INFILES: Energy impact of airtightness level in residential buildings in Spain: Analysis and characterization of the infiltrations.

Improving the energy efficiency of the thermal conditioning of buildings is an international priority, where there have been major advances in the insulation of the envelopment and the thermal facilities installed.

The need for building ventilation has an enormous impact on the environmental energy consumption evaluation. The level of ventilation required increases when the gradual reduction in the transmittance of all surfaces is taken into account.

Air leakages due to imperfections in the envelopment and partitions are always accompanied by narrow ventilation flows, increasing the unabated consumption of energy.

The proposed research project seeks to analyse the air tightness of the building envelopments in the Spanish residential sector (and therefore, the rate of infiltration that causes), characterizing and quantifying both volumetric flow rates and the weaknesses of common construction solutions, through an experimental and numerical procedure for assessing the energy waste in the Spanish geography. The experimental procedure consists on a pressurization test of the indoor air volume of the building, commonly called the Blower Door Test, which is based on standards EN 13829 and ISO 9972:2006 and mandatory in the specific regulatory requirements of many neighbouring countries to verify the correct performance of the envelope.

In this sense, it seems completely unacceptable that Spain has remained unaware by this field of knowledge, so this research project will cover, in a large degree, this issue. The required next phase, i.e. the incorporation of limiting air tightness in national legislation, will be proposed within this project, which begins with a clear pre-normative will.