What is air leakage testing?

Air leakage testing is the method of calculating air leakage caused by uncontrolled ventilation such as gaps around pipes and under skirting boards etc. The air test forms part of the information required for the Part L calculation (SAP or SBEM) and ultimately is required to produce the EPC.

Do I need an air test and what’s it for?

If it’s a new build dwelling or building then the likelihood is, yes you do, as set out in Building Regulations Approved Document Part L (ADL). As well as satisfying ADL it also helps to reduce carbon emissions due to heat escaping through unwanted gaps in the fabric of the building. For example, we can use it to spot deficiencies in the building fabric and use it in conjunction with smoke tests and infrared thermography.

How many tests do I need to do?

The test can be carried out on a selection of dwellings/ building types - three units of each type or 50% of that type, whichever is fewer. It is often necessary to test all plots, depending on the energy assessment and strategy.

When should a test be carried out?

A test should be carried out at final fix stage once all sanitary is in place and power is connected.

What preparation should be done prior to a test?

It is always good practise to seal around all pipes that penetrate the wall as well as WC waste pipes. A mastic seal is also advisable around the skirting boards to the floor and behind the kitchen units.

How long does a test take?

There are many things to take into consideration when performing a test; the size of the building to be tested, the complexity of it and also the air leakage that needs to be achieved. Most tests can be completed in 1-2 hours although some can take much longer, if low air leakage rates are required such as AECB Silver Standard or Passivhaus.

When will I get the results?

The results are usually given at the end of the test and then a full report and compliance certificate is issued within 24 hours.

What happens if a building fails a test?

We make every effort to work with the client to help a building pass a test. If too much work is needed then another visit will be required to complete the test. The building would need to be retested and also one of the same type tested to establish that they are not of the same standard.

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