Air Tightness Testing FAQs

What is air leakage?
Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through the gaps and cracks in the fabric of the building. The controlled flow of air through ventilators does not fall as a part of air leakage as they are specifically built ventilators.

Why is air tightness important?
Air testing is crucial to confirm the efficiency of the buildings in terms of energy and carbon emission percentage. As a requirement of Part L building regulations of UK, air testing is mandatory process to enhance the comfort levels of the occupants of the building. Air Testing is a noble cause of the Government of UK to reduce the carbon emission in the buildings and maintain energy efficiency of buildings.

Is air tightness testing process mandatory?
According to the Part L Building Regulations 2000 in UK, air tightness testing process is mandatory. The main concept behind the regulation is “BREATH QUALITY AIR”. It has created great momentum in the whole scenario of construction business in UK.

Which kind of buildings requires air testing?
According to Part L Building Regulations 2000 in UK, all new dwellings, new building other than dwellings and large extensions to building other than dwellings require air testing process.

How much does Air Tightness Test cost?
The cost of air testing process purely depends upon the space and dimensions of the property and the level of finishing stage of the building. The cost of re-test can be expensive, so it is always sensible for safe screening at the first level of the testing itself. The building will have the credibility of energy saving by 15% to 30 % through the process which in turn will result in hiking the sale price of the building.

What happens if an Air Tightness Test fails?
If air testing process proves that dwellings are not up to the standard requirements of air permeability. The weakness in the gaps and cracks of the building envelopes should be repaired and a re-test is also required to adhere to standards.

Do extensions need to be tested?
If an existing building is proposed to have an extension with a total useful floor area of over 1000 The building needs to undergo air testing process and adhere to the standards set to check if it is technically and economically apt to meet the requirements of building regulations. For moderate dwellings, air testing is a less priority but make it point as government might look even that as a key area in reducing CO2 emissions.

When should Air Tightness Test take place?
Normally, the process of air tightness testing is performed at the later stage of construction process. The contractor will have clear benefits with the assessment of air testing process for any development project at an early stage so that the compliance is achieved with best practice.