ENERGY EFFICIENT construction is a vital artery on our way to a Zero Emissions Planet. SIGA believes that as long as we continue to use up to 50% of the world’s energy to heat and cool our buildings, we will not stop air pollution or climate change.
In 2017, we in Australia are still debating the issue of whether airtightness is required or even important! It’s been nearly a decade since there has been any meaningful overhaul of mandatory Energy Efficiency requirements for our buildings.
However the ABCB, the body responsible for developing our Building Code finally has airtightness in its sights and has signalled 2019 as a watershed year for potentially recognising that Airtightness is crucial for ENERGY EFFICIENCY home. Much of the developed world has moved to mandate standards for airtightness recognising that governments have to lead because if the market left to its own devices, it will build for the cheapest dollar cost it can. That is a given.
AIRTIGHTNESS is a vital component in the energy efficiency equation. Indeed not only that; it also contributes to a better level of healthy indoor air quality and protects the structure from attack by moisture related problems. The ‘leaky building syndrome’ in New Zealand has ruined lives and cost millions of dollars to ‘fix’. In Australia, evidence is emerging of endemic failure of building structures within the next 10 years because of poor workmanship, the main culprit being moisture and water damage. Moisture ingression leads to the development of mildew and mould and becomes a health problem contributing to allergy and asthma development, if unchecked.
So controlling air leakage is vitally important for the proper performance of the building envelope. Insulate all you like but if your envelope is leaky, insulation will fail in its required performance. It is commonly acknowledged via numerous studies that up to 40% of energy used to condition the internal building space is lost as a result of air leakage.
Air leakage is the uncontrolled movement of air through the structure primarily through sub-floors, windows, doors and ceiling space, (pic by seav-common leakage points). High Performance and Passive Haus (House) building principles champion airtightness measured in ACH at a level of 50pascals (Pa). These buildings typically use between 60-80% less energy to heat and cool than a non-airtight (normally built) structure. The airtightness of the building structure is measured by performing a blower door test combined with a thermography camera to show leakage.
There is no point in trying to invent a square wheel when a round one exists! And yet many are still trying to experiment with all sorts of different models! This is the situation that exists in Australia. The methods of achieving airtightness and weather tightness are widely known in Europe, USA, Canada and other developed parts of the world. The system for achieving this is proven.
SIGA is a world class-leading manufacturer, unique in the Airtightness product industry. Since 1966, it is the only manufacturer to research, develop and manufacture its highly specialised products at its purpose built facility in Ruswil, Switzerland. It holds approximately 34 patents on its developments. A culture of not outsourcing means it arguably maintains the highest level of quality control in the industry. SIGA has developed an airtightness weather tightness system which consists of highly specialised diffusible membrane structure wraps and sealing tapes which have been durability tested to last 50+ years. Additionally they are VOC free with no off-gassing. This is vital for internal air quality.
Energy efficiency experts acknowledge that this system is the most successful method to achieve airtightness in a structure. Of course a good system needs to be installed correctly to function successfully. That’s why we undertake to assist all our users with training in the various aspects of system installation on site.
Please click on the SIGA House image below to review the system products. Further detail is contained in the ‘Product’ page of this website.
Of course you may also call our SIGA Expert who will be pleased to assist and recommend the appropriate combinations for you.