Air tightness testing in Reading

We provide Air Tightness Testing in Reading and the surrounding towns of Theale, Earley and Wokingham via our network of UKAS accredited air testing engineers. We have the ability to respond quickly to your project requirements and comes at the most competitive price.

We are also one of the few companies that are UKAS accredited to undertake both Air & Sound testing in compliance with Building Regulations Part L & E. This means we can undertake Air, Sound and Vent Testing Packages during the same visit, which provides our clients with substantial cost savings and improved on site co-ordination. Unlike many companies we do not subcontract our works.

Air testing to achieve satisfactory levels of air tightness became a legal requirement in 2006 in England and Wales, under Part L of the Building Regulations. Our specialist knowledge of Part L of the Building Regulations and the unique needs of our local clients means that we are Brighton’s most popular air testing and sound testing companies. We undertake air testing on all types of projects from single dwelling to the largest commercial buildings.

What is air tightness testing?

Air testing to achieve satisfactory levels of air tightness became a legal requirement in 2006 in England and Wales, under Building Regulations Part L and is becoming increasingly important to help produce greener buildings, via reducing carbon emissions due to the fact that energy is not being needlessly lost from residences via large air leakage paths etc. Building Regulation Part L defines ‘air leakage’ as the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of a building. The general public recognise it as draughts

When you lose energy through the building fabric this is known as the building emission rate. New projects/developments must meet specific requirements for air testing and emission rates. The usual target for a standard dwelling is 5.0m3/hr/m2; however for commercial buildings the target rate is often much lower – around 3.0m3/hr/m2

Wherever air infiltration occurs, there is usually exfiltration somewhere else in the building. During the summer, infiltration can bring humid, outdoor air into buildings. In winter, exfiltration can result in moist indoor air moving into cold wall cavities and may result in condensation and mould and/or rot which could result in serious damage to the property.

We undertake air tightness consultancy and design reviews to help support our clients from the design stage of the project through to the precompletion air testing to achieve building control signoff. If you need to undertake your testing on Saturdays or Sundays, we offer an ‘out of hours testing’ service to help reduce the impact of testing during working hours.

We also offer substantial cost savings for combined air and sound testing packages. This is due to our multi skilled engineers being UKAS accredited to carry out the Air & Sound Testing, in fact most of our clients now use our ‘3 step’ precompletion package as it negates the need to employ multiple companies.

On site co-ordination is also improved, with both tests being undertaken on the same day in a planned methodical manner. We can also provide out of hours testing (if required) to help reduce the impact of testing during working hours.

We provide a friendly expert advice for helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.

Why do I need air tightness testing in Reading?

Air tightness testing is becoming increasingly important to help produce greener developments, through reducing carbon emissions and reducing energy needlessly lost from the building fabric of new residences. The amount of energy lost is known as the emission rate. New developments must meet specific requirements for air testing and emission rates which feeds in to their energy assessments.

Maintaining a buildings continuous air tightness barrier/envelope greatly helps with the energy efficiency of the building. Air tightness testing is carried out in order to detect the amount of air loss from inside of a building, to the low pressure externally. Air escaping in and out of a leaky building envelope can lead to poor energy efficiency and cold draughts.

The air test checks the air tightness, permeability and air leakage that occurs from a buildings envelope. The air test checks amount of conditioned air that escapes or gets wasted through gaps or air leakage paths through the building fabric. If the building is more air tight, less energy will be being needlessly lost, thus lowering the carbon emissions of the building.

Air tightness testing also shows how efficient a building is at retaining conditioned air which will also put less straight on your mechanical and ventilation system. The energy required to produce the conditioned air – i.e. heating in winter or cooling in summering) is either increased or decreased based on how air-tight the building is. Air testing in the United Kingdom is governed by Part L of the Building Regulations, this split into two parts; for domestic properties Part L1A should be used and for commercial properties Part L2A should be referenced.

Failing to maintain adequate air tightness can lead to up to 50% of heat loss from within a building to the outside atmosphere. This negates the advantages of investing in energy efficiency measures such as extra insulation, high spec boilers or ground source heat pumps. Achieving an air tight building should be prioritised, otherwise your building will cost more to run and place extra load on your mechanical and electrical services; also, as if the building fails the air tightness test it may delay the handover of the building.

So to summarise air tightness plays a significant role in the energy efficiency of buildings because:

  • There is a proven link has been established between carbon emissions and global warming
  • The production of energy to heat buildings emits carbon
  • The built environment contributes about 50% of carbon emissions
  • Heated/conditioned air leaking from buildings requires the use of additional energy to maintain higher temperatures
  • Cooling/conditioned air leaking from buildings requires the use of additional energy to maintain lower temperatures

By limiting the leakage of heated/cooling conditioned air from buildings, it is possible to reduce energy consumption and costs. The British government has made commitments to reduce carbon emissions through the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Kyoto Agreement.

If you require any further information on however to design an air tight building to pass its air tightness test, please contact us now. We provide a friendly expert advice for helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.

How many air tests do I need on my Reading project?

The air tightness test can be carried out on a selection of dwellings/ building types – three units of each type or 50% of that type, whichever is fewer. It many cases it is necessary to test all plots, otherwise a 2m3/hr/m2 penalty (for sample testing) must be applied to all the plots on the site, this means that you will need to achieve an air leakage figure of 3m3/hr/m2 which can be very difficult. So to summarise the following testing will usually be required:

  • All new dwellings (based on a sampling rate)
  • All commercial new buildings other than dwellings
  • ‘Large’ extensions to buildings other than dwellings (if the footprint of the building extension is 25% of the original buildings floor area)

If you are unsure how many air tests you require, please contact our friendly expert team for advice on helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.

Our combined air and sound testing package

We offer substantial cost savings for combined air and sound testing packages in Birmingham. This is due to our multi skilled engineers being UKAS accredited to carry out both the Air & Sound Testing, in fact most of our clients now use our ‘3 step’ precompletion package – Air, Sound and Vent Testing ) as it negates the need to employ multiple companies.

On site co-ordination is also improved, with all three tests being undertaken on the same day in a planned methodical manner. We can also provide out of hours testing (if required) to help reduce the impact of testing during working hours.

We provide a friendly expert advice for helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.