On March 21st Newport Ventures completed a blower door test at the Pratt Zadock Museum. The objective was to test the “air tightness” of the building. Part of the reason a blower door test was deployed was to determine the possibility of reducing the buildings energy loses through leaks in the buildings envelope. Upon arrival to the site it became evident that a typical blower door test could not be conducted due to the deteriorated condition of the building caused by the flooding from 2011.
With the first floor walls opened up to the sheathing and siding the typical “air barrier” that exist in buildings had been removed. Other areas of concern for not conducting a standard blower door test was the existence of 6 chimneys open to the inside along with an open ceiling to the vented attic space.
It was decided that we could conduct a blower door test on the rear half upper portion of the front building. The upstairs portion where the museum had displays set up was chosen for such a test. The area tested equaled 720 square feet with a ceiling height of 7 feet 8 inches.
The result of the test was 1078 CFM@50 that translates into 11.7 ACH@50 Pascal’s. The result of this test only gives the infiltration rate of a small portion of the entire building. Based on a visual inspection of the building the overall infiltration rate would most likely be higher if the entire building was to be tested for infiltration.
The Pratt Zadock Museum will re-open in the future with a more energy efficient building than what existed prior to the flooding of 2011.