We offer developers an air tightness testing service with one goal in mind: to get your plots passed. We provide an ATTMA registered technician with UKAS-calibrated equipment and a thermographer to ensure rigorous and efficient testing.
Air tightness testing is a procedure to trace any unwanted drafts and uncontrolled airflow through a house or other building. Too much air leakage leads to heat loss resulting in higher C02 emissions. Reducing C02 emissions is the ultimate purpose of ‘Part L’ of the new building regulations.
Air tightness testing was added to Part L of the Building Regulations more than 10 years ago after it was shown that excessive uncontrolled air leakage (as opposed to active or passive ventilation) is a major cause of heat loss and can negate any performance gains which might otherwise have been achieved through design and modern materials. All builders will attempt to “build tight” – in other words, to form junctions well and to seal service penetrations, etc. – however, it is impossible to know how successful they have been by carrying out a visual inspection alone.
During an air permeability test, the main entrance (usually the front door) is blocked off with a curtain mounted in a frame; a powerful fan provides the suction and depressurises the house, and the technician records the air permeability or ‘leakage’ value. The basics of the test are easily understood – air will move from high-pressure areas to low, exploiting any leakage paths which often coincide with unintended gaps and flaws in the construction. If the permeability value falls below a value set in Building Regulations the plot will have been deemed to have failed: rectification work will be required before the test is repeated.
An air tightness test will give you a numerical figure, however, it will not tell you the location of any leaks. Thermal imaging surveys in which case can be invaluable in this regard. Experienced developers often bring us in before boarding and before air testing to help their sub-contractors find leakage paths in the blockwork and penetrations points. This saves the cost and the frustration of hunting down cracks and gaps following a failed test.
If you have any questions or would like to book one of our services, please contact us
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