AIR PRESSURE TESTING
- Air Pressure Testing is embedded within the Building Regulations.
- What is Air Leakage ?
- Why is Air Leakage important ?
- Testing and Standards
- What Standards are to be achieved ?
- Do all new dwellings need to be tested ?
- When should I contact the Air Pressure Testing Company ?
- Information that we require.
- Checklist of items
Air Pressure Testing – Why ?
Air Tightness Testing became a Statutory requirement under Part L of the Building Regulations in April 2002. There have also been updates of Part L in 2006, 2010 and 2013 which came into effect.
New dwellings that are constructed and require Planning Consent and Building Regulation Approval must comply with Part L of the Building Regulations.
What is Air Leakage ?
Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the building fabric of a building. ( Sometimes known as Infiltration or Draughts ).
This is not to be confused with Ventilation, which is the controlled flow of air into and out of the building through purpose-built in ventilators that are required for the comfort and safety of the occupants.
Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss and discomfort to the occupants from cold draughts.
Why is Air Leakage important ?
Air leakage in dwellings through cracks around doors, windows, service entry points and simply poor construction sealing of the dwelling, leads to higher Energy bills. Our heating systems within houses produce CO2 emissions which is a Greenhouse Gas and contributes to global warming.
Reduced air leakage results in reduced heating energy use and saves money and the effects on the planet.
The purpose of reducing air leakage is to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce heating bills and improve occupant comfort.
Testing and Standards.
The testing of dwellings is carried out by Approved and tested individuals / Companies.
The UKAS Accreditation scheme is administered by ATTMA with Technical guidance provided by the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association ( ATTMA ).
Testers are individuals/companies that are registered with ATTMA and operate in accordance with a strict code of conduct and ATTMA Approved Quality Procedures.
We are pleased to confirm that we are registered with ATTMA for the Testing and Certifying of Dwellings.
What Standards are to be achieved ?
The maximum Air Leakage rate acceptable under the Building Regulations Part L is currently a leakage rate of 10 m3 / (h.m2 ) @50Pa. This level is the same across all of the 2006, 2010 and 2013 versions.
However, some Architects & Designers stipulate a rate of lower than 10 m3 / (h.m2 ) @50Pa as part of the overall SAP Rating in order to assist with SAP Compliance – which is also under part L of the Building Regulations.
At the Design Stage the and within the SAP Rating Design Documentation package, the ‘Design Air Permeability Rate’ will be identified. If this standard is lower than 10, this is the target rate for the Air Pressure Test and this figure will be required by the Tester.
If the Air Pressure Test does not achieve the Design Air Permeability Rate then it is likely that the dwelling will fail the SAP Energy Rating. In which case remedial works will be required in order to reduce the Leakage Rate to that lower than the Design level.
Do all new dwellings need to be tested ?
If you are constructing a single ‘one-off ’ type dwelling under the 2010 Part L1 and more recent, it is most likely that you will be required to test the dwelling. – Liaise with Building Control or the NHBC or the relevant Building Control Body checking the building construction. – Don’t leave it until near completion!
For multiple dwelling sites, there are sampling rules which are governed by the dwelling types spread across the site. This can get complicated, so it is advisable to make contact with the Air Pressure Testing Organisation early in the construction phase. The Tester can then in turn contact the relevant Building Control body to discuss and agree an Air Testing strategy/requirement for the site.
When should I contact the Air Pressure Testing Company ?
It is a good idea to contact and appoint the Air Pressure Testing Company early on in the construction phase.
Depending upon your knowledge and experience within the industry you might want advice and tips on the items that you and your builders should be addressing as part of the construction.
Nobody wants the completed dwelling to Fail which will require some form of remedial work and a re-test.
Information that we require.
When contacting us, in order to provide you with an accurate quotation we will require a copy of the Building Regulation drawings for the dwelling/s indicating the floor plans, sections, elevations of the dwellings at a recognisable scale of generally either 1: 50 or 1: 100. Over the phone, we will only provide you with a guide price.
We will still require the drawings before we attend to conduct the test as there are calculations that we must undertake prior to conducting the test.
What happens if the dwelling does Fail the Test ?
Remedial works will be required and a re-test. If this cannot be achieved quickly at the time of the test and we have to revisit, then additional charges will be made.
Please use our contact page to send us an email or call us on 01303 260656.
Unit 5 Lemanis House, Stone Street Lympne, Nr Hythe, Kent. CT21 4JN.
Telephone 01303 260656