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Air leakage testing of 363 Broadway

June 25, 2012

Post-retrofit airtightness testing has been completed on the 363 Broadway building in Winnipeg as part of the Red River College (RRC) Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group’s (SITRG’s) goal to conduct applied research to enhance the energy performance of commercial buildings.
The 15-storey, 191,000 square foot office building has recently undergone a $4-million facelift with the goals of increasing its energy efficiency and updating its appearance.  The SITRG team, consisting RRC research staff and students and green building scientists and experts, is seeking to determine what impact the retrofit has had on the building’s airtightness.
Excessive air leakage in buildings can cause major problems, ranging from high-energy bills and poor comfort, to crumbling facades.
The issue of air leakage in commercial buildings has been gaining notoriety in recent years, but there has been very little large building airtightness testing completed anywhere.  While some research has been done at the international level, its relevance to Winnipeg is limited as it is has generally been conducted in regions that are very different from Manitoba’s unique climate zone.
With funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada’s College and Community Innovation grant, SITRG is hoping to test more Manitoba buildings to gain a more thorough understanding of the impacts of air leakage.  This research is expected to provide valuable input on how to improve the design, construction, and operation of commercial buildings.