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Air Leaking Testing Across the UK

Do I Need An Air Leakage Test?

Part L of the Government building regulations explains that on a large plot of new houses that are built to a similar specification, only a sample of the houses will need to be air tested.

Planning your test in advance will help our experience air assessment team covering the UK to determine how many tests you'll need ahead of time per property and will be happy to offer advice on the best ways to gain your air permeability rating.

All new buildings in England and Wales have had a mandatory requirement since 2006 (2010 in Scotland) that domestic and commercial buildings, over a certain size, must have a passing air leakage certificate before the property can be sold.

What Does An Air Leakage Test Involve?

Whilst the air tightness test is being undertaken, furniture will not be affected but smaller items such as paper must be held down or removed completely so they're not blown about. The pressure of the room will be tested and as such all windows and doors that lead outside must be securely closed to avoid them swinging open and the test being abandoned. Similarly, all internal doors should be wedged open to avoid being slammed shut.

An air test involves placing a large fan, or several fans, to an opening within the property; usually a doorway. The fans will increase and decrease in speed that will in-turn change the building's air pressure and record the results. Please note: an air test cannot be carried out if wind speed is more than 13mph. 3 metres per second is the ideal wind speed when undertaking an air test in the UK.

Employees can still do their job inside a commercial building in the UK, within reason, though may feel some discomfort due to the noise of the fan and the draught that will be felt throughout the building. There should be no outside access once the test has begun - which lasts for approximately 90 minutes, so plan accordingly.

How Many Properties Need An Air Tightness Test?

The number of tests required are as follows:

  • 4 or less properties of the same type: one test needed per type
  • More than 4 but less than 40 dwellings of a type: at least two tests of each type
  • More than 40 properties of a type: 5% of each type UNLESS the first 5 get a passing score - then this can be dropped to just 2%

When Should The Test Take Place?

A building envelope will need to be completed before the air test takes place - which should be one of the last surveys undertaken once all the walls, windows, doors etc. are complete and sealed. This ensures no air will escape and prevent drafts through the property which will in-turn improve your air permeability score.

What Air Permeability Rating Do I Need?

A passing score in the UK is 10 m³/(h.m²) for an air permeability rating which resembles the amount of uncontrolled air that's leaking from the dwelling. Should the test fail, our air tightness team will help you identify where the leakages are happening in the hope that a passing score will be achieved after a re-test.

For further Air-Testing information for your area, be sure to check out Air-Testing-.co.uk.

E2 Specialist Consultants
July 22 at 5:05pm
One of our office-based consultants is hard at work on the SBEM calculation for a commercial new build in Bristol, Avon. You can get yourself an SBEM quote from our website: https://www.e2consultants.co.uk/Get-A-Quote/SBEM_Calculations

E2 Consultants Delivering compliance solutions for Architects & Developers    Head Office E2 HOUSE, South Park Way, Wakefield 41 Business Park, WF2 0XJ    Questions? Call: 0800 043 8100

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