Blower door case story - Designing a Net-Zero home with BlueskinVP

Blower door case story - Designing a Net-Zero home with BlueskinVP

This project was a community-built Net-Zero home in Mount Pleasant, SC.  Two homes were built side-by-side for this project, one with BlueskinVP™ (subject home) and one with a traditional weather resistive barrier (nationally recognized housewrap).

Designing a Net-Zero home (NZEB) is not without challenges.  One of the most important considerations is how to design an air tight building envelope that provides both a reliable, long lasting solution to air tightness and one that provides a durable barrier against wind-driven rain and moisture intrusion. When seeking this level of performance, the designers at Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architecture looked to BlueskinVP™ from Henry Company.   

What attracted them to BlueskinVP™ is that unlike traditional weather resistive barriers (housewrap), BlueskinVP™ is a fully bonded, self-adhered sheet that is vapor permeable.  Also, BlueskinVP™ is nail sealable which allows for an additional level of protection not found in traditional weather resistive barriers.  This provided flexibility in design, reliable high performance and durability over the long term all wrapped up in a product that is easy to apply.  

This project was built primarily by volunteers with some help from local contractors in the area.  Installing the primer (Blueskin Adhesive), flashing membrane (Blueskin SA) and BlueskinVP™ proved to be an easy process even for beginners.  

Having two similar homes built side-by-side with two different technologies on the wall allowed for some interesting comparisons.  Both homes were tested using a blower door assembly that measures air leakage.

BlueskinVP™ Home
Mount Pleasant, SC
Housewrap Home – Next Door
Mount Pleasant, SC
Test Results Test Results
Airflow at 50 Pascals: (50 Pa = 0.2 w.c.)

1320 CFM
1.33 ACH
0.25 CFM per ft²
Airflow at 50 Pascals: (50 Pa = 0.2 w.c.)
1325 CFM
7.35 ACH
1.08 CFM per ft²
Leakage Area: 16.5 in²
(± 19/5%) LBL ELA @ 4 Pa
Leakage Area: 67.9 in²
(± 3.8%) LBL ELA @ 4 Pa 

The problem with traditional wraps is that mechanical attachment techniques, and their penetrations, create multiple opportunities for air and water to pass behind the membrane. Also, critical taping and sealing details are often lacking in the field, which allows for air leakage that results in dramatically reduced thermal performance, as well as potential moisture and mold problems.

On your next construction project, choose BlueskinVP™ from the experts at Henry Company.

Project Details

Building/project name:

Blower door case story

Building location:

Mount Pleasant, SC


Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architecture