The Best Way To Air Tightness Test – What Needs to be Tested?

What needs to be air tested

In this 6-part series, Chris Milsom (CM), Digital Marketing and Membership Coordinator sat down with Paul Carling (PC), Technical Manager of ATTMA to discuss a range of topics to do with Air Testing.

In this second instalment, we talk about what needs to be tested

CM – Hi again Paul, So we’ve discussed what the common air leakage paths are, but what actually needs to be tested?

PC  – So it it varies depending on where it is because it’s all related to building regulations. For England so non-dwellings, they all need to be tested. No exception there if an EPC is needed. There are some exclusions on there, like if it’s a building that’s solely used for example as a place of worship. This is all on the Level 2 course.

There are examples like if it’s a building of low in energy demand then that does not need an EPC, therefore it doesn’t need an air test or a modular and factory-made buildings where it’s of a configuration that’s had five in situ tests at the factory. So if you’ve got two modules that link together module A and module B. Five sets of those are tested at the factory. Then whenever modulating module B are used in the field. In that configuration, they can use the number that’s been used in the factory, so therefore it doesn’t need a test.

In terms of dwellings in England, you’ve pretty much got 100% of them that are tested, that’s because of what goes on in the in the SAP assessment and the EPC. And with regard to if a building isn’t tested, it gets a + 2 added to the average score of similar buildings on the same site. So that can mean that the buildings that tested need to get a really, really good figure. For the ones that aren’t tested they still come in based on that +2 penalty. So if you’ve got a building that needs to get a four, then that means all the ones that you test need to get two.

For Scotland, you’ve got all non-dwellings that need testing. However a sample of 1 in 20 units or part thereof applies to non-domestic buildings when the building warrant consists of multiple units and each unit has a floor area of not more than 150m2

For dwellings (in Scotland) it is 1 in 20.  And it is based on buildings that have got the same construction details. So, for dwellings, flats, high-rise flats and if they’ve got roughly the same construction details, so you could have a massive mansion that has got the same construction details of a small building, and they’re put in the same group.

Join us next week to read about what buildings need to achieve