Air Tightness Testing

Background Information

Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of a building. This is not to be confused with ventilation, which is the controlled flow of air into and out of a building through purpose-built ventilators that is required for the comfort and safety of the occupants. Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss and discomfort to the occupants from cold drafts. The increasing need for higher energy efficiency in buildings and the need in future to demonstrate compliance with more stringent building regulation targets mean that air tightness has become a major performance issue. The aim should be to “build right –Ventilate right” Taking this approach means that the buildings cannot be too air tight, however it is essential to ensure appropriate ventilation rates are achieved through purpose-built ventilation openings. The planning and application of a suitable air tightness membrane should be fully understood prior to construction beginning. All parties involved must ensure they understand their individual responsibilities for ensuring a successful project.

Service Details

On new Build’s you only get one chance to make sure your new building’s envelope is correctly draughtproofed. Once you conceal any flaw’s with interior finishes and carpentry, it is nearly impossible and undoubtedly much more expensive to fix the problem. You need to know if the building is meeting current ventilation building requirements. A valid blower door test is required to meet Part F of the Building Regulations and for use in the BER Software when calculating the Energy Rating and Building Regulations Part L Compliance.  So, by not focusing on this crucial aspect of the building process in a new build, an intensive retrofit or new extension before and after works are completed, you are ultimately creating a path to a leaky home, which can lead to poor indoor air quality and more expensive fuel bills to heat your property each year.

A draughty property impacts our health and well-being as well as our pockets. Gaps and cracks in the building fabric and surrounding external connections can cause several issues. These gaps are not just a place for insect’s, vermin, dust, and pollen to get in. It allows cold air, moisture, and contaminants to enter as well causing heat loss. This leakage can have hugely detrimental effects, building envelope leakage can cause excessive amounts of moisture to infiltrate the home in Winter, making it more susceptible to issues such as mould. In Summer months the opposite is true and makes for an uncomfortably hot environment that can cause dry sinuses, static electricity, and even increase the spread of viruses. These leaks also impact energy usage, as the air that is heated or cooled escapes the building more quickly, increasing air conditioner or central heating runtimes.

And that is why a blower door test is so critical to your home, your own health and wellbeing, whether you are building residential, multifamily, commercial, new construction or restoration/retrofits. We at McGann Energy Consultants Lts have long been aware of the need for better draught proofing and enclosure sealing to improve indoor air quality and provide adequate fresh air ventilation. This test determines if it has happened on a project or wheather you require further action and If the test results meet current building standards. All tests are conducted by in-house McGann Energy Consultants Ltd personnel and subject to the same level of professionalism in everything we do.

Contact us today for an immediate consultation and quotation.