Energy consumption in buildings is largely driven by the building envelope, as it is one of the primary determinants of building’s comfort and indoor air quality needs. Maintaining comfortable and safe indoor environments consumes approximately 35 percent of a building’s total energy requirements. Building envelope leakages result in significant increase to a building’s energy use and can be traced to either unconditioned air infiltrating the building or conditioned air leaking out through cracks and openings. In certain climates, uncontrolled infiltration also results in increased moisture on internal surfaces that can cause corrosion and costly mitigation interventions.
ESTCP has identified the need for tighter and more leak-proof buildings to reduce overall building energy use. Envelope solutions demonstrated by ESTCP include low cost energy saving dynamic windows, leak detection and aerosol sealing of building envelopes, vacuum sealed insulation panels, and diagnostic solutions using infrared thermography.