Seattle, WA – In even the most well insulated homes, as much as 40% of the energy used to condition the interior spaces can be lost to uncontrolled airflow. Unlike traditional building wraps that resist only water and moisture, Blueskin® VP100 also prevents energy-wasting air leakage, enabling significant energy savings.
But how much more effectively does Blueskin VP100 control airflow than other commonly used building wraps? Working with Dwell Development – a full-service firm dedicated to building ecologically sound, energy-efficient homes in Seattle’s urban communities, Henry Company conducted a side-by-side comparison to find out.
Henry supplied Dwell Development with Blueskin VP100, a self-adhered, vapor permeable air and water barrier designed especially for wood frame construction. Two Dwell Development housing units were selected for the test – one was outfitted with Blueskin VP100, the other with a leading brand of 60-minute asphalt felt.
Reflecting Dwell Development’s focus on sustainability, both of the units shared several energy-efficient features, including panelized wall construction with double-wall framing, heat recovery ventilation and triple pane windows. All penetrations, including horizontal plumbing-electrical, were foamed or caulked, and a water-based elastomeric spray was applied to the home’s interior top and bottom plates and between all wall studs.
The housing units did have some key differences however – the Blueskin VP100 unit had a larger wall area and many more windows than the other house, presenting many more possible spots for air leaks. Here’s how the two units compared, including the blower door test results:
|Unit 1 – 60-minute asphalt felt + air sealing
|Unit 2 – Henry Blueskin VP100
- 2 stories
- 1,800 square feet
- Blower door score – 2.6 ACH 50 Pascals
- 3 stories
- 2,200 square feet
- Blower door score – 1.8 ACH 50 Pascals
Blueskin VP100 outperformed the 60-minute asphalt substantially, improving upon an already impressive blower door score, despite the larger, more challenging floor plan. So what might account for the difference? Blueskin VP100’s peel-and-stick, fully adhered application won’t allow air to migrate behind it in the event of breach. In terms of potential energy savings, the difference in blower door scores could save the average, 1,600 square-foot Seattle home as much as $300 in energy costs.