As part of our envelope commissioning services, BGG is going to be offering window air leakage as well as rain water intrusion testing for installed windows and for the proactive; mock-up window testing. By 2016, the trusty CSA Standard A440-00 and the American AAMA/NWWDA 101/I.S.2-97 will be officially replaced with one North American Fenestration Standard, the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11, simply known as “NAFS”. The NAFS is used for testing and rating new windows, doors and skylights.
Joined by the esteemed gentlemen of ThermalWise based in Halifax NS, Jordan MacDonald and Tom Kendell, we made our way to “The Cities” (colloquial for the proximal cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul), then by car west through deep freezing temperatures to Watertown, South Dakota. We were here for 5 days of intensive training on testing windows guided by Mike Sovell of Sovell Investigative Testing & Consulting.
Mike cut his teeth on the myriad standards that guide the testing and installation of windows with behemoth Architectural Testing and now runs his own shop testing all manner of windows and training people. Its not an easy task and Mike does a good job of prepping you for what one might expect in the field. We really appreciated Mike’s insights on the industry and he did a great job shedding light on the dozen or so standards that shepherd durable window selection, installation ASTM E2112-07 and field testing ASTM standards E1105-00, E783-02 and a few forensics standards for good measure. You get the picture, standards were waded through at a brisk pace.
We were treated well in South Dakota, stayed at a great place outside of town overlooking a small lake. Mike urged us to go out for prime rib in tiny Kranzburg – population 172, we’re going back for the 4th of July – at Jeffrey’s Super Club where the slabs of prime rib were the size of a goat’s head! It was the highlight of our trip food-wise.
I was happy that no one or nothing was defenestrated during our training and sadly, no one made any defenestration jokes; a great word that gets short shrift in the English language.
The Wind Maker Plus test kit looked like a robust testing apparatus for doing both air leakage and rain water intrusion testing.
Shervin prepares his window frame enclosure on the ‘conditioned’ side of the envelope.
The German engineer inspecting the ASTM calibration apparatus for ensuring low air flow readings of testing equipment are within allowable specification of the standard.
L-R: Trainer Mike Sovell takes Jordan MacDonald, Shervin Akhavi and Tom Kendell through 5 days of grueling training at his testing lab in Watertown, SD.
Mike masking off the window to prepare for a ‘tare reading’ of window air leakage.
Mike Sovell taking us through the paces on how to set up and use the testing equipment for air and rain water intrusion testing.
Shervin having selectively masked his window to test for water intrusion through the window only. With the spray apparatus set up, he was ready to drop 8″ of rain per hour’s worth of water on that poor window.
This lovely century Arts and Crafts house was furnished to the nines, all original wood with such generously sized rooms. A lovely stay overlooking a small lake amidst farm country.
The reading of ASTM, CSA, AAMA standards for 5 days on-end can have a depraving effect on its readers. Buffeted by copious amounts of good local and not so local German beers, we made it through the 5 day ordeal thanks to this powerful antidote. It had nothing to do with the fact that 2 east coasters and one German were part of the Canadian contingent.