Air Tightness

Air Testing Technical Guide

Building Compliance Testing Limited can provide you with a fast and cost effective ATTMA Accredited Air Tightness Testing across Mainland UK, in accordance with BS EN ISO 9972:2015 and CIBSE TM23.

green tick BCTTechnical Guide: Air Testing

Welcome to our comprehensive technical guide on air tightness testing. This guide is designed to provide you with a detailed understanding of air tightness, why it’s essential, how it’s tested, and what you can do to improve it in your residential or commercial buildings.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Air Tightness?

    • Defining air tightness
    • Importance of air tightness in buildings
  2. Why Is Air Tightness Testing Necessary?

    • Impact on energy efficiency
    • Preventing drafts and heat loss
  3. The Air Tightness Testing Process

    • Equipment and tools used
    • Test standards and protocols
  4. Interpreting Air Tightness Test Results

    • Understanding air permeability values
    • Identifying potential problem areas
  5. Common Air Tightness Issues

    • Causes of air leakage
    • Typical problem areas
  6. Improving Air Tightness

    • Air sealing techniques and materials
    • Retrofit options
  7. When Should You Consider Air Tightness Testing?

    • New construction
    • Renovation and retrofit projects
    • Compliance with building regulations
  8. Choosing a Certified Air Tightness Testing Service

    • Qualifications and accreditation
    • Experience and track record
  9. Costs and Benefits of Air Tightness Testing

    • Cost considerations
    • Long-term energy savings
  10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • Common inquiries and answers

Introduction

Air tightness, or the lack thereof, plays a significant role in the energy efficiency and overall comfort of a building. Understanding the principles of air tightness testing and how to address air leakage issues can lead to substantial energy savings and a more comfortable indoor environment.

Our technical guide covers a range of topics, from the basics of air tightness to interpreting test results, common issues, and practical solutions. Whether you’re a homeowner, builder, architect, or developer, this guide provides the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about air tightness in your building projects.

If you’re ready to dive into the world of air tightness testing, simply select the section that interests you most, or start from the beginning to gain a comprehensive understanding of this critical aspect of building performance.

2. Why Is Air Tightness Testing Necessary?

  • Impact on Energy Efficiency: Air leakage can lead to increased heating and cooling costs, as conditioned air escapes, and unwanted outdoor air infiltrates the building. Understanding and addressing air tightness issues can significantly improve energy efficiency.

  • Preventing Drafts and Heat Loss: Air leaks can create uncomfortable drafts, making spaces less enjoyable and efficient. Proper air tightness testing and sealing ensure a more comfortable indoor environment and minimize heat loss during the colder months.

3. The Air Tightness Testing Process

  • Equipment and Tools Used: Learn about the specialized equipment used for air tightness testing, including blower doors and thermal imaging cameras, and how they work.

  • Test Standards and Protocols: Discover the industry standards and protocols that govern air tightness testing, ensuring accurate and consistent results.

4. Interpreting Air Tightness Test Results

  • Understanding Air Permeability Values: Explore the concept of air permeability, including air changes per hour (ACH) and air permeability indices (API). Learn how to interpret test results and determine whether your building meets desired standards.

  • Identifying Potential Problem Areas: Discover how to identify specific areas of concern based on test results, allowing you to target air sealing efforts effectively.

5. Common Air Tightness Issues

  • Causes of Air Leakage: Explore the common factors that lead to air leakage, such as poorly sealed building envelope components, gaps, and cracks.

  • Typical Problem Areas: Gain insights into the parts of a building most susceptible to air leakage, including windows, doors, attic hatches, and more.

6. Improving Air Tightness

  • Air Sealing Techniques and Materials: Learn about effective air sealing techniques and materials, including weatherstripping, caulk, expanding foam, and other solutions to minimize air leakage.

  • Retrofit Options: Understand how to address air tightness issues in existing buildings through retrofit strategies and improvements.

7. When Should You Consider Air Tightness Testing?

  • New Construction: Discover the benefits of incorporating air tightness testing into new construction projects to meet and exceed energy efficiency requirements.

  • Renovation and Retrofit Projects: Learn why air tightness testing is crucial during renovation and retrofit projects to ensure older buildings meet modern energy efficiency standards.

  • Compliance with Building Regulations: Find out when air tightness testing is required to comply with local building regulations and standards.

8. Choosing a Certified Air Tightness Testing Service

  • Qualifications and Accreditation: Understand the qualifications and accreditations to look for in an air tightness testing service provider, ensuring you receive reliable and accurate results.

  • Experience and Track Record: Evaluate the importance of experience and a proven track record in delivering high-quality air tightness testing services.

9. Costs and Benefits of Air Tightness Testing

  • Cost Considerations: Explore the factors that influence the cost of air tightness testing and how this investment translates into long-term savings.

  • Long-Term Energy Savings: Discover the potential energy savings and reduced environmental impact resulting from improved air tightness in buildings.

10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Common Inquiries and Answers: Access a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about air tightness testing, complete with expert answers to provide clarity on this vital aspect of building performance.

Feel free to navigate through the sections that interest you the most or start from the beginning to gain a comprehensive understanding of air tightness testing and how it can benefit your residential or commercial projects. If you have specific questions or need personalized guidance, our experts at Building Compliance Testing are ready to assist you in achieving superior air tightness and energy efficiency in your buildings.

 

Stay Tuned

We’ll be regularly updating this technical guide with the latest insights, industry developments, and case studies, so bookmark this page and check back for the most up-to-date information on air tightness testing.

If you have specific questions or require personalized guidance, feel free to contact our experts at [Your Contact Information]. We’re here to assist you in achieving superior air tightness in your projects, improving energy efficiency, and creating more comfortable living and working spaces.

Happy reading and exploring the world of air tightness testing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required for an Air Tightness Test?
  • Floor Plans and Section Drawings
  • Site Address and Contact
  • A copy of the Design-stage SAP report for dwellings
  • A copy of the Design-stage BRUKL report for buildings other than dwellings i.e retail units
When do I know when I am ready for an Air Tightness Test?
  • We will carry out the air tightness test once the unit is past the second fix stage and the following
    elements within the unit are completed:
  • All walls are finished, including cladding, windows and doors.
  • Skirting boards are fitted and sealed around
  • Sockets and lights are fitted and completed, in some cases caulked around (mention potty pads)
  • All plumbing work is completed and gaps or holes around the service pipes are sealed.
  • Leakage around the door frame, threshold and window boards are sealed.
What am I allowed to temporarily seal for an Air Tightness Test?
Background trickle ventialtors, passive ventilation systems and any permanently designed uncontrolled natural ventilation (such as a chimney flue). Mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems should be turned off and isolated.
We’re friendly and knowledgeable bunch so why not get in touch for a chat. You can always contact Building Compliance Testing with any questions through phone, email or our online chat service.

Don’t worry, we don’t charge for advice given over the phone, so why not ask for a free quote?

01621 493 594 | contact@buildingcompliancetesting.com

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