Energy Assessors and Sustainability Assessors
Principal : Mr Alan Ironmonger MCIAT, OCDEA, NHER Assessor.

Telephone 01303 260656

Forum Energy Consultants.  Energy ratings assessor in Kent
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Architecturally – 27 years +
in the Industry but now
Specialising

NHER / SAP Assessor
17 Years +

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CSH Assessor - 4 years +

Air Pressure Testing

 

Air Pressure Testing - Why ?

Air Tightness Testing became a Statutory   requirement under Part  L of the Building Regulations in April 2002.   There have also  been  updates of Part L in 2006, 2010 and 2013 which   came into  effect.    

New  dwellings that  are  constructed and require Planning Consent and Building Regulation  Approval must  comply  with Part L of the Building Regulations.

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What is Air Leakage ?

Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the building  fabric of a building. ( Sometimes known as Infiltration or Draughts ).

This is not to be  confused with Ventilation, which is the controlled flow of air into and out of the building through purpose built in ventilators  that  are  required for the comfort and safety of the occupants.

Too much air  leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss and discomfort to the occupants from cold draughts.

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Why is Air Leakage important ?

Air leakage in dwellings through  cracks around  doors, windows, service  entry  points and  simply   poor construction  sealing of the dwelling, leads to higher Energy bills.   Our  heating  systems within  houses  produce CO2 emissions which is a Greenhouse Gas  and contributes  to global warming.

Reduced  air leakage  results in reduced heating  energy  use and  saves money and the effects on the planet.

The purpose of  reducing air leakage is to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce heating bills and improve occupant comfort.

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Testing and Standards.

The testing of  dwellings is carried out by Approved and tested individuals /  Companies.

The UKAS Accreditation scheme is administered by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing ( BINDT ) with  Technical  guidance  provided  by the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association ( ATTMA ).

Testers are individuals  / companies that are  registered with BINDT  and  operate in  accordance with a strict  code of conduct and BINDT  Approved Quality Procedures.

We are  pleased to  confirm that  we are registered  with  BINDT for the Testing  and  Certifying of Dwellings.

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What Standards are to be achieved ?

The maximum Air Leakage  rate acceptable  under the Building Regulations Part L is currently  a leakage  rate of 10 m3 / (h.m2 ) @50Pa.  This  level is the same across all of the 2006, 2010 and 2013 versions.

However, some Architects & Designers stipulate  a rate of  lower than 10 m3 / (h.m2 ) @50Pa as part of the overall SAP Rating in order to assist  with  SAP Compliance -  which  is also  under part L of the Building Regulations.

At the Design Stage the and within the SAP Rating Design Documentation package, the  ‘Design Air Permeability Rate’ will be identified.   If this  standard is  lower than 10, this is the target  rate for the Air Pressure Test and this  figure  will be   required by the Tester.

If the Air Pressure Test does not  achieve the Design Air Permeability Rate  then  it is likely  that the dwelling   will Fail  the SAP Energy Rating.  In which   case remedial   works will be required in order to reduce the Leakage Rate to that lower than the Design level.

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Do all new dwellings need to be tested ?

If you are constructing a single ‘one off ’ type  dwelling under the 2010 Part L1 and more  recent, it is most likely that you  will be  required to test the dwelling. – Liaise  with Building Control or the NHBC or the relevant  Building Control Body checking the building  construction. – Don’t leave it until near completion !

For  multiple  dwelling  sites there are sampling  rules which  are  governed by the dwelling  types spread across the site.   This can get  complicated, so it is advisable to make  contact  with the Air Pressure Testing Organisation early in the construction  phase.  The Tester can  then in  turn  contact the relevant  Building Control body  to discuss and agree an Air Testing strategy /   requirement  for the site.

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When should I contact the Air Pressure Testing Company ?

It is a good idea to contact  and appoint the Air Pressure Testing  Company  early on in the  construction  phase. 

Depending  upon your knowledge and  experience  within the industry you might want advice and tips  on the items that  you and your  builders  should be addressing as part of the construction.  

Nobody wants the completed  dwelling to Fail which  will require  some  form of remedial  work and a re-test.

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Information that we require.

When  contacting us,  in order to provide you  with an accurate quotation we will require a copy of the Building Regulation  drawings for the dwelling/s indicating the floor plans, sections, elevations of the dwellings  at a recognisable scale of  generally  either     1 : 50 or 1 : 100.  Over the phone  we  will only  provide you with a guide  price.

We will still require the drawings before  we attend to conduct the test  as there are calculations  that  we must  undertake  prior to conducting the test.

What  happens  if  the dwelling  does Fail the Test ?

Remedial works will be  required and a re-test.  If this cannot be achieved quickly at the time of the test and we have to  revisit, then additional charges  will be  made.

Please use our contact page to send us an email or call us on 01303 260656.

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FORUM  ENERGY  CONSULTANTS
Unit 2 Lemanis House, Stone Street Lympne, Nr Hythe, Kent. CT21 4JN.
Tel 01303 260656

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