- Air Testing
In 2006, the Building Regulations
for new houses were amended to incorporate a new aspect -the
testing of air leakage rates to ensure better energy performance.
Tom Hanson of UK
Air Testing explains what this is all about.
- Almost every new domestic
dwelling now requires an air test, otherwise known as a pressure
test. This part of the Building Regulations was introduced
in June 2006 in an attempt to drive the standards of UK houses
in line with EU standards. 47% of the UK's CO2 emissions
comes from our homes, which is why air testing was introduced
to eliminate the unnecessary loss of heat and ensure that we
are heating our homes and not the environment.
- A common reaction to air testing
is; 'why do I have to have trickle vents and extractor fans then?'
The answer to this is you control them, where as you cannot control
the loss of heat through the fabric of your property if you do
not know it is happening. A lot of the areas that leak
in a house are not always noticeable to the naked eye; however
they are identified during a test.
- Companies such as UK Air Testing
must be fully accredited by BINDT to carry out air tests and
must use UKAS calibrated equipment. A certificate will
then be produced to display that a test has been carried out
and that you have met the requirement necessary. The requirement
differs, however the building control standard is 10m3/per h/m2.
This is sometimes an area where people get confused. The
target for a dwelling will be what is stipulated in the 'design'
of the SAP calculation that should be done at the start of the
project. The SAP calculation may require a target of 7
for example, which would mean that you would need to build the
house more air tight than at a target of 10. Companies
such as UK Air Testing can also do these SAP calculations for
you and act as a one stop shop.
- The process of an air test
will take on average 1-2 hours. This does not include the
calculation that must be done on the surface area of the property
which will usually be done before an engineer arrives.
The engineer will use a fan to create a negative pressure difference
on the property which will create a vacuum to suck air into the
house (through gaps and cracks) and then out through the fan.
The fan will then read how much flow is travelling through it
at a certain pressure difference. These readings are then
entered into a computer and a result can be obtained.
- Tom Hanson
- (Part L) Conservation of fuel and power
Approved Document for conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings.
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