Energy and Atmosphere

Medical Instructional Facility 5


US Army Corp of Engineers


Fort Sam Houston, TX

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson


Green Rater:

Project Goal:

The 2005 Energy Policy Act requires that Federal facilities be built to achieve at least 30 percent energy savings over the 2004 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2004.


Among the major factors contributing to mold prevention and reduced energy use in all climate zones is air leakage through the building envelope. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), developed design guides to help U.S. Department of Defense facilities achieve the desired 30 percent energy savings over a baseline building. Part of this effort included building envelope leakage tests on existing facilities to gain a better understanding of the general leakiness of Army buildings, and to analyze the effect of increased air tightness on building energy consumption, and to develop air tightness criteria and performance requirements to include in design/construction strategies.

Based on the results of these studies USACE set a requirement that all new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation shall pass an air leakage test, the results of which must be less than or equal to 0.25 CFM/sq.

Contects performed the required air leakage testing following the protocols outlined by USACE using ASTM E779 (2003): Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization and ASTM E1827-96 (2002): Standard Test Methods for Determining Air tightness of Buildings Using an Orifice Blower Door.

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