Frederick Douglass High School

Fayette County Public Schools

Project Name
Frederick Douglass High School
Fayette County Public Schools
Building Envelope Air Pressure Testing
Completion Date
287,000 sq. ft.
Project Budget
The Problem

Fayette County Public Schools required strict energy performance of their new high school, Frederick Douglass. The design and overall performance of the building hinged on the air barrier system to ensure that the mechanical loading for the building was within design parameters. As such, the design team specified an air barrier system performance of 0.15 CFM/ft^2 @ 75 Pa

Actions Taken

  • Paladin performed the test to meet 0.15 CFM/ft^2 @ 75 Pa allowable air loss anticipated for the insulated concrete form facility.
  • Due to the size and construction schedule of the project, Paladin completed the test in multiple sections. First, a pilot test on the fire-rated stairwell which was constructed first. Then, tests for each wing of construction. A total of six tests were performed.
  • The first test performed on the fire-rated stairwell revealed significant air losses well-over industry allowable levels. The Project Team revisited both detailing and construction methods to improve performance.
  • The revised details and construction methods were carried through the remainder of the facility with each additional wing of the building successfully meeting air loss thresholds.
  • In order to achieve maximum results, Paladin performed an in-situ test on a fire-rated stairwell that had three exposed faces. This approach allowed for the Commissioning Team, comprised of Paladin, General Contractor and Design Team, to analyze the performance of the air barrier system during the construction process. Several gaps in the air barrier system were discovered and remediations were implemented. Retesting verified that the remediations allowed for the air barrier system to perform below the performance thresholds.
  • This process of early testing was implemented throughout the building allowing for corrections to be made on in-progress sections of the building. The end result was an air barrier system that performed at 0.15 CFM/ft^2 @ 75 Pa.
  • Frederick Douglass High School met Fayette County Public Schools requirements for energy efficiency by performing below the thresholds of energy usage expected.