Saving Construction Projects One Skyscraper at a Time

| by Neal Walsh
Saving Construction Projects One Skyscraper at a Time

From the start, the Building by Daman was to stand out as an architectural marvel among the cityscape of Dubai, UAE -- one that was already a testament to man’s limitless achievements in building design and construction. So you can imagine the disruption that ensued when engineers learned that much of the newly installed ductwork was leaking 30% or more.  

Aside from the fact that this was way outside building code specification, the duct leakage would most certainly prevent the HVAC system from effectively doing its job.  Leaky ductwork is typically the main culprit behind issues related to poor indoor air quality and uneven temperatures. And for a building this size, the leaks easily represented tens of thousands of dollars in added utility costs due to wasted energy. The problem had to be solved.

Unfortunately, remedying the situation via traditional manual sealing methods was out of the question. Now hidden behind miles of wiring, pipes, drywall and other obscuring infrastructure, accessing the ductwork to reach the leaks would have required a near-total demolition of much of the newly constructed interior.  So instead, Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), the general contractors assigned to fix the situation, called in the experts at Firestop Middle East, regional contractors that specialize in sealing projects.

Image courtesy of Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG)

Firestop’s recommendation: an innovative approach to duct sealing that quickly works from the inside of the ducts to find and seal leaks.  Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the new technology, called aeroseal, is applied as an aerosol mist into the interior of the ductwork. Rather than coating the inside, the sealant remains suspended in air until it comes across a leak. Here it begins to bond around the hole until the entire leak is sealed. This inside-out approach meant that the building’s entire duct system could be easily accessed without having to tear into walls or dismantle the newly erected infrastructure.

From beginning to end, it took Firestop just two-weeks to effectively seal 19+ duct systems. In each case, leakage rates were reduced from an average of 20% down to 5% or less. During the entire process, walls were left intact and construction continued without disruption.

The Building By Daman project was completed on schedule and today stands as a proud testament to architectural achievement. And with the help of an innovative approach to duct sealing, it also serves as a model of energy efficiency and building performance.

This blog was developed by Aeroseal. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.

Topics: HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Ventilation

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