Some builders are attempting to achieve the new standards using labor-intense methods such as caulking interior framing gaps, and/or taping and rolling exterior sheathing seams with specialty tapes. Taping of sheathing seams and water resistive barriers certainly helps to mitigate air intrusion, however in doing so air intrusion then shifts to air entrance gaps that remain unsealed. However, when AccuFrame® Energy Seal is used, these open lineal gaps are filled with a continuous gasket sandwiched between framing components, effectively reducing air flow, a much more durable solution than caulk/tape that relies on surface bonding for reduction of air intrusion. We have named this type of energy loss prevention (blocking air flow with a barrier, in conjunction with an insulating material) Air Isolation Management, or AIM.
AccuFrame® Energy Seal has been shown (by a New York State Energy Agency) to effectively reduce air intrusion by over 80% when tested at 50 pascals in a typical wood-frame wall. In addition to its air isolation properties, AccuFrame® Energy Seal costs far less in materials and labor than other methods such as caulking and taping and blown-in types of insulation offering builders increased insulation options while complying with code.
The on-site manufacturing concept of AccuFrame® Energy Seal provides an air isolation gasket that serves as a framing guide to optimize labor. This simple innovation speeds up completion time, reduces common framing errors, and allows the utilization of less-skilled workers with only minimal system training needed, an additional savings benefit in today's tight labor market.
AccuFrame® Energy Seal has been tested in the laboratory and in the field with excellent results. Recent side by side testing of two identical houses built by Habitat for Humanity with and without AccuFrame® Energy Seal showed that the home without AccuFrame did not reach the current required standards for air infiltration while the home with AccuFrame easily qualified. The current requirement in the test area is less than 3 Air Changes per Hour (ACH) to qualify. The house with AccuFrame® Energy Seal measured 2.63 ACH whereas the house without reached 3.81 ACH a failing test result. Additionally, the house without AccuFrame® Energy Seal had been sealed from the interior using silicone caulking along framing and sheathing seams, a practice not usually employed. Caulking decreases air flow, and the result obtained for the house without The AccuFrame® Energy Seal would have been even further from qualifying if built with today's common practices.
Not only did the AccuFrame® Energy Seal house meet the current requirement with fiberglass batt insulation, but it also reached the 2018 test level which will increase air sealing requirements in the near future.
The on-site manufacturing concept of AccuFrame® Energy Seal provides an air isolation gasket that serves as a framing guide to optimize labor. This simple innovation speeds up completion time, reduces common framing errors, and allows the utilization of less-skilled workers with only minimal system training needed, an additional savings benefit in today's tight labor market. It also allows for variation in application of AccuFrame in response to different conditions in different buildings.