Passivhaus, AECB Silver Standard, and Low Air Leakage Buildings

There is an increasing demand for buildings to achieve very low air leakage rates. When coupled with an appropriate ventilation strategy, this can provide very low energy/carbon buildings.

“Passivhaus” and “AECB Silver Standard” are two standards to which more homes being designed and built. Building Regulations Part L currently requires an air leakage rate of 10m3/(h*m2) @50Pa although many homes are being built to less than 5m3/(h*m2). Passivhaus and AECB Silver Standard homes typically achieve air leakage rates of <1m3/(h*m2).

The approach in achieving an air tight building starts at the early design stage and includes defining a continuous air barrier (seal) around the external envelope to reduce the risks of air leakage and a further seal is included internally such as OSB, which all service run behind and have grommet seals. We can act as ‘air tightness champion’ and we are generally appointed by the Contractor to assist throughout the duration of the build and then undertake the pre-test checks and final pressurisation and depressurisation as built tests safe in the knowledge that the buildings/ dwellings will achieve the required standard.

We have successfully completed air leakage testing on low energy buildings, and recently completed the testing on one of the largest certified AECB Silver Standard housing developments in the UK – Bowker Street in Salford.

Air Testing UK provide guidance and advice and a pro-active design advice with site visits to conduct pre-tests and post-tests to ensure successful completion of the project. Our sister company Energy Council www.energycouncil.co.uk provides the energy, Building Regs, ‘Passivhaus’ and ‘AECB Silver Standard’ assessment and certification service, so between us we offer a comprehensive, holistic and cost effective package of services.

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