Some of the air blower tests aimed at measuring the energy efficiency of Charters Valley’s new high school-middle school complex may have been blowing money in the wind.
The blower tests help identify air leaks in a classrooms and other spaces in the still-under-construction facility. But contractors have been conducting some tests—at $2,500 per test—in areas that didn’t yet have window caulking or fully sealed drywall or other energy savings measures in place.
Chartiers Valley School Board voted last month to re-eximine its construction contracts to stop blower testing in rooms that aren’t fully finished.
“The blower test is inaccurate—and that’s putting it mildly—during the construction phase,” said board president Tony Mazzarini.
If air leaks are detected after a space is finished, it’s up to the builders—not the school district—to pay for a fix, he added: “I believe there’s no risk here and it’s all upside.”
Eliminating blower tests during construction could save the school district as much as $75,000. Mazzarini estimated that 20 to 30 more tests were planned during construction.