Air tightness testing


Air Pressure Testing – also known as Air Tightness Testing or Air Permeability Tests – measures how much air is escaping from a building.

When you’re undertaking a new residential or commercial development, you’ll need to make sure there isn’t too much ‘air leakage’. Air leakage is when air escapes through the fabric of the building via uncontrolled means. This could be through gaps around windows, sockets, or where the external wall meets the floor.

Air tightness testing measure to determine a building’s air permeability rating. This method measures the extent to which air is lost through gaps or cracks. The result for the test is used to demonstrate compliance with part L of Building Regulations.

Sometimes this is also referred to as air pressure testing or air leakage testing and is useful to architects, building services designers, builders and energy assessors,

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Why should you have an Air Tightness Test

Air escaping can cause cold draughts and heat loss. Improving the air tightness of a building will lower your heating bills and improve the energy efficiency of your property.

You are required by law to make sure your development is sufficiently airtight, therefore, it’s important to be confident that your building meets the required regulations. Air tightness testing is required by Part L1A and L2A (England & Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) or Part F1 (Northern Ireland) of The Building Regulations. Air permeability testing has been mandatory for all new build residential and commercial properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2006, and in Scotland since 2010.

You should carry out testing when your project is near completion. This is so you can make sure the building meets or exceeds the air permeability rating specified in your design stage SAP or SBEM Calculations.

Air tightness testing FAQ's

Below you will find a collection of the most commonly asked questions regarding sound insulation testing

A fan is installed to the external opening of the dwelling. The dwelling is then depressurised and several measurements are taken. The result is obtained immediately after the test.

We will require the following information prior to attending site:
– Floor plans and sectional drawings
– Air permeability target or design stage SAP report
– Site contact

We will carry out the air tightness test once the dwelling is past the second fix stage and the following elements within the dwelling 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.

At Eecobuild we provide prior advice on potential leakage areas; ensuring our clients pass their air tests first time.

Should an air test fail our engineer will power the fan up and identify leakage areas within the property. If you are able to fix the leaks within a 30 minute time frame then a retest will be performed. This retest will be free of charge.

Air leakage areas can be fixed with expanding foam, silicon or caulk and our engineer will give you a helping hand and do his utmost to get the tests passed.

In some instances Air permeability results can also be increased.

You will be issued with certificates within 24 hours of passing an air test.

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    Do you have a question? Why not visit our FAQ's

    Our FAQ’s section offers the answers to a lot of the commonly asked questions.

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