Case Study – Boston Housing Authority



City Mission: To Reduce Energy Costs and Improve Indoor Air Quality for Three Buildings That Make Up the Heritage Apartments Section 8 Housing

In late 2010, the city of Boston first announced plans to renovate the Heritage Apartments, a section 8 housing structure in East Boston. The complex consists of three separate five- and six-story buildings, which include nearly 300 individual apartments. A top priority for the renovation was to improve the energy efficiency and indoor air quality of the units.

A preliminary inspection found substantial leakage in each of the buildings’ 75 exhaust shafts. As a result, kitchens and bathrooms on the lower floors received little ventilation while upper floor units, those closer to the rooftop exhaust fans, were over-ventilated. The leaks were not only responsible for inadequate ventilation but also lead to higher fan usage and thousands of dollars in additional energy costs associated with running these fans at higher speeds.


In Brief

Building: Heritage Apartments, East Boston, MA
Engineer: Wozny/Barbar & Associates
Mechanical Contractors: Enterprise Equipment
HVAC Specialists: Aeroseal of Maryland
Reduce energy usage – increase IAQ
Before Aeroseal:
Up to 900 CFM* of leakage
After Aeroseal:
30 CFM of leakage
Results: Eliminated leakage in all 75 shafts
*Cubic feet per minute

Engineers on the project were familiar with Aeroseal, a duct sealing technology that works from the inside of ductwork to seal leaks. It was clear to them that, short of tearing down existing walls to access the individual shafts, this new technology offered the only viable solution to their duct leakage problem. So the work contract specified the use of Aeroseal.

It took Aeroseal of Maryland less than a month to seal all 75 exhaust shafts. Post-sealing tests showed that Aeroseal reduced leakage by 90% or more, allowing the engineers to dramatically improve the buildings’ ventilation, while reducing energy consumption.



“This was our first exposure to the Aeroseal technology, and the experience was nothing but positive. The crew was knowledgeable and methodical in their approach. When it was completed, we received computer-generated documentation that provided a clear picture of the before and after measurements and the significant difference that the sealing process made.”
Matt Alberti, Enterprise, Equipment Company Inc.,Mechanical Contractors

“Our goal was to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings, and Aeroseal played a significant role in that mission. I liked what I saw and plan to propose the use of this product to future clients looking to improve the performance and reduce the energy usage of their buildings.” Zbigniew Wozny, Wozny/Barbar & Associates, Project Engineers

“In the past, building codes and specifications for effective duct sealing were often ignored, simply because there was no viable means of reaching these specifications. Now with Aeroseal, we are seeing a growing number of projects that specify the use of ‘an aerosol-based duct-sealing product,’ and of course, Aeroseal is the only solution that fits that bill.” Dave Schmidt, Aeroseal of Maryland

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