Checking the Air Seal Line to Ensure Air Tightness

Checking the Air Seal Line to Ensure Air Tightness

Many companies don’t fully understand the importance of the air seal line in regards to air tightness. The air seal line is usually the building envelope but this is not always the case. In many instances buildings may have plant rooms where are heavily vented to outside atmosphere, in these instances the air leakage line will be the internal wall that encapsulates the plant room.

Also, the incorrect sequencing of construction work may weaken the air seal line prior to the air tightness test, such as the late addition of mechanical and electrical pipework & cables just prior to the air test, obviously the M&E should have been installed earlier in the project; however, due to insufficient information i.e. missing details on drawings, the M&E is often added at a later stage, thus requiring additional penetrations through the newly completed building fabric, thus compromising the potential air tightness of the building envelope.. Unfortunately once newly formed penetrations are in the envelope, nobody wants to take ownership for the new penetrations and the resealing of the areas, so the air leakage paths are left to the end of the project, often resulting in air tightness test failures.

Air_Leakage_Paths_Through_House

In many instances – due to programme constraints) operatives are rushed to install new installations, resulting in much larger access holes than is strictly necessary for the service pipework/cables, this often happens in kitchens, utility rooms, bathrooms, toilets and service cupboards. In these rooms service penetrations are often hid behind Kitchen cupboards, behind toilets, sinks, bath panels and under shower. Other areas are around services in airing and boiler cupboards. Once cupboards and boilers etc. are installed, it makes it almost impossible to seal the air leakage paths – especially if it’s close to the air seal line.

Room_integrity_test_With_blower_fan

In many cases a lack of understanding by building contractors can lead to multiple air test failures.  One common problem is the client putting cosmetic appearance above general airtightness; however, with careful air sealing both can be achieved.  Unfortunately, with the airtightness target being halved from the old standard of 10m3/hr/m2 to 5m3/hr/m2 or even as low as 1m3/hr/m2, it is absolutely essential that the all air leakage paths are sealed as soon as the M&E is installed.

In our experience another reasons for air tightness testing failures is down to a general lack of understanding as to where the air seal line within the building.  Some of the issues that may need to be addressed to overcome this would include adequate training, quality control and building design.

If you employ APT from the start of the project, we can send out our air tightness checklist to help you prepare for the air testing. If each item is actioned in-line with the checklist then our clients usually pass first time. We also offer a site visit service to make sure that the building is being adequately sealed as works progress, so the air leakage paths can be sealed prior to the air tightness test.

If you would like more information in regards to preparing for you air tightness test in London, please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net or phone us on 07775623464.

APT SOUND TESTING – AN OVERVIEW OF OUR SERVICES

APT SOUND TESTING – AN OVERVIEW OF OUR SERVICES

We are often asked what types of sound test and noise surveys we can undertake. We offer all types of Sound Testing and noise surveys as well as design consultancy. Here is a quick summary of our acoustic services:

We are accredited to carry out Sound Insulation testing for:

  • Houses and flats in compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations.
  • Houses & Flats in compliance with the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  • All commercial buildings in compliance with BREEAM.
  • Classrooms within schools in compliance with BB93.

sound testing

We also try to provide a ‘one stop’ testing service for compliance with the latest Building Regulations. Our full ranges of services are:

Air Tightness Testing

  • Pre-completion Air Tightness Testing for residential and commercial buildings (Part L1&L2)
  • Air Tightness Design Reviews.
  • Combined Pre-completion Air & Sound Test (Part L1 & E) improves coordination and saves cost!

Sound Insulation Testing

  • Pre-completion Sound Testing for residential and school buildings (Part E & BB93)
  • Acoustic Design Consultancy (Part E & BB93)

Noise Surveys

  • Noise Surveys for planning (PPG24)
  • Noise Surveys for proposed air conditioning and other noise sources (BS4142)

Thermal Surveys

  • BREEAM Thermal surveys to show continuation of Insulation (Part L)
  • To locate leaks within roofs/walls and under floor heating. (Fault Diagnosis)
  • Annual Infrared Surveys on Electrical Switchboards and plant (Annual Maintenance)

Energy performance Certifications

  • Design Stage SAP & SBEM Certification (Part L)
  • As Built SAP & SBEM Certification (Part L)
  • Energy Performance Certificates (Part L)

Ventilation Testing

  • Ventilation Testing – now mandatory on all domestic ventilation systems (Part F)

Integrity Testing On Server Rooms

  • Integrity Testing on Server Rooms (rooms that have gaseous fire suppressant systems) – These must be carried out annually (ISO 15004)

UAV Aerial Surveys (unmanned)

  • Roof condition surveys on Residential, Factory and Church Roofs.
  • Thermal Surveys of Large Roofs.
  • Progress photos of large construction sites; i.e. at greenfield, foundations, envelope & completion stage.
  • Photos of completed dwellings and buildings for advertising purposes.
  • The Creation of 3D models of your project/site.

If you would like more information in regards to our sound insulation testing and/or air tightness testing packages, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call Darren direct on 07775623464