Green Term Defined: Air Barrier System
Air barriers control air leakage into and out of the building envelope. They can also be used as the rainscreen to make your exterior siding products last longer and perform better.
Air Sealing is probably the most important element for an efficient and healthy building in our mixed-humid climate. An air barrier system has to be designed and carefully executed during construction as it can be impacted by multiple trades. The air barrier can be the drywall, insulation, house wrap, fluid applied, plywood, or some combination of each (this is usually the case). Continuity of the air barrier system is the most important element and hardest to get right for a building. It takes patience, understanding, and diligence to get it right. Substituting an inferior product for one part of the designed air barrier test will have consequences. Testing for air leakage can only be done after installation of the air barrier system using blower door, fans, or HVAC system. If done right, you may need to introduce fresh air into the home through your ventilation system. The result: you will see much lower electric bills and higher indoor comfort.