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Air barrier systems can be located anywhere in the building enclosure – at the exterior surface, the interior surface, or at any location in between. In cold climates, interior air barrier systems control the exfiltration of interior, often moisture-laden air. Whereas exterior air barrier systems control the infiltration of exterior air and prevent wind-washing through cavity insulation systems.

Air barrier systems should be:

  • impermeable to air flow;
  • continuous over the entire building enclosure or continuous over the enclosure of any given unit;
  • able to withstand the forces that may act on them during and after construction;
  • durable over the expected lifetime of the building.

Numerous approaches can be used to provide air barrier systems in buildings. Some of the more common are:

Figure_02: Exterior air barrier using adhered membrane

Figure 2
:  Exterior Air Barrier Using Adhered Membrane