Message Board Thread - "Wild 'testing' in high rise condo"

Back to Threads | Back to Forums

TitleByPosted On
Wild 'testing' in high rise condo bernie2 4/29/2005
I have been asked by a local building contractor to submit a proposal to compliment his 'field test of windows and sliding glass doors' for a high rise condo now being built. They gave me AAMA's specifications for this test (It does not specify infrared). So I contacted the Tech people at AAMA who stated they did not have specifications for that type of test using infrared.
Has anyone isolated an field test windows for moisture and air intrusion. Any leads, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated. Bernie2 at Internatioanl Imaging Tech
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo OPG1 5/5/2005
I work with a fellow that uses a Heat Flow gun when doing IR Thermography on buildings. You could email George for specifics at
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo divelikeit 8/10/2005
AAMA has several different standards. As far as IR is concerned; its pretty straight forward if water comes in and you see it via IR then they have a problem. We conduct AAMA and ASTM testing on windows all the time. If you’re not experienced with these standards then subcontract yourself just to document thermal anomalies while they test.
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo DanielleLC 8/25/2005
Hi George,

I read about this heat flow gun in the ITC message board. I am an Environmental
Engineering Master's student currently pursuing some research in quantitative
IR thermography, and i aim to distinguish energy losses due to conduction and
air leakage...i think this heat flow gun could be helpful!
Could you tell me more about it, how it works, certain applications you have
used it for...and cost

Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo thermoman 11/17/2005
ASTM and AAMA test standards are used to determine overall air tightness characteristics of assemblies and for detection of air and water penetration at specific pressures (75 Pa is the standard for large buildings). In lab testing, mock ups are inserted into environmental chambers which are then pressurization from one side to determine leakage rates of the entire mock up. At each pressure, the mock is inspected for water penetration throughout to assembly during spray rack water testing.

Similar mock up tesing can be carried out in the field. You need to build an interior air tight enclosure around the window or door assembly and pressurize it with a variable speed blower coupled to a manometer to regulate the pressure. At various pressures, leakage rates are calculated to determine the overall leakage of the assembly.

I have used infrared thermography at this point to locate the points air leakage from the exterior but in order to see these point sources a temperature differential needs to exist between interior and exterior. If this is not available due to the environmental conditions at time of testing, they need to be manufactured by the use of heat guns or heaters. The detection of these point source leaks required inspection at close range or telephoto lenses since spot sizes are critical to leakage detection. Don't forget that you are looking for leakage signatures smaller than 2 cm square. Therefore inspection from close adjacent buildings using telephoto lenses or inspection from swing stages are mandatory. And all this is required to be completed hopefully during evening hours to eliminate solar gain influences on results.

Larger spaces can also be inspected in the same manner but the leakage characteristics of the interior enclosure need to be determined as part of the ASTM test methodology for determination of leakage rates of exterior assemblies. If you are not interested in overall leakage rates and only concerned with detection of faulty glazing and window/wall joints, then pressurization of interior zones and inspection from the outside will result in spot leakage indentification only if your outside inspection methodology allows you to detect small defects that will eventually lead to water penetration due to driving rains.

Water penetration testing in situ is a separate methodology and cannot be carried out simultaneously with infrared thermographic inspection for location of spot leaks. It is recommended that once you find the leak through means of IR inspection, you can focus either water testing or smoke bomb testing on the remediated areas after repairs are completed.

Always remember the size of the defect you are looking for and to ensure that the equipment you are using has the capacity to see the defect at the distance you are inspecting it from. If it cannot, don't waste your time looking at tall building from the ground because you just will not see the defects that will result in wind driven rain penetraton at upper sections of tall buildings.

And one last thing, if shop drawings are available review trhem first since they will be a good indication of where the problems might originate from.
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo Conrad 11/18/2005
If your testing with water all I do is document a failure or a pass and the window test crew writes the report for the owners/arch.
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo thermoman 11/18/2005
Good point Conrad but standard spray rack water tests do not test the assembly under pressure conditions. If it fails under non pressure conditions, it will certainly fail under pressure conditions which are much more stringent. So your process does have some vailidity but it does not provide the full answer. The added benefit to the water testing is that provides you with a clear understanding of the water penetration and drainage characteristics of the various details.

In a comprehensive commissioning procedure you should be testing for conditions which were specified in the contract documents (no air leakage at 50 to 75 Pa of pressure) and not just ideal conditions of no wind or stack effect.
Re:Wild 'testing' in high rise condo Conrad 11/21/2005
We are vaccume testing from the inside while spraying the outside... a hard test to pass even the windows will have a failure not just the install.

  • Back to Threads
  • Back to Forums


  •   Copyright © FLIR Systems, Inc 2012