FAQs

First don’t panic, should the results of your air testing show unacceptable air leakage, we have many techniques available to find and record the air leakage paths, these include:

  • Smoke Investigation with Building Under Pressurisation – we can carry out a smoke test whilst the building is being pressurised to check to identify air leakage paths and allow the areas to be sealed. If this is not possible on the say we issue a comprehensive smoke survey report listing the air leakage paths for your operatives to reference during their sealing works.
  • Thermography Survey – This is performed using an infra-red camera to identify the air leakage paths through the building envelope whilst the building is being depressurised.
  • Final Air Test – we carry out the final precompletion test in accordance with Building Regulations Part L to achieve building control signoff and building handover.

If your building has failed its air tightness test and you need further advice on how to pass, please call us on 01525 303905 or e-mail us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and we will guide you through the air tightness process, ensuring that you receive the right level of advice and service to pass your air testing.

The result of the air leakage test is expressed as a quantity of air leakage (m3 per hour) per square metre of building envelope or m3/hr/m2. The maximum allowable air permeability rate for Building Regulations compliance is 10 m3/h.m2, however it is very common for a dwelling to have a much lower design air permeability rate in order to meet the target CO2 emission rate (see SAP calculations).

In In our experience most new-build dwellings and commercial buildings have a design air permeability rate of around 3 m3/hr/m2 to 5m3/hr/m2. Where mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) has been installed to the dwelling the air permeability rate should be no greater than 3 m3/h.m2 for the system to operate effectively.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available.

Prices start from just £250 plus VAT for dwellings and £395 plus VAT for commercial buildings and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it!

Part E of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, requires that various walls and floors are tested between adjoining dwellings. The exact number of walls requiring testing will vary depending on the overall size of the development and the amount of different types of wall or floor constructions.

On a typical small to medium development consisting of up to 10 dwellings with the same partition construction should require 1 x 6 pack, which consists of 2 airborne wall tests, 2 airborne floor tests and 2 impact floor tests. on a pair of mi detached houses you may only require 2 sound tests through the walls. In most cases the rooms to be sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms which would be living rooms and bedrooms. We usually supply a full schedule of the required tests on your site to ensure you comply with Building Regulations.

Thermographic surveys are now a feature of BREEAM – the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. BREEAM New Construction and BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment programs both recognise the benefit of a thermographic survey by awarding credits for a Level 2 certified thermographer carrying out a suitable thermal survey. The BREEAM thermal survey to will assess the integrity of the building fabric to assist in diagnosing suspected problems with the building fabric or comfort levels. Where there are suspected problems with the building fabric such as moisture ingress, condensation and mould growth the use of thermography can provide excellent visual and quantitative evidence of the causes of the suspected problems. The survey will also demonstrate compliance with the construction specification on newly constructed buildings in-line with Building Regulations Part L and BREEAM.

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. A thermal measurement works on temperature differential, it is possible to assess the performance of the insulation. In order to correctly carry out this thermographic assessment, it is necessary to achieve a 10ºC differential in temperature between internal (heated) and external (ambient) – or the inside and outside of the building envelope. When you are facing the external of a building envelope with the thermal camera it should be possible to view escaping heat through poorly insulated walls or badly sealed windows as elevated temperatures. Likewise, if viewing the same envelope internally, these same areas will show up as areas of lower temperature.

Thermal imaging of building fabric helps to demonstrate compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations and BREEAM Assessments (Management Man 01) by:

  • Identify areas of missing/defective insulation
  • Identify thermal bridges
  • Identify areas at risk from mould and condensation
  • Check that windows and doors have been installed properly
  • Provide quality control following the installation of cavity wall insulation

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a BREAAM thermal surveys be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £895 plus VAT and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it.

Under the latest edition of the BREEAM Technical Manual (SD5076) it is possible to be awarded a BREEAM credit by conducting a thermal imaging survey of the building fabric. The thermographic survey is required to be completed in accordance with MAN 04 Commissioning and handover compliance notes CN3.3 and CN3.4 by a UKTA Approved Level 2 thermographic surveyor. The thermographic survey is required to confirm:

  • 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 inspection are required to be rectified

To achieve compliance with BRREAM the principal contractor needs to account for a thermographic survey within the project budget and programme of works. Once construction is complete, a thermographic survey of the building fabric is to be undertaken in accordance with the appropriate standard and by a professional holding a valid Category/Level 2 certificate in thermography.

To undertake BRREAM Thermal Survey we will require the following items to be actioned:

  • The heating to the building must be turned on at least 12 hours before thermal survey in order to achieve a 10C differential between inside and outside the building.
  • The buildings surfaces being inspected to be dry & free of solar loading. No precipitation immediately prior to or during the survey, this may include mist and fog.

    All loose materials must be removed from the building envelope, e.g. timer sheeting stacked against the wall, roof etc.

  • No direct solar radiation on each elevation in the preceding hour. Problems with solar gain may limit the effectiveness of Infrared Thermography surveys during the summer months.
  • As we often need to start approx. one hour before sunrise (to prevent solar loading) it means we may need to start at 4am. Clients should arrange that a responsible person be onsite throughout the survey.
  • The site representative must be able to provide safe access to all areas to enable our engineer to undertake the survey.
  • Safe access must be provided by the contractor, i.e. if there is no safe access to the higher levels such as the roof etc. then the client must supply a cherry picker and an appropriately certified driver to operate the plant throughout the survey.
  • All internal doors to be propped open to ensure uniform internal temperature throughout the building envelope and all external doors and windows on the building envelope to be closed tight to prevent heat loss.
  • The client must obtain and issue all relevant permits to work prior to any commencement of field work if so required and our engineer must be briefed by site competent person on site specific risks by site competent person.

If you would require further information, please check out our informative thermal survey checklist to help you prepare for the thermal survey.

As a UKAS accredited company we try to ensure our clients pass their extract fan testing at the first attempt and we always forward our thermal survey inspection checklist which identifies what actions need to be undertaken to prepare for the thermal survey. As our thermographer’s are level 2 trained and use advanced thermal imaging cameras so you can be sure of the highest quality service and reportage. If you need further advice on how to BREEAM thermal survey please call us on 01525 303905 or e-mail us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and we will guide you through the testing process, ensuring that you receive the right level of advice and service to pass your BREEAM thermal survey and gain your much needed points.

Yes, BREEAM stipulates that thermal surveys must be carried out by a level 2 thermographer. In our experience highly qualified thermographer’s produce higher quality and more technically consistent inspections. Our engineers have the ability to troubleshoot, calibrate equipment, interpret data, and create reports. Our Level 2 thermographer’s have the ability to provide quantitative data. This involves utilising accurate temperature measurement and temperature criteria to grade or assess the severity of exceptions. One benefit of this type of inspection is that it allows our thermographer’s to take into account the load on the building envelope at the time of the inspection, the equipment type, and classification as well as changes in ambient operating conditions. It also allows thermographer’s to identify problems that aren’t presenting as exceptions.

We hope this information has been helpful. If you require a BREEAM Thermal survey our professional and certified Level 2 Thermographer’s will carry out your thermographic Inspections for BREEAM compliance in accordance with all necessary standards and current regulations.

All we need are a few details such as floor plans and elevation drawings and the building location to provide a quotation. We will also send across our informative checklist to help you prepare for the thermal survey.

A Room Integrity test predicts how long fire suppressant agents take to descend to a given level within a protected room without having to discharge the actual suppression system – this is usually 10 minutes for the most popular gases. The room is then sealed, and then a series of tests is undertaken. The blower fan unit is temporarily fixed into the test doorway to pressurise and depressurise the enclosure. NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a room integrity report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £395 plus VAT and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it!

NFPA 2001 – Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold. It is a requirement of British Standards BS EN15004 that any enclosure protected by a gaseous fire suppression system should have a room integrity test when it is commissioned and annually thereafter.

It should also be retested if any works are carried out to the building envelope, this can include works such as the installation of a new door or seals and/or new cables, pipe work or ductwork. We use the latest testing technology to provide thorough assessments of potential areas of air leakage and advice and recommendations on sealing as well full retention and remedial sealing reports.

British Standards BS EN15004 states that any enclosure protected by a gaseous fire suppression system requires a room integrity test when it is commissioned and annually thereafter. It should also be retested if any works are carried out to the building envelope, this can include works such as the installation of a new door or seals and/or new cables, pipe work or ductwork. Studies reveal that the predominant cause of failure of gaseous extinguishing systems is poor room sealing. It is also found that the room integrity performance reduces with time; this is usually due to changes in construction the additions of cabling or services, or simply by natural movement of the enclosures envelope.

In our experience the majority of room integrity test failures are caused by the lack of enclosure integrity due to the rooms not being prepared properly. To prepare the protected room/s the following sealing works should be undertaken prior to the test date:

  • Sealing all cracks or penetrations leading into or out of the protected enclosure.
  • Sealing all pipe chases and cable trays where they penetrate the perimeter boundaries of the protected enclosure.

  • Caulk around the inside perimeter at the floor and ceiling junctions.
  • Seal porous blockwork walls; this can be remedied by painting and ensuring the mortar joints are full.
  • The addition of door seals/drop seals as well as weather stripping around jambs.
  • Sealing of windows/glazed sections within the room envelope.
  • The sealing of the underside of doorways within the floor void – this is often open into the adjacent floor.
  • Ensure that air conditioning vents/dampers are closing properly.

When we send out our quotation we also forward a specific room integrity checklist to help our client prepare for the testing. If you need advice on how to seal your server room or data centre please contact us now. We use the latest testing technology to provide thorough assessments of potential areas of air leakage and advice and recommendations on sealing as well full retention and remedial sealing reports.

We will require the following information at least 5 days prior to our arrival on site:

  • The Type of Agent used in the Suppression System.
  • The weight or volume of the Agent that would be discharged – usually marked on the cylinders in the room.
  • The specified retention time for the enclosure – usually 10mins.
  • The Normal Operating Temperature of the room – usually 18 to 21C.
  • The maximum height of the equipment to be protected in the room – normally the top of the equipment within the room.
  • If there is a false floor and/or ceiling and the depth of the void.
  • If the air moving equipment is designed to switch off when the Fire Suppression system is discharged or stays running.

If you are unsure of any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to help.

If you fail your room integrity test please don’t panic. We can quickly undertake targeted smoke testing to locate and record the air leakage paths. Smoke testing is undertaken whilst the room is pressurised, the smoke will then move towards the nearest air leakage path. Targeted remedial works can then be undertaken by the contractor to seal the building envelope. Once the appropriate remedial work has been completed the enclosure should be retested to confirm if an acceptable level of integrity has been reached by achieving a retention time in excess of 10 minutes. If this is not possible during the test visit, we issue a comprehensive smoke survey report listing the air leakage paths for your operatives to reference during their sealing works.

If your building has failed its air tightness test and you need further advice on how to pass, please call us on 01525 303905 or e-mail us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and we will guide you through the air tightness process, ensuring that you receive the right level of advice and service to pass your air testing.

Of course, our experienced room integrity consultants have helped all types of clients from the initial design stage of the project right through to the final room integrity test. It is our ongoing aim to ensure that all our clients properties are compliant with NFPA & ISO 15004. If you think you need help on your project, please don’t hesitate to contact our skilled team of room integrity engineers. As a UKAS accredited company we try to ensure our clients pass their integrity test at the first attempt and we always forward our room integrity testing checklist which identifies what actions need to be undertaken to prepare for the air test. here are a few of the services we offer to help you pass your air test at the first attempt:

  • Air Tightness Design Review – We can undertake a design review of the proposed protected enclosure to check that the air seal line has adequately designed and potential buildability issues have been taken into account.
  • Ongoing Site Survey Visits – We visit site to check that the contractors are building the envelope of the protected enclosure (or air seal line) properly to minimise the chance of an integrity test failure at the end of the project. Any potential problems identified during the works will be highlighted to the site team so that targeted remedial sealing works can be undertaken.

We always advise our clients to contact us as early as possible to ensure that your preceded enclosure stands the best chance of passing the integrity test. air testing. When we send out our quotation we also forward a specific room integrity testing checklist to help our client prepare for the testing.

By attaining level 2 testing certification it ensures companies have been assessed against internationally-recognised standards in order to underline their competence and capabilities. APT Sound Testing has attained level 2 certification for room integrity testing. We also hold multi UKAS accreditation so you can be sure our reportage will be of the highest quality.

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We have worked with APT Sound Testing on numerous projects and they have always offered a friendly and cost effective air and sound testing service.

The APT sound testing team are friendly, professional and approachable. Their proactive and flexible attitude ensures we always achieve the required result.

We have worked alongside APT for over 8 years and they have helped us with our precompletion and acoustic design requirement throughout this period. I would thoroughly recommend recommended them.

The APT team are great to work with and offer very friendly and proactive response on all our projects. They always deliver on time and offer great value.

APT Sound Testing is a friendly helpful company offering a highly efficient and reliable service.