In a city where condominiums are cropping up faster than Starbucks in a business district, the MuseumHouse, on Toronto’s prestigious Bloor Street West, stands far above the rest. This 19-story ultra-luxury condo represents the ultimate in lavish living. Ranging in price from $2 million to $12 million a piece, each of the building’s 27 units offers its residents a stunning panoramic view of the city, private elevators, a grand terrace and sparkling glass walls. And until recently, many of the units also came with leaky air ducts.
Once the complex was completed and the new tenants began to move in, engineers were surprised to find that the state-of-the-art HVAC systems used in the individual condominium units weren’t supplying nearly the amount of air that they were designed to handle.
“The standard we needed to meet for this type of residential ductwork is about 12% leakage,” said David Hart, Yorkville Construction Corporation. “We were getting closer to 30%.”
A thorough investigation of the problem led to the conclusion that a defect in the ductwork was keeping the longitudinal joints from fitting properly. The solution…move the residents out, tear down the new drywall and ceilings, access the ductwork, and manually seal each of the leaks…or not. Faced with this disastrous route, the building’s engineers did some Internet research and found out about Aeroseal duct sealing. A deeper search on the Aeroseal website led them to JW Danforth, mechanical contractors out of Tonawanda, New York.
“Shortly after the call from Yorkville, we came up to Toronto and tested Aeroseal on one of the unoccupied units,” said Ken Kwasniak, service operations manager for JW Danforth. “We were able to demonstrate how this duct sealing technology works from inside the duct system to seal the leaks. No need to tear down walls or break into ceilings. The realization that there was an alternative solution to having to visually access and manually seal the leaks was a huge relief for everyone.”
Over the next several weeks, Kwasniak and his team worked to test and seal each of the 30+ individual duct systems that required repair. Extra precaution was taken to protect the expensive furniture, artwork and other valuables exposed in the occupied apartments. Still, each unit was completed in less than a day. Leaks were sealed, valuables were protected, cleanup was quick and tenant disruption was minimized. Best of all, the treated HVAC systems were performing well under specification and walls and ceilings remained in tacked.
“Before Aeroseal duct sealing, we were seeing 200 to 300 CFM of leakage,” said Kwasniak. “After Aeroseal we saw that come down as far as 6 CFM or less – well under ASHRAE standards.”
“From a purely monetary standpoint, this approach saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovation costs,” said Hall. “Aeroseal works – and works very well.”
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