its database”.

For tonight’s test the ABAA/USACE air leakage test protocol was followed. This is the standard for the U.S. Army Corps Engineers. The NRC’s objective of the test is to tune and develop new methods for Canadian boundaries and climate conditions.

The NRC is actively looking for additional non-residential projects to be tested.  Architects are encouraged to consider the opportunity. Interested OAA members are invited to contact for more information.

Greg Labee of the Blue Green Consulting Group explained the procedures and the test focusing on the main steps:

  1. Pressurize the building
  2. Take infrared images to show the hotspots
  3. Depressurize the building with the fans
  4. Take infrared images
  5. Compare the two images before and after

At approximately 8:15 pm depressurization got underway.  Fans draw air from the building; air comes back in from holes. The target difference is 75-80 PA. A blustery night with gusts of wind posed some challenges for the team. Just after 9 pm a baseline reading was achieved. Testing continued into early Friday morning.

Those in attendance, later in the evening, got an opportunity to use the infrared camera to view the hot spots within the building.

A report of the Blower Door test will be forwarded to Architect David Fujiwara and the design team, to review the information which will also be presented to the OAA Building Committee.