What is Air Tightness testing?
Air Tightness is a measure of how much air escapes from the dwelling per hour, per metre cubed of the internal building envelope – m³/m².hr @ 50Pa
Why do I need an Air Tightness Test?
An Air Tightness test is required with current building regulations prior to a competition certificate being issued. The test assures the dwelling has achieved the required targets with regards to architects, engineers and energy assessors details and specification.
How is the test conducted?
A large fan within an expandable door frame is placed within an external finished door in the dwelling, normally the front door. All other doors and windows must be closed and internal doors wedged open.
The fan will then typically depressurise the dwelling to a pressure of at least 50Pa. An anemometer reads the internal pressure, external pressure and the strength that the fan is having to work at to create that pressure difference.
10 readings are taken at different pressures, and along with other factors such as barometric pressure and temperature, fed into the software which calculates the air leakage.
What is a ‘design permeability’ (DP) and where do I find it?
A design permeability is a target number for the air test, determined by the SAP calculation. This can be found within the SAP calculation, please refer to your architect or energy assessors for this information.
Can I be in the property when a test is being conducted?
Yes, as long as all internal doors remain opened and all external windows and doors closed during the test. We would advice vacating the property while the test is being conducted to allow the technician to perform the test without distractions. The test usually takes around 1 hour to perform, however not in all cases.
Is it only new build properties that require an Air Tightness test?
Yes, however that’s not to say that an older dwelling can’t be tested, especially if you are looking to improve the properties performance and reduce heating costs. We also supply thermographic surveys in this case to help highlight existing areas of heat lose.
When is the best time to book in an Air Tightness test?
We would always suggest that you don’t rush the test and book the air tightness test once construction has been completed and before you send in the cleaners. A consultancy service is available if you require advice with timing it correctly. We can send someone along to view the property and advise prior to testing.
What is Sound Insulation testing?
Sound testing, also known as acoustic testing is a measure of sound transfer between a separating/party wall or floor construction within a dwelling. SK Testing generally offers Sound Insulation testing between these elements, and should not be confused with acoustic noise assessment.
An airborne test is performed both through a wall + floor.
An impact test is performed only through a floor/ceiling.
Why do I require a sound test?
Building regulation stipulate that all new build or newly converted dwellings must pass a compliant sound test in order to receive a competition certificate.
How do I know what is to be tested?
If you send us a copy of the drawings we can assess and advise the best and compliant testing options, however we would recommend that you speak with your building control officer who should recommend as verifier what they would require to be tested.
How do I make sure I pass?
We would always advise speaking with us prior to testing to assess current site conditions and build stage/quality. We would advise that you don’t deviate from the architectural/engineering drawings.
Failing a sound test can be very costly to rectify, so it is worth speaking with us.
What is fan commissioning?
Fan commissioning is required to balance the flow rate of extract fans to make sure the correct amount of air is either being extracted from or supplied to every room.
Some assume that fans arrive from the manufacturer ro are installed by the electrician with extract rates commissioned, however this is not the case.
How is a test conducted?
We use an anemometer (wind speed meter) to test the amount of air extracted from each fan.
Does every house need tested?
Yes, regulations stipulate that all plots/dwelling must have their fans commissioned.
How do I make sure I pass?
Try your best to make sure you research the fans you wish to install and keep your duct runs as short as possible with minimal bends/twists. Every turn and every inch of ducting creates resistance, reducing the effectiveness/performance of the fan.