Investigation of Influencing Factors on Air Leakage of Canadian Dwellings


  • Maysoun Ismaiel Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
  • Yuxiang Chen Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta



Air leakage is one of the main influencing factors in buildings’ thermal performance. The adverse effects of poor air leakage include higher energy costs, consumption in space heating and cooling, poor thermal comfort, corrosion, and the growth of molds due to air leakage induced condensation. The main objective of this study is to investigate the characteristics of air leakages of Canadian homes related to construction methods, age, size and climatic zones. The air leakage test results of 226,000 dwellings in three provinces of Canada were analyzed. Statistical analysis was utilized to compare the mean of air leakage with respect to different factors. Generally, the air leakage decreased by 40% in the period from 1960 until 2018, which has shown a remarkable effect of new construction techniques on air leakage. Investigations also indicated that the average air leakage rate of homes constructed by using the onsite technique is approximately 25% to 60% higher than those prefabricated in modular or panels, varying with respect to the workmanship and construction quality control. This study concluded that the prefabricated construction techniques could decrease the air leakage rate significantly, which will have a remarkable effect on buildings’ thermal performance as well as home’s heating and cooling costs. The findings contribute to estimating the effects of influencing factors on air leakage, also it is useful in performance simulations, HAVC sizing and energy management. And recommend the use of the prefabricated in modular or panel’s construction method to achieve better and acceptable air leakage performance.