Building Performance Contractors Association

Advanced Approach to Air Sealing and Air Leakage Diagnostics

For Building Performance Contractors and Raters

BPI Recognized TrainingMay 10-11, 2010 -- Rochester, NY - SOLD OUT
May 13-14, 2010 -- Syracuse/Utica, NY - SOLD OUT
May 19-20, 2010 -- Westchester County, NY - SOLD OUT
May 17-18, 2010 -- Albany, NY - Postponed until the Fall of 2010, Please register for any of the 3 remaining locations

Additional Field Trainings will be scheduled in the Fall of 2010

We need a host Company that can supply the use of their equipment for the 2 days of the training in Rochester and the Syracuse areas.

Please click here for complete details of the equipment needed.

We also need one home to work on in each of the 4 areas we plan to hold the training. Preferably, the homes would be an older 2 story home with an attached garage, a full cellar with natural draft appliances, an accessible attic, and has little or no upgrades to date. Please contact: Jim Hammel at 315.638.1757 if you can help with any of the above.

7:30 am - Registration
8:00 am - 4:00 pm Training

Course Description

This training will be directed toward building analysts and material installers interested in improving their air leakage diagnostics and effective air sealing skills. Advanced technologies including infrared imagers, blower doors and differential manometers will be used to determine the most significant leakage pathways in residential buildings, and series leakage diagnostics will be used to quantify and prioritize zonal leakage paths.

This on-site training will utilize the Air Leakage Investigation Protocol taught in the Advanced Diagnostics Course to apply “real world diagnostics” in locating and prioritizing air leakage paths, and then to guide the actual remediation work. Each participant will receive hands-on experience listed below:

  1. Using the blower door to determine building leakage rates and recommended air tightness levels followed by series leakage calculations to quantify air leakage from zones outside of the conditioned space. This is a powerful tool for prioritizing air sealing work and evaluating the effectiveness of air sealing efforts.
  2. Mapping, locating and exposing air leakage routes through the building frame and ductwork with pressures, diagnostic smoke and infrared imagery techniques to identify the air leakage contribution of wall intersections, attic floor systems, knee-wall areas, basements and crawlspaces.
  3. Air sealing techniques with 2-part spray urethane. Attendees will receive guidance on applying 2# urethane foam for cost effective air sealing, and be given the opportunity to apply 2 part urethane spray foam in the air sealing of building frames.
  4. Air sealing building frames with high density cellulose. High density cellulose can be the single most effective air sealing measure when done to the right density and installed in the correct places. We will examine building frames as the largest source of air leakage and demonstrate ways to effectively address band joist areas between floors, interior wall partitions and framed stairwells with high density cellulose. Additionally, attendees will also receive hands-on training in the techniques and best practices for installing high density cellulose in exterior sidewalls.
  5. Air sealing chimneys and vents for safety will include a brief demonstration on correct materials and techniques for sealing active chimneys, vent pipes and recessed lighting.
  6. Diagnostics for locating duct leaks and duct sealing practices, a hands-on exercise in locating duct leaks with pressures and repairing duct work with latex-based mastic and other sealing strategies.
  7. Health and safety testing of the combustion appliance zones. Testing the performance of combustion vents and draft pressures for Category 1 appliances. This is a critical aspect of air sealing and must be a standard operating procedure for all air sealing specialists.

Things to Bring

Attendees are requested to bring the following:

  • pocket calculator
  • clipboard
  • tape measure
  • infrared imager – optional
  • hammer
  • pry bar
  • utility knife
  • any devised implements you have developed to accomplish those unusual tasks.

Personal Protection Gear including:

  • particulate and chemical respirator,
  • dust masks
  • eye protection
  • coveralls or Tyvek suit
  • shoe/boot covers
  • work gloves
  • Bump hat

Attendees can plan on getting dirty at this training.

If you do not have the appropriate gear (example: N-95 respirator and safety glasses), you will not be able to participate in some aspects of the training.

Also, if you have access to scaffolding, planks & ladders, it would be very helpful if you could bring them to the training. Please confirm with Jim Hammel at 315.638.1757.

Speaker Biography

Robert Kahabka, Northern Comfort Diagnostics, Woodhull, NY
Robert has over 25 years experience in building construction, energy analysis, air quality analysis and remediation work.  He has 18 years experience in adult education, including classroom and field training on building construction, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. He has served as a local Weatherization Manager and a Technical Representative and Trainer for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. His current business, Northern Comfort Diagnostics, provides accredited training and quality assurance for the ENERGY STAR® Labeled Homes Program in New York State and New England. Additionally, he provides training and consulting services for builders, owners and home performance contractors in New York State.

CEU Credits

  • Building Performance Institute 7 CEU's


  • $400 (We are in the process of applying for rebates)


Space Is Limited to 12 Attendees per Training.  There must be a minimum of 8 attendees to hold the class.

Please print out these pages so you know what to bring, etc.

Refund Policy

Registration refund requests received by email will be honored up to seven days prior to the event. After that time, refunds will not be granted.

For more information about the workshop, contact: