By Ben Walker
With codes and high-performance construction programs requiring airtightness testing, a small but growing cadre of home builders have been purchasing their own blower doors. They are finding that this tool's value goes beyond mere compliance.
One of them is Arrow Building in Columbia, Missouri, which owner Jake Bruton says builds "durable, energy-efficient, aesthetically pleasing homes." Most of his projects meet Passive House standards, which specify a maximum air leakage of 0.6 Air Changes per Hour at a test pressure of 50 Pascals (0.6 ACH 50).
However, he bought his first unit in 2014, before committing to those standards. He heard murmurs that air tightness testing would eventually be part of the code. No other builders in his market seemed to own one, so he figured that being the first would give him a competitive advantage.
(Bruton builds custom homes, but some Zero Energy production builders also own blower doors. One is Thrive Homebuilders in Denver, ... read more