Air Tightness testing affected by Government Building Regulation updates

On 15th December 2021, the government published their updated Building Regulations for England, which included amendments to Approved Document F (Ventilation) and Approved Document L (Conservation of fuel and power), as well as the release of a new approved document for Overheating (Part O).

Here, we’ll take a look at how the changes to Part L, in particular, affect one of our services – Air Tightness Testing.

When will the changes to Approved Document L affect Air Tightness Testing?

The new Approved Document L becomes mandatory from 15 June 2022. A grace period will apply for older, previously agreed planning permissions until 15 June 2023.

SAP Testing

How will Air Tightness Testing be affected through Approved Document L?

Approved Document L (Conservation of fuel and power) for England will impact Air Tightness Testing profoundly. The updates signal a move towards greater energy efficiency in new buildings.

The new Approved Document L has made air tightness testing simpler, to some extent. England has, to the best of our knowledge, become the first country in the world to enforce mandatory air tightness testing for every house and apartment. This removes the tricky and complex rules for sampling.

Eecobuild and other air tightness testers will be busy come June 2022! The newly approved document highlights the requirement for an airtightness test to be undertaken on every single dwelling. Buildings that are not dwellings (including extensions that are being treated as new buildings to comply with Part L) must also be pressure tested – some exemptions will apply here.

Originally calibration of testing equipment was required every 12 months, however, Airtightness Testers can now choose to recalibrate according to the manufacturer’s guidance. It is still recommended that recalibration is completed at least every 24 months.