Residential construction professionals converged on the Baltimore Convention Center in October for the newly rebranded 2014 R|D|J show. This year, REMODELING joined the Building Performance Institute to co-host the first-ever Home Performance Pavilion at the industry mega-event, where attendees participated in educational seminars and live presentations featuring the technical aspects of home performance diagnostics. From health benefits to leak detection, leading experts discussed a variety of topics that directly affect energy and resource efficiency, indoor air quality, and other aspects of home performance.

During the two-day event, building science expert Anthony Cox offered a live demo of his House of Pressure, a model that he developed 20 years ago to help illustrate how the systems in a home work together.

About the House

In this first video, building science manager/trainer for Christiansburg, Va.-based CHP Energy Solutions details the various parts of his “house,” how it can recreate leaks and the tests that can be done to diagnose those issues. See him put his model to work.

Blower Door Test

During part two of his House of Pressure Live Demo, Cox uses his model to perform a blower door test to measure air pressure and determine air infiltration. Find out what adjustments he makes to represent indoor and outdoor air flow.

Duct Work Leaks

The third segment of Cox’s presentation focuses on duct leak detection. Watch him conduct a zonal pressure test to measure leaks and then examine ways to improve the home’s temperature balance and energy efficiency.

Natural System Leaks

Lastly, Cox removes the blower door from the equation and relies on other systems in the home, such as a kitchen exhaust and a chimney, to pinpoint leaks, properly distribute air, and improve overall air quality. See how he manipulates windows and other features of the home to demonstrate the changes in air pressure.

Before conducting such testing, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of building science principles. Building Performance Institute QA coordinator and field representative Jeremy O'Brien makes it possible with his presentation, which looks at the house as a system and how remodelers can educate homeowners about home performance.

Understanding Home Performance

In the first segment, O’Brien explains the role that professionals can play in deciphering and then communicating the changes that customers will require to achieve the comfort they seek.

Home Performance Diagnostics

In the second part of his talk, O’Brien describes in detail the different diagnostic tests, the testing tools required, the technical knowledge needed, and how to sell home performance to the client.

BPI Certification

How can you bring it all to life in the field? BPI offers the Building Science Principles certificate, the gateway to understanding the house-as-a-system concept. In this segment, O’Brien outlines the certification process, what the exam entails, where to attend training sessions, and the materials needed to prepare for the knowledge-based course.