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David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1538
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2017 - 04:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What CSI MasterFormat number should I use for Air Barrier Testing?
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 926
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 09:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I include it as field quality control in the air barrier section.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP
Jeffrey Wilson CSI CCS SCIP
Senior Member
Username: wilsonconsulting

Post Number: 204
Registered: 03-2006

Posted on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 08:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

That's the approach I use, too.

Assuming the reason for the question is that the testing is intended to apply to air barrier assemblies beyond the scope of a single spec section, requirements could be spec'd in a Div 01 section like 01 4523 Testing and Inspecting Services. If limited to air barriers, a narrow scope section such as 01 4525 Air Barrier Testing could be created.
Jeffrey Wilson CCS CSI SCIP
Wilson Consulting Inc
Ardmore PA
Ronald L. Geren, FCSI, AIA, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 1435
Registered: 03-2003

Posted on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 11:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Assuming Jeffrey's reasoning regarding the whole-building air barrier system, I would use Section 01 83 00 "Facility Shell Performance Requirements." Since each component that is specified separately will have its own performance requirements, the overall building will need to have a minimum performance specified, and this section will allow that plus include the testing for the entire building envelope.
anon (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 01:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

our firm settled on 01 4536. MasterFormat explains that 10 4500 QUALITY CONTROL is for:

"...administrative and procedural requirements for
reactive activities to evaluate completed activities and elements
for conformance with the requirements. Correction of defective

Our section is located just below 01 4533 - Code-Required Special Inspections and Procedures.

This section is code driven for those projects we include the section.
Brett Scarfino (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 02:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I generally agree with Peter for physical measurements of air barrier (thickness, adhesion).

I see little value in testing just the air/water barrier for air/water leakage. I like to see cladding girts and all other fastener penetrations installed; work likely by others that may negatively affect performance. As a result, I think it is worthy of coordinating with the cladding sections as well as glazing systems (for testing transitions).
Chris Grimm, CSI, CCS, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: chris_grimm_ccs_scip

Post Number: 520
Registered: 02-2014
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2020 - 06:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I read an article (on SCIP LinkedIn group I think, but can't scroll down older than 1 month to find it again) that seemed to state that whole-building air barrier testing may be mandatory in IECC 2012+ and ASHRAE 90.1 2010+, and it had a link to a map of US states which had these requirements. This made me wonder why I am not hearing numerous requests for whole building air barrier testing now, instead of only certain localities.

After some checking myself in the actual IECC requirements in each edition 2012 and newer, it looks like whole building air barrier testing is merely one of several compliance options, at least for commercial construction. (IECC 2012, see C402.4.1.2 Air Barrier Compliance Options and C402. Building Test; IECC 2015-2018 also make it optional by referencing either prescriptive requirements OR the whole building test, in C402.5.) Maybe it is mandatory for residential construction - some other article claims that it is. As for ASHRAE 90.1 2010+ I have not checked yet.

Now I wonder if the person who wrote the article was getting hung up on the word "mandatory" without seeing the placement of the word mandatory, and the compliance options further below. Has anyone else run into this being seen as a mandatory measure per IECC or ASHRAE requirements without special local amendments? I know Washington State and Seattle have this type of requirement, probably the reason for David Axt's original post, but I'm still looking just at the model codes to see where (if anywhere) it becomes mandatory for WHOLE BUILDING air barrier testing. OK, anyone, where all else is it mandatory?

IECC-2012+ mentions ASTM E779 "or approved method". ASTM E779 is "Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization". Some areas may require or allow ASTM E1827 - Standard Test Methods for Determining Airtightness of Buildings Using an Orifice Blower Door.

I'm a fan (no pun intended) of this approach, just need to be sure I'm helping people the best I can to determine when it is required. You would think asking the architect of record on projects would get some responses other than shrugged shoulders, right??
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, April 02, 2020 - 12:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

NYC incorporated some mandatory air barrier testing in the 2016 NYCECC for new buildings of a certain size (see C402.5.1.3) ... otherwise it is one of the optional pathways like in the IECC.

I am finding some information that whole building testing may be added as a requirement in some circumstances to the 2021 IECC. More information here: https://newbuildings.org/code_policy/2021-iecc-base-codes/

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