Airtight, Tested Right: Blower Door Tests

When the new New York State Energy Code came into effect in October 2016, tightened air sealing requirements left some buildings falling short. Learn about the new requirements including blower door tests and how to comply in our animated video series, Airtight, Tested Right for building contractors, architects, and homeowners.

Contractors: with a new New York State Energy Code going into effect in October 2016, it’s important to know what you’ll be on the hook for when it comes to passing inspections. Do you know which steps to take to make air sealing affordable and easy to implement? What to look for when sealing windows? How to conduct blower door tests? Find out how and much more in our video.

Additional Resources

  • GPRO Homes is a comprehensive national training and certificate program developed by Urban Green Council that teaches the people who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. Find out about classes for home builders on our website.
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI) has been setting technical standards for home energy auditing and energy efficiency upgrades since 1993. They develop BPI Standards using an open, consensus-based process built on sound building science. From these standards, they develop rigorous written and field exams leading to professional certifications for individuals, companywide credentials for BPI GoldStar Contractors and quality assurance services that help raise the bar in home performance contracting.
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a leading advocate of sustainable, high-performance new home construction and remodeling. The association encourages members to build green and works proactively to facilitate their efforts. NAHB actively promotes viable, credible, market-driven and voluntary green building initiatives at the federal level, and assists state and local home building associations with advocacy efforts upon request. NAHB also provides home builders with resources and opportunities to exchange and promote green and high-performance building ideas, initiatives, advocacy efforts and opportunities for potential collaboration. 
  • National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) was established in 1987 as a nonprofit association to promote and develop certified and licensed home inspectors in the professional home inspection industry.
  • Newport Ventures located in Schenectady, NY, has considerable expertise in Energy Code support and training, beyond code measures and construction detailing to assure high performance, event planning and meeting facilitation skills, focus group capabilities, and the development of guides and manuals to facilitate integrated whole building performance.  They cover both residential and  commercial buildings.
  • Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Raters must pass a RESNET national test subject to RESNET’s stringent quality assurance oversight. All HERS Raters must be proficient in conducting blower door and duct leakage testing. Annually over 190,000 homes in the U.S. are blower door tested by certified RESNET HERS Raters.

Architects: the new New York State Energy Code places more responsibility for tightly sealed homes on the design process. Are you up to speed on air sealing, blower door tests, energy code requirements, and more? Find out what will be required of you before the code goes into effect in October 2016.

Additional Resources

  • Conquer the Energy Code, a joint initiative from Urban Green Council and NYSERDA, teaches architects and engineers how to navigate the various pathways to Code compliance and how to incorporate best energy conservation practices into their projects. The courses translate the code into plain English, and include practical information about documentation requirements and progress inspections
  • American Institute of Architects, New York City Chapter is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Founded in 1857, the Chapter's members include more than 5,000 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. The AIA New York Chapter is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.
  • Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) is a nonprofit advocacy organization established in 1994 as a joint initiative of the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. BCAP’s goal is to reduce the energy consumed in the construction and operation of buildings by working with national, state, and local governments and other international and national stakeholders to promote the adoption, enforcement, and compliance of building energy codes and standards. BCAP aspires to be the premier resource for energy code support, coordination, technical assistance, news, and information.
  • The Department of Energy Building America Solutions Center provides access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, indoor air quality, and much more. Click on the links below to explore the Solution Center.
  • Newport Ventures located in Schenectady, NY, has considerable expertise in Energy Code support and training, beyond code measures and construction detailing to assure high performance, event planning and meeting facilitation skills, focus group capabilities, and the development of guides and manuals to facilitate integrated whole building performance.  They cover both residential and  commercial buildings.
  • The NYC Department of Buildings promotes the safety of all people that build, work, and live in New York City by regulating the lawful use of over one million buildings and construction sites across the five boroughs. With a focus on safety, service, and integrity, the Department enforces the City’s Construction Codes, Zoning Resolution, and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.

Homeowners: do you want to make your home more comfortable and affordable? The new New York State Energy Code, which goes into effect in October 2016, features a range of important updates to make buildings more efficient, and one big one that could apply to your home: air sealing.

Air leaks make homes less comfortable while driving up energy bills in winter and summer. In this video, find out what air sealing is, what the new Energy Code requires, and how blower door tests help uncover the chinks in a home’s armor.

Additional Resources

  • GPRO Homes is a comprehensive national training and certificate program developed by Urban Green Council that teaches the people who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. Find out about classes for home builders on our website.
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI) has been setting technical standards for home energy auditing and energy efficiency upgrades since 1993. They develop BPI Standards using an open, consensus-based process built on sound building science. From these standards, they develop rigorous written and field exams leading to professional certifications for individuals, companywide credentials for BPI GoldStar Contractors and quality assurance services that help raise the bar in home performance contracting.
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a leading advocate of sustainable, high-performance new home construction and remodeling. The association encourages members to build green and works proactively to facilitate their efforts. NAHB actively promotes viable, credible, market-driven and voluntary green building initiatives at the federal level, and assists state and local home building associations with advocacy efforts upon request. NAHB also provides home builders with resources and opportunities to exchange and promote green and high-performance building ideas, initiatives, advocacy efforts and opportunities for potential collaboration. 
  • National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) was established in 1987 as a nonprofit association to promote and develop certified and licensed home inspectors in the professional home inspection industry.
  • Newport Ventures located in Schenectady, NY, has considerable expertise in Energy Code support and training, beyond code measures and construction detailing to assure high performance, event planning and meeting facilitation skills, focus group capabilities, and the development of guides and manuals to facilitate integrated whole building performance.  They cover both residential and  commercial buildings.
  • Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Raters must pass a RESNET national test subject to RESNET’s stringent quality assurance oversight. All HERS Raters must be proficient in conducting blower door and duct leakage testing. Annually over 190,000 homes in the U.S. are blower door tested by certified RESNET HERS Raters.