How airtightness testing can benefit you, your home and the planet.
Airtightness testing and regulations
Who needs an airtightness test and why is it important?
Airtightness testing is used to measure the extent of ‘air leakage’ in a building – the uncontrolled flow of air that is lost through holes, gaps or cracks in the building structure – particularly in the ‘building envelope’. New properties, in particular, need to undergo air tightness testing to ensure there is sufficient airflow in the building structure to meet strict regulations.
Air Tightness Regulations
According to the Building Regulations approved document Part L1A 2010, it is a mandatory regulation that all new build domestic in the UK are built airtight and undergo air tightness testing to prove so. This is also required on non-domestic buildings that have a 500m2 gross floor area.
Property developers and homebuilders are prohibited from selling a new property over to a buyer without certification of appropriate airtightness. In the case of housing developments, a sample of at least 50% of each home type (based on position e.g terrace, end-terrace, first floor, top floor) must undergo an air test.
These strict rules on airtight construction and mandatory airtightness testing are due to the effects that non-airtight building design can have on not only the building’s integrity but on the environment and sustainability. Outside of these factors, the differences between a non-airtight home can also affect the owner’s comfort and their finances.
Here we discuss the benefits of airtightness testing on your home, the planet and the homeowner.
Want to know more about airtightness testing? Take a look at our blog: What is Air Tightness Testing?
The benefits of Air Tightness Testing
How does airtightness testing benefit my home?
A lack of airtightness in a home can cause significant damage to the building’s structure. Daily activities within a building (such as cooking) produce heat and humidity, which if leaked through cracks, holes or gaps can escape into the building envelope, damaging it.
The air leakage and heat that escapes from a non-airtight structure carries heat and moisture along with it – which ultimately leads to condensation. The moisture carried and condensation it causes can lead to significant structural damage to the building’s materials by causing a number of issues including rot, mould and damp.
How does airtightness testing benefit the planet?
Environmental issues have been at the forefront of the news for many years, with the debate on global warming and environmental change becoming an increasingly worldwide conversation. UK government have pledged to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 50% before 2025 and to be carbon emission-free by 2050– meaning increased measures being taken to reduce emissions across all sectors – including property and construction. This is where an airtightness test comes in as an important part of ensuring that buildings are as sustainable as possible.
An airtight structure, with limited air leakage, will help to limit environmentally harmful carbon emissions by reducing the amount of energy used in heating the building. As heating buildings requires the burning of fossil fuels, the more heating a building requires, the more CO2 emissions created and the larger the carbon footprint. These emissions contribute to greenhouse gases and global warming so the fewer emissions produced the better for the planet and sustainability.
How does airtightness benefit me?
Ensuring an airtight home will be beneficial for its owners too. The occupants of a home that is not sufficiently airtight will experience problems in not only their comfort, through their house losing heat rapidly, allowing draughts and being harder to keep warm, but also financial.
As said previously, an airtight home, with limited air leakage, will mean a reduction in the amount of energy required to heat it. By using less energy, homeowners will not only be contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions but will see financial savings due to reduced energy bills.
Get in touch with us to request a quote and book your Airtightness Test today