Air Tightness Testing of Building Envelopes
Unfortunately air tightness test failures at the pre-completion stage of a project can prove hugely costly in regards to the financial and programme in regards to the handover of the development.
If you ask Air Pressure Testing to be involved at the design stage of the project we can look at the design of the building envelope which usually saves our clients expensive and difficult remedial works at the pre-completion stage of a project.
In summary we can help our clients achieve compliance with Part L of Building Regulations by offering the following consultancy services:
Air Tightness Design review
We will carry out a review of the building envelope to identify any potential weak areas that may cause excessive air leakage and subsequently perform poorly during the air tightness testing.
Site Survey Inspection of Building Envelopes
During the construction of the project we can visit the site and inspect the workmanship and envelope junctions. A report will be produced highlighting any areas of concern and/or poor workmanship that may lead to potential air tightness testing failure.
We can check that buildings/s air tightness elements are fit for the intended purpose and will have the expected life span. Our operative’s expertise, skills and experience provide clients with pragmatic design solutions; to minimise the risk of the air tightness and fire enclosure test failure.
We have experience of auditing and advising on the correct air sealing works on all types of projects from a small server room enclosures – such as such as hospital intensive care units) right up to large distribution warehouses with floor areas in excess of 1000m2.
Our air tightness reports can be prepared, providing a schedule of works, which are cross referenced with relevant locations and corresponding photographs, this allows for a quick and easy site reference for all of your site staff and sub-contractors. Site audits should be carried out at critical points during the build programme, i.e. during the main construction of the external envelope. This will ensure that any potential problems are identified prior to the installation of ceilings etc. which makes remedial works very difficult due to restricted access. It will also reduce the chance of damage caused by operatives trying to access the air leakage areas.
In one such instance, our on-site expertise was used to good effect during the construction of four isolation rooms. The contract specification included an item for the Contractor to achieve an air permeability rate under 1m³/h/m². By carrying out site audits and site visits, the contractor achieved the stringent air tightness specification at the first attempt. This was achieved despite the air tightness test target being ten times lower than the standard building regulations standard. If the building fails the air tightness test, we can quickly undertake a low impact smoke test for rapid visual diagnosis of air leakage paths.
As part of our standard air testing equipment we carry both hand-held and large commercial building smoke generators. When the buildings pressurised the smoke is forced out through air leakage paths thereby providing conclusive evidence of areas requiring attention. During the air testing it is essential that you have a competent person such as your Site/Project manager available to witness the smoke test, so the site team has an understanding of the project/s air leakage paths and can start the sealing works straightaway. It is also essential that the site team have the correct materials on site so that the remedial sealing works can be started straight after the smoke test has been undertaken.
Contact Air Pressure Testing
Whether you need air tightness design/consultancy service or just a simple air tightness test, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your building passes first time. If you are unsure of the air tightness services you require, please call us today on 07775 623464 or visit the Air Pressure testing website.