Air Barrier Technical Library



Click here for a summary of the various codes and standards that reference air barriers in Canadian codes and standards. Note these National Building Code of Canada articles may differ in BC and Ontario. Check your local code for any differences.

The National Research Council Canada has released new energy efficiency requirements for Part 9 buildings which include requirements for air barriers. Click here to download these revisions and errata to the National Building Code of Canada 2010 as well as those to the National Energy Code for Buildings 2011.



View our list of NABA Evaluated Air Barrier Assemblies that have completed a ASTM E2357 Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage of Air Barrier Assemblies. This test combines the primary air barrier material with supporting air barrier accessories such as transition membranes and sealants to form a complete air barrier assembly, near-identical to how a wall would be designed and built in your construction project.

For each air barrier assembly listing, you will find air barrier construction design details from the manufacturer which you can download and use in your project design. Click here to download these design details.


A number of general details were developed when the State of Massachusetts adopted air barriers in their current energy code. The details provide a number of wall systems and provides general guidance into some of the design considerations:

Want to learn more about air barriers, their use in construction, cost benefits and design guidelines ? Check out of technical library and air barrier materials page.


Click here for the NABA Air Barrier Master Specifications


  1. "Continuing Problems with Air Barrier Systems" - The Construction Specifier December 2011
  2. NEEC - Air Barrier Management Fact Sheet, July 2011
  3. "Air Barriers: An Evolution" April 2010
  4. The High Performance House – What Does It Take? – Part One
  5. Handling Framing Details in High – Performance Homes – Part Two
  6. The air barrier defined.
  7. Air barrier systems: Construction Applications
  8. The difference between a vapour barrier and an air barrier.
  9. Air Barrier Systems in Buildings
  10. Moisture Control for Buildings
  11. Let's Talk about ... Moisture and Mould
  12. A Method of Evaluating Air Barrier Systems and Materials
  13. Guidelines For Delivering Effective Air Barrier Systems
  14. Design Considerations for an Air Barrier System
  15. Air Sealing in Occupied Homes
  16. Air Barriers
  17. Structural Requirements for Air Barriers
  18. Air Barrier Materials and Systems: What is the Difference? Is There a Difference?
  19. Guide to Insulation Sheathing sheathing
  20. Single Wythe Block Construction
    Analysis on how single wythe block can meet the requirements for the energy code for various states
    A report has been generated to provide guidance.
  21. Air Barriers in Building Construction
    Understanding Costs, Meeting Performance Standards and Exceeding Codes
    Honeywell 2010 - White Paper_Air Barriers - SPF.pdf



  1. Wrap it up: Building Houses with the Skin on the Outside
  2. Energy Efficient Remodeling – Grab the Opportunity!
  3. Controlling the transfer of heat, air and moisture through the Building Envelope.
  4. Wind and air pressure on the Building Envelope
  5. Joe Lstiburek & Betsy Pettit: Better Building
  6. Wind Safety of the Building Envelope
  7. The New Building Crisis: A Survival Guide
  8. Are Your Houses Too Tight?
  9. Low-Permeance Materials in Building Envelopes
  10. Service Life of the Building Envelope
  11. Integrating the Window with the Building Envelope
  12. Air Pressure and the Building Envelope
  13. Building Envelope – Keeping Walls Dry – Part 1
  14. Building Envelope – Keeping Walls Dry – Part 2
  15. Impact of Air Leakage on the Thermal and Moisture Performance of the Building Envelope
  16. Details: Airtight Framing
  17. Weather-Tight Exteriors
  18. Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Airtightness on HVAC Energy Use.
  19. The Trouble With It: Building Science



  1. Beauty and the Beast Upstairs
  2. Out, Out Dammed Ice!
  3. Vapour Barriers in Home Construction
  4. Vapour Barriers: What are they? Are they effective?
  5. Air leakage control
  6. Control of air leakage is important
  7. Air leakage in buildings
  8. Humidity in Canadian Buildings
  9. Humidified Buildings
  10. Vapour Barriers and Wall Design
  11. Understanding Vapour Barriers barriers
  12. Vapour Barriers and Wall Design



  1. Moisture Control in Bathrooms
  2. Moisture and Mobile Home Weatherization
  3. Fundamental of Moisture in Houses
  4. Moisture problems in houses
  5. Moisture Sources in Houses
  6. Building Science: Understanding Heat Flow
  7. Building Science: Understanding Air Flow
  8. Building Science: Moisture Flow
  9. Building Science: Clearing the Air
  10. Moisture Control for Buildings
  11. Relative Humidity
  12. Humidity Control in the South
  13. Measuring Humidity in your Home
  14. Moisture and Wood-Frame Building



  1. Unventing Attics in Cold Climates
  2. Reexamining Roof Ventilation
  3. Forum Brings Fresh Air to Ventilation Issues
  4. Ventilating Attics to Minimize Icings at Eaves
  5. Mechanical Ventilation for the Home
  6. Ventilation of houses.
  7. Ventilation Principles
  8. Preventing Ice Dams
  9. Residential Ventilation: Too Little, Too Much, or Just Right?
  10. Why Houses Need Mechanical Ventilation Systems
  11. Current Approaches for Mechanical Ventilations of Houses
  12. Factors Affecting the Performance of Ventilation Systems in Large Buildings
  13. Evaluating Ventilation in Multifamily Buildings
  14. Improving the Evaluation of Building Ventilation
  15. Myths about Building Envelopes
  16. Ventilation
  17. Residential Ventilation and Latent Loads
  18. Airflow in the Ventilation Space Behind a Rain Screen Wall
  19. Forum Brings Fresh Air to Ventilation Issues



  1. Drying out a crawlspace
  2. Better Breathing Thanks to Good Science
  3. Moisture Control in Bathrooms
  4. Sick Houses : Using Diagnostic Tools to Improve Indoor Air Quality
  5. Rain Penetration and Moisture Damage in Residential Construction
  6. Dealing with Moisture Problems
  7. Beating the Mould Challenge.
  8. Indoor Air Quality and Mould Prevention of the Building Envelope
  9. Moisture Management
  10. Tips for Controlling Mould
  11. Winning the War Against Mould
  12. Water Management – control moisture problems, and you can control mould.
  13. Mould: A growing concern!
  14. What you need to know about mould
  15. Mould Testing
  16. Mould Remediation in Occupied Homes
  17. Mould: Causes, Health Effects and Clean-Up
  18. Moisture, Building Enclosures, and Mould – Part 1
  19. Moisture, Building Enclosures, and Mould – Part 2
  20. Humidity Control in the Humid South
  21. Mould and Moisture Dynamics
  22. Dangers of Mould lie in Ambiguity
  23. Combating Mould and Mildew
  24. Mould
  25. Air Pressure and Building Envelopes
  26. Fighting Mould – The Homeowners Guide
  27. Should You Test the Air in your Home for Mould?
  28. Water Damage, Mould and House Insurance
  29. How To Clean-Up The Mould:
  30. Mould & Mildew – Cleaning up your Flood Damaged Home
  31. Mould & Moisture – Should you be Concerned?
  32. A Brief Guide to Mould, Moisture, and your Home.
  33. Mould Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.
  34. Mould and Moisture
  35. Indoor Air Quality and Mould Prevention of the Building Envelope
  36. Indoor Air – Mould
  37. Sick Houses – Using Diagnostic Tools to Improve Indoor Air Quality



  1. Snowy and Icy Indicators of Wasted Money
  2. First Step in Cellulose Sealing : Spot the Style
  3. Home Energy's Consumer Guide to Insulation
  4. The Insulation Industry's Dirty Secret
  5. An Insulation Roundup
  6. Choosing Insulation
  7. Prevent Ice Dams
  8. Insulation, Sheathings and Vapour Retarders
  9. Vermiculite Insulation Containing Amphibole Asbestos
  10. Air Leakage Control



  1. ASHRAE Standard 189.1 - Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
  2. Building Better - How High-Efficiency Buildings Will Save Money and Reduce Global Warming (March 2010)
  3. Temperature Gradients through Building Envelopes
  4. Thermal Bridges in Buildings
  5. Heat Transfer at Building Surfaces
  6. Thermal Resistance of Building Insulation
  7. Energy Conservation in Canadian School Building
  8. Performance Testing Standards for building
  9. The National Research Council of Canada: Energy Efficiency Pioneer
  10. Interior Lighting Design and Energy Conservation
  11. Space Heating and Energy Conservation
  12. New Energy Codes and Their Impact on Lighting Design
  13. Rehabilitation of Solid Masonry Walls
  14. Energy Education: A Kilowatt is a Terrible Thing to Waste
  15. Energy Savings Rise High in Multifamily Buildings
  16. The Key to Persistence
  17. Making Low Income Housing Affordable: The Northgate Retrofits
  18. Selecting Windows for Energy Efficiency
  19. Energy Efficient Retrofit- The Building Envelope
  20. Energy Efficient Upgrade – Mechanical Systems
  21. ASHRAE Mulls Continuous Air Barriers
  22. Blueprint for Advancing High-Performance Homes
    Turner-Vaughan Issues in Science and Technology Article.pdf
  23. TightVent Europe Newsletter September 2012: The Observatoire BBA Examines Airtightness
  24. Mandatory Energy-Reporting for Large Buildings Reaches Minneapolis - Construction Dive, Feb 14, 2013