A Technical Explanation of a Thermal Imaging Survey

A Technical Explanation of a  Thermographic Imaging Survey

Infrared Thermography is a type of photography which is based on infrared wavelengths, rather than visible wavelengths. Conventional photography relies on reflected energy from a light source, whether it’s artificial lighting or the sun, which is visible to our eyes. Thermal imaging relies on radiated energy in the infrared (IR) spectrum which cannot be seen by our eyes. All objects emit radiation energy within the IR spectrum and this IR radiation can and does vary depending on the temperature of that object. As the human eye cannot see the infrared (IR) spectrum, we need to use a device which can detect the “invisible” energy, a thermal imaging camera can do this. The camera builds a pixelated digital image (much like a normal modern camera. This allows us to “see” and measure the apparent temperature of the surface of any object and check for variants in the building envelope.


Recording the surface temperature of a building helps our thermography engineers to decipher what is actually being detected, such as missing insulation, thermal bridging, moisture ingress, leaks etc. We can also check for other parameters using different thermographic techniques. Often we look at temperature comparisons rather than absolute temperatures. Therefore; thermal images without temperature scales, as it’s more important to highlight the anomalies and patterns. By using high contrast colours anomalies are far more visible and easier to pinpoint. The colour scale shows relatively hot as yellow/red/white and cold as black/purple/blue

When used in conjunction with air tightness testing, thermography can be a very quick tool to highlight air leakage paths so targeted air sealing works can be undertaken to improve the air tightness of buildings. This helps to lower the buildings heating bills and carbon footprint. Air Pressure Testing has ascertained the thermal performance of many types of building. Thermography is also a very important tool when it comes to the commissioning process and maintenance of critical systems. We can undertake Thermographic Inspections to data Centres and mechanical and electrical installations. We even provide our own maintenance schedule booklets to help our clients programme their maintenance works.




Thermographic Inspections is one of the quickest and most accurate means to identify unintentional air leakage pathways within a building Envelope.  It can be used to scan large areas quickly – such as large warehouses and identify anomalies such as defective insulation or areas of dampness and trace and record paths in a way that other methods cannot. Thermography is also a non-invasive, non-contact and hence non-destructive means of survey the building envelope.


What’s contained within our Thermographic Inspection Reports
Our thermographic inspection reports provides the following information:

          • Results easily shown in pictures
          • Continuity of insulation in accordance with the construction drawings
          • Avoidance of excessive thermal bridging
          • Avoidance of air leakage paths through the fabric (except through intentional openings)
          • Any defects identified via the post construction inspections are rectified
          • Shows location ofair leakage through your enclosure.
          • Showsthermal insulation defects.
          • Thermally mapping complete data centres from sub-floor to ceiling.
          • Verifying proper hot aisle/cold aisle operation preventing short circuiting and bypassing of air flow.
          • Verifying high density server farm cooling capabilities.
          • Monitoring server rack temperature distribution patterns
          • Finding internal server fans which are inoperable or damaged.

We use the latest high resolution thermal imaging cameras to undertake our Thermographic Surveys throughout London and the Southeast.  Thermal imaging is one the quickest and easiest ways to undertake fault diagnosis on your buildings,  as thermography can quickly and accurately identify  building faults and a easy to follow report, so the defects can be quickly indented and rectified by the contractors.


We also carry out BREEAM Thermal imaging inspections

To try and help clients prepare for the BREEAM thermal imaging survey to their building, we have written the following article: How we carry our thermal Surveys on commercial buildings. Here is some more information in regards to the new BREEAM Technical Standards as well as scoring extra BREEAM credits for your new development.




Also, it’s worth noting that BREEAM projects are becoming more common place throughout the UK and this will only increase as new tighter environmental restrictions are placed on all new developments in the UK. BREEAM provides extra points to projects that have a BREEAM Thermal survey undertaken. As not many clients are aware of BREEAM thermal surveys, we have included more information in our ‘What is a BREEAM thermal Imaging Survey’ article. Also to try and help clients prepare for their survey please download our Thermal Imaging Checklist.

The benefits of thermographic inspections are well documented and when it’s used in conjunction with air tightness testing it can be a very power combination – especially when its undertaken on  commercial buildings.


We can help with your thermal inspection surveys

If you would like more information in regards to our Thermal Imaging Surveys, please contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call Darren Direct on 07775623464. Alternately, if you would like more information on how to prepare for your BREEAM Thermal Imaging Survey, please visit our website at www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk or Thermal Imaging Inspection Checklist and you can also reference our blog at: airpressuretesting.blogspot.com or our Thermal Imaging Knowledge Base Page which offers handy tips on how to prepare for your Thermal Imaging Survey.