Air Barrier Certifications Promise More Jobs for BAC Members

Journal: Issue 1 - 2013

Group photo of first IMI/ABAA Air Barrier Installation Course.

BAC members will soon have increased access to Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) certifications thanks to a new IMI Train-the-Trainer program at the Flynn Center in Bowie, Maryland. Twelve instructors recently spent a week at the Flynn Center completing the course and taking the required exam to be able to teach and administer ABAA certifications. Typically ABBA certifications cost approximately $1,500 for training per person, but under a cooperative agreement between IMI and ABAA, BAC members and contractors can receive the same training from IMI for free. They then will only have to pay the ABAA license fee of $250 and an annual renewal of $100.

The use of air barriers, which is not a material but a system that can take many different forms in construction, has increased dramatically and is a huge growth market for BAC members and contractors. According to ABAA, "air barriers control the unintended movement of air into and out of a building enclosure." The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that up to 40 percent of the energy used to heat and cool a building is due to uncontrolled air leakage. DOE's goal is to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent by 2020. This has led many federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to require air barrier systems. Many states now also include it in their building codes.

Installer is sealing membrane with the manufacturer's suggested sealant.
Installation of self-adhered membrane around a window opening.

A BAC member installs fluid-applied membrane on prepared CMU wall.
Preparing CMU wall for fluid-applied membrane.
Installers are finalizing the membrane installation around wall penetrations.

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