Written by: Nicholas Neiley, Project Engineer
Unchecked, duct leakage can be a significant added cost in any ventilation system; particularly existing laboratory buildings. The cost to condition and deliver outdoor air can range from $7 to $12/cfm per year depending on local climate and utility costs. This can make any leakage on 100% outdoor air systems extremely expensive. During a recent controls upgrade project at Cornell University, significant utility savings were captured through the use of a duct sealing technology called Aeroseal.
The Baker Lab project initially included an upgrade the control system of a modern DDC system to address ongoing maintenance and energy efficiency concerns. During testing, balancing, and commissioning, it was identified that the existing ductwork systems had significant leakage, up to 30% in some locations. This was largely due to the existing ductwork systems utilizing clay flues in the original 1921 building construction. An Aeroseal vendor was contracted to seal all the exhaust risers and most supply risers.