Air Permeability Testing
Conducted to measure the unintentional ventilation via a building’s envelope, which can have a significant effect on heat loss, and ultimately reduce CO2 emissions to our atmosphere.
What is an Air Permeability Test?
An Air Permeability Test is a building regulation requirement for new domestic housing and commercial buildings.
The test is a very non-invasive and non-destructive process, which usually takes around one hour. Results are delivered immediately at the completion of the test, and official test certificates are usually provided on the same day. The Air Test is generally carried out near the builds end and it is effectively completed.
Why do you need an Air Permeability Test?
Air Permeability Tests are principally conducted to measure the unintentional ventilation via a building’s envelope (floors, walls and roof), which can have a significant effect on heat loss (thermal efficiency), and ultimately reduce CO2 emissions to our atmosphere by reducing the amount of fuel used to space heat the building.
Equally, the test will identify any ‘over-tightness’ issues whereby the designed ventilation method employed is not suitable or capable of safely coping with the humidity levels created while living in and using a building. Mould and decorative damage are common occurrences in over-tight buildings without the correct ventilation strategy, potentially affecting health and occupant comfort. In extreme cases the fabric of the building can become seriously compromised over time.
Air Test failure or identification of an over-tight situation can be an expensive and inconvenient predicament. It can result in your local building control department being unable to issue a completion certificate until satisfactory remedial actions are completed.
In real terms, by understanding the requirements, planning, and constructing to the designed Air Permeability target specific to the building, you will be in a much better position to achieve test success first time. We cannot stress enough to self-builders, or any builders that may have doubts as to how to achieve the compliant results for their projects, to contact us as early as possible for free advice. We can also provide ‘trial’ or ‘sample’ Air Testing to establish a preliminary result at a build stage where any potential problems are more easily and less expensively identified and rectified.
How can we help?
Our senior team members each have over 35 years of experience in the construction industry, including a senior ATTMA level 2 and Passivehaus Air Permeability Test Engineer and Air Barrier Consultant with 10 years’ experience in the compliance testing sector.
Our pre-testing advice can significantly mitigate problems encountered in achieving tightness targets as determined by q50 in the SAP assessment.
If you are at an early stage of your build and are not sure of your air testing requirements, or are unclear about the air barrier strategy employed in your design, then contacting us as early as possible is highly advised.
Contact us to find out more, discuss your requirements and receive a free no obligation quotation.
SAP & RdSAP
SAP calculations are the methodology behind EPCs, and essentially a thorough list of calculations to judge the overall performance of a building, whether a new build or existing property.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) determine how energy efficient a property is and provides a rating for the property. EPCs are required for properties built, sold or rented.
Designed to asses how effective building materials are at containing sounds and reducing unwanted noise between adjoining buildings. Buildings in the UK must meet specified minimum levels.