INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN COOKE FROM AEROBARRIER
Introducing, AeroBarrier: the most advanced air sealing technology used in homes today! At Activa, we are proud to include this as a standard in all of our Net Zero Ready and Net Zero homes.
AeroBarrier is a self-guided sealing system that seals holes not visible to the human eye and is applied either at the rough-in stage or once drywall has gone up in the home.
To provide further information on how this works, we welcomed the Sales and Marketing Manager of AeroBarrier Canada, Brian Cooke, to ActivaLearn, to share everything there is to know about this innovative technology!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background with AeroBarrier?
I was introduced to AeroBarrier technology by my father, Gord Cooke. He was an early pioneer of ventilation equipment in Canada & has a long history of working with Canadian builders, helping to integrate innovative products and solutions to drive energy efficiency.
Gord also started and grew one of the country’s largest residential energy advisory firms, Building Knowledge Canada (an integral partner to Activa). Throughout his career of 30 years, I recall him mentioning a consistent problem that arose – building homes air-tight enough to avoid drafts and energy waste.
When Gord learned of AeroBarrier, a newly developed technology, he wanted to help with the Canadian launch. He saw AeroBarrier technology as a tool that would enable builders to improve how they build. Scott Stevens & myself brought the dealership to Canada in 2018 and have since then sealed over 1,500 homes across the country.
What’s the history of the product/process?
It all started in Dr. Mark Modera’s California garage in 1993. He invented a breakthrough aerosol-based sealing technology called ‘Aeroseal.’ For the first time, it was possible to seal leaks and holes in air ducts from the inside out. Until that time, the only way to seal ductwork was messy and labour-intensive. This process was not an option for most homeowners. Modera’s invention was very well received in the industry and was even awarded the prestigious ‘Energy Top 100’ award by the US Department of Energy.
AeroBarrier is the next evolution of Aeroseal to seal leakage from the inside-out. In collaboration with the University of UC Berkley, Dr. Modera took the same successful concept of Aeroseal and applied it to air sealing entire buildings. The parent company AeroSeal launched AeroBarrier in 2018.
In Canada, unintentional air leakage can account for up to 40% of annual heating costs; but with AeroBarrier’s unique approach, the industry is progressing to reduce this cost while achieving energy efficiency.
Can you tell us how AeroBarrier works and the science/technology behind it?
AeroBarrier can seal leakage areas up to 1/2 inch wide. We connect our patented technology to the home via a modified blower door to pressurize and distribute the sealing formula. The pressure carries our non-toxic, water-based formula throughout the home.
AeroBarrier effectively seals small gaps by using the very air that is leaking. A computer controls the entire process, including the temperature, pressure, humidity, and distribution of sealant within the space. The process provides peace of mind as the team can monitor the seal with real-time results. Once the sealant is sprayed, it produces a fog-like atmosphere inside. The sealant particles travel along the air pathways and gaps and accumulate on the edges of the openings. The sealant manages to fill all the gaps in just a few hours. There’s no need for laborious manual sealing.
How does it improve the home? Why is airtightness a good thing?
Having an airtight home is important in a few ways; it adds durability, energy savings & comfort.
Durability: Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks, gaps, and other openings. As living beings, we generate moisture through breathing and our day-to-day activities such as showering in our homes. That moisture will travel through air leakage areas causing potential condensation and mold issues as the warm moist air hits the cold surfaces on the outside of the building.
Energy Savings: We don’t leave our windows or doors open in the winter as our furnace would have to work twice as hard to keep us warm. So, you can quickly imagine that the more we reduce unintentional air leakage the more energy efficient our homes become. Up to 40% of our heating bills in Canada can be attributed to Air leakage.
Comfort: In addition, leaky homes allow dust, allergens, pollutants, and other airborne particulates to enter the home, leading to poor indoor air quality.
Watch the video below for an overview of AeroBarrier’s sealing process!
The need for airtightness:
Building an air-tight envelope is one of the most significant parts of building an energy-efficient home, as it keeps temperatures in the home consistent throughout the year. Airtightness also keeps out dirty air, allergens and contaminants that are bad for your health. Luckily, Net Zero builders like Activa include this technology in all Net Zero Ready and Net Zero homes, along with other improved HVAC components to prioritize homeowners’ health and well-being.
What are your thoughts on Net Zero homes and the future of home building?
One of the coolest parts about the direction of the home building industry is that the same building science principles & steps that we want to consider to build the most comfortable and durable home for homeowners are the same steps to build an energy-efficient home.
Net Zero homes help us reach energy efficiency & carbon reduction goals. It also aligns with how we approach building the most comfortable, durable & healthy home possible. So simply put, any potential home buyer should actively seek cutting-edge communities & builders who take on the challenge of Net Zero building. During the rising cost of fuel/carbon, technologies like AeroBarrier are helping enable industry adoption. Hence the economics of investing in a Net Zero home is a no-brainer. Homeowners investing in the concepts of Net Zero homes are future-proofing their homes!
Build for the Future
Moving forward at Activa, all single detached homes purchased in Trussler West and net new communities are Net Zero Ready – a designation one step away from full Net Zero. Activa homeowners can upgrade their homes to full Net Zero with the addition of solar panels that provide sustainable energy back into the home. Learn more about energy-efficient home building on ActivaLearn!