World Class Hospital Uses Aeroseal® and Increases Ventilation Efficiencies
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) used Aeroseal® duct sealing to seal leaks in one of its building’s ventilation shafts.
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) used Aeroseal® duct sealing earlier this month to seal leaks in one of its building’s ventilation shafts. Originally intended as a solution to an apparent building-to-building air contamination concern, the duct sealing technology quickly proved to offer other significant benefits including improved building ventilation and higher energy efficiency. The world-renowned hospital is now looking at using Aeroseal® to seal other duct systems throughout the institute. The hospital’s use of Aeroseal® began with the detection of an isotope in an area of the building approximately 150 feet from where it was created and supposedly confined. Engineers suspected that the isotope was escaping through leaks in the laboratory’s ventilation system and entering another wing through other leaks in an adjacent vent system.
“Given this scenario, we were looking at the daunting prospect of actually having to rebuild a completely new ventilation system for the hospital,” said Michelle Emond, project manager, UOHI. “Fortunately, one of our contractors told us about Aeroseal®, a breakthrough duct sealing technology that works from the inside of the duct system to seal leaks.”
Project: University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Location: 40 Ruskin St, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4W7, Canada
After passing the institute’s stringent health and safety criteria, Aeroseal® was used to seal one of several separate ventilation systems within the hospital. Since it works to seal leaks from inside the ventilation shaft, workers did not have to tear down walls or otherwise interrupt the institute’s day-to-day operations to complete the project. Once the sealing process began, the entire duct system was effectively sealed in less than a day.
With the ventilation shaft properly sealed, engineers were able to determine and fix the actual cause of the isotope leak. They also found that aerosealing the ventilation shaft dramatically improved the performance and energy efficiency of the hospital’s ventilation system.
“Aeroseal® really worked,” said Emond. “Prior to Aeroseal®, we were losing about 800 cfm of ventilated air and that meant we had to run our exhaust fans at full power to get sufficient ventilation. As soon as the leaks were sealed, we reduced that air loss way down to 10 cfm. We were able to turn down the power on the exhaust system while actually increasing ventilation efficiency. The difference was so significant, we are now looking at using Aeroseal® elsewhere throughout the hospital to ensure proper ventilation and improve energy efficiency.”
“The original ductwork was constructed of stainless steel that was welded together to minimize leaks,” said Robert Seals, Aeroseal LLC. “But, as this project highlights, even high-quality installations can suffer from leaks that affect HVAC performance. Aeroseal® can fix the problem, usually with minimal if any disruption. Its use in hospitals across the U.S. and now Canada is a testament to its safety characteristics.”
Aeroseal® is a breakthrough duct sealing technology developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with partial funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.
UNIVERSITY OF OTTOWA HEART INSTITUTE, CANADA
“Aeroseal® really worked. Prior to Aeroseal®, we had to run our exhaust fans at full power to get sufficient ventilation. As soon as the leaks were sealed, we were able to turn down the power on the exhaust system while actually increasing ventilation efficiency.”
Michelle Emond, Project Manager, UOHI