FLIR B-Series infrared camera optimizes passive housing construction
As energy prices soar, the market for low-energy house building is
becoming promising all over Europe. Infrared cameras are used to check
the building substance and air circulation during and after the
The main principle of low-energy houses is to avoid heat
loss and to optimize all sources of heat production. Passive houses go a
step further: they are extremely well insulated, do not have heat
bridges, use heat exchangers, sun radiation and more sources to save the
heat of the air-outflow by transmitting its energy to the fresh air
inflow. They follow among others, some comfort (ISO 7730) and air
quality (DIN 1946) standards. These houses need up to 90% less heating
energy than a conventional residential building. The passive house is
likely to become a European Union-wide building standard as of 2012.
Infrared image shows insulation quality of low energy house
Checking the construction process
Passive houses have to be planned and constructed
with care. “The building process has to be monitored very closely” says
Markus Meyer, owner of AIROPTIMA, a building consulting company
specialized in HVAC issues for residential buildings and in particular
eco houses. “An infrared camera combined with the blower door procedure
is a perfect instrument to detect temperature differences in a
non-contact and non-destructive way”. These temperature differences are
prime indicators of building construction faults, warm bridges or air
leaks. Meyer inspects passive houses after building stages are finished
and after full completion of the house: ”a strong moment for infrared technology, as I require the presence of all craftsmen during this inspection”.
Meyer uses a FLIR B360 infrared camera which has
specific measurement features for building applications. He often uses
the camera’s humidity and insulation alarm functions as well as its
Picture-in-Picture functionality. His reports for building owners,
architects or energy consultants are made with the ThermaCAM Reporter
software and contain advice on which appliances to use in order to
optimize the house’s heating and ventilation.
Air leaks in door with considerable temperature difference.
Air leak during blower door inspection, Picture in picture image.
In addition to the exploding amount of passive
houses in Europe, Meyer sees growing potential in the energy
rehabilitation of existing buildings. Against the background of rising
energy prices, which means high heating, ventilation and air
conditioning costs, the building substance will be increasingly valued
by its degree of energy consumption. “An analysis will always start with
a thermographic inspection to detect heat losses near roofs, windows,
and key physical building elements. This information combined with
relevant calculations is the best basis to plan and monitor building
energy optimization works.”
Acknowledgements to Bernd Duschek of FLIR products
distributor TOPA GmbH (www.topa.de) and FLIR Systems Regional Sales
Manager Sebastian Hinterseer for providing contact and support.
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