What is Air Permeability Testing?
Air permeability – or air tightness – testing is the measurement of uncontrolled air leaking from your property. This testing is required to comply with Part L of the UK Building Regulations and will be needed before any new build property – domestic & non-domestic – can be signed off by Building Control.
This air leakage can account for a large proportion of heat lost from a building, drastically effecting it’s energy efficiency and general comfort levels. By ensuring that this uncontrolled leakage is as small as possible, you can save a lot on energy bills as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
To show compliance, a new build must not only achieve a better result than the UK Building Regulations limiting amount but must also meet the target provided your SAP or SBEM assessor at design stage.
When is Air Permeability Testing required?
Air permeability should ideally be considered from design stage, as it can be costly to try and seal internal areas once construction has progressed.
A final test should be conducted after the 2nd fix stage and once all fittings are in and skirting boards are sealed. You are ready for your air test if:
- You have mains power on site
- All external doors and windows are fitted
- All sockets and switches are fitted
- Light fixtures are fitted
- Any penetrations through the walls or ceilings are sealed
- Any loft/storage doors/hatches are in place and fitted with draught excluders
- Any pipework passing through the walls is correctly sealed
- All plumbing is installed, and any traps have water in
If you have a chimney, it is also beneficial if this can be temporarily sealed prior to your test, along with any other obvious holes, such as extract fans and trickle vents.
How can Productivv help?
If you book your air testing with Productivv Energy, our fully accredited air testing team will give you all of the guidance you need to achieve that first-time pass. Our engineers are experts in their field and can help you with identifying potential leakage areas, with odourless smoke testing also available to give you visual confirmation.
You can expect full support throughout your project, with drawing reviews and pre-tests available at design stage and throughout the build. These services can help even the most experienced developer take the surprise out of their air test result and ensure that no costly remedial work is required later in the project.