With years of experience, Air Tightness Solutions provide expert air testing and air tightness consultancy. Whether you’re building a domestic property or looking to identify potential air leakage paths in a large-scale commercial building, we can advise you on air tightness building regulations and provide you with efficient air leakage testing
What is Air Tightness Testing?
Air tightness testing, also known as air permeability testing or air leakage testing, is a way of determining how much air is lost through leaks or cracks in the fabric of a building.
Air leakage is different from ventilation as it refers to the uncontrolled flow of air – such as draughts. An airtight house will be warmer and more environmentally friendly than a draughty property, as air leakage will lead to heat loss. Heat loss results in additional heating, increasing the CO2 consumption of the building as well as the cost of electricity or gas.
As the government is committed to reducing CO2 emissions in new buildings, reducing air leakage and improving insulation are key measures that building regulations consider. Airtightness or air leakage testing are requirements for dwellings and non-domestic new buildings.
What is an Air Test?
An air tightness/air permeability test involves testing the air flow in a building to come up with a measure of the amount of air that leaks out of the building fabric over the course of a set time period – usually the air leakage rate per hour per square metre of area. To conduct an air test, a fan or number of fans are used to pressurise or depressurise the building space. The difference between internal and external pressure, and any changes over a period of time, provide the air leakage figures.
Our team of ATTMA accredited engineers use specialised testing equipment to perform an air leakage or air tightness test. Being ATTMA accredited means we can carry out testing for a variety of buildings, including:
- Residential houses
- Care homes
- Flats and offices
- Warehouses and shops
- Leisure centres and other commercial buildings.
We will ask you to vacate the building during this time – although an air permeability test doesn’t pose health risks to anyone that remains in the building, the fans are loud enough to cause discomfort. Before the test can begin, all ventilation needs to be temporarily sealed, so that the air tests only measure the uncontrolled air leakage.
How Long Does Air Testing Take?
The average air test for a standard residential building usually takes under an hour but may take longer if the initial test fails and we need to investigate the leakage paths further. We aim to undertake testing within 72 hours of your initial order and have been known to perform up to 8 domestic air tests a day.
How Much Does Air Tightness Testing Cost?
The cost of air tightness testing can depend on a range of factors including the size of the building, the location and the complexity of the building. Give us a call or fill out the contact form and we can give you a no-obligation quote.
What Happens If Your Air Tightness Test Fails?
You will know if you’ve passed or failed as soon as the air test is complete. If an air tightness test fails, we can advise you on the best course of remedial action to achieve an airtight house or building. This means informing you of where air is escaping so that you can fill any holes with expanding foam, silicon or calk.
Types of Air Testing
We carry out air tightness testing on all types of buildings, whether they are used for commercial purposes or are residential properties. The types of air tests available include:
From independent house developers to large-scale contractors, we can help provide domestic air tightness testing to determine air permeability.
We have extensive experience in the commercial sector and can provide expert advice for all stages of the construction process; from the design phase to handover.
Identifying air leakage paths within a floor void means that you can then ensure that the heating and ventilation work at the designed efficiency.
For a smoke ventilation system to work effectively, the Smoke Extract Shaft must meet stringent standards.
Isolation chambers and rooms must be designed and built for the prevention of airborne transmitted diseases which requires a very specific air tightness criteria.
In rooms protected by gaseous fire suppression systems, it is essential that an effective concentration of gas is retained in order for the system to work correctly.
In order to minimise the likelihood of smoke entering the stairwell, we can advise and undertake testing regimes to ensure that pressurised stairwells perform their primary role effectively.