What is an Air Test?
UK building regulations are becoming ever more stringent and, as the drive towards a more eco-friendly world gathers pace, the regulatory process around construction and materials is expected to become stricter.
Whether it be a commercial or residential building, it’s vitally important to know what certification is required, and it’s even more crucial to be aware of products that can help achieve the correct standards and exceed them.
One thing that every house or commercial building in the UK requires is an air test. So, what is an air test and how do our products here at Intelligent Membranes ensure that your build gets a gold star from building control? Our Founder and Chief Executive, Adam White explains.
What is an Air Test
Buildings leak air, particularly around windows and doors and when they leak air, they leak energy, which costs money. An air test is a check that shows exactly how much air leaks from a building. The process uses a special test kit and involves us putting an industrial fan in the building to pump air into it. We block up the doorway and take readings to see how much air escapes.
There is a set score that the building should hit and if it doesn’t achieve that score, the problem areas that are identified will have to be addressed – again, costing time and money. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to fix air leaks at the end of the job, because they could come from anywhere – underneath slabs or behind walls for example, so it’s quite hard to get something airtight after the event.
Air testing is a here and now thing, a building might pass on the day, but it might not pass the next day, so it’s really important to do a thorough job of making the property airtight at the start.
A good practice is to have a testing kit on site with a pre-test carried out before the walls are closed off and plaster boards are on.
How do our products ensure air test success?
Our product, Passive Purple, which is a liquid applied, vapour-control membrane, is extremely effective in making a building airtight and preventing air leaks – it’s why so many developers, including Bellway Homes are using it.
Bellway uses Passive Purple to paint round all the joist ends and all the window frames and since they’ve been using our product, they haven’t failed a test.
The other benefit of Passive Purple is that it’s such a visual product. When a new building at a project which has used Passive Purple is inspected by building control, it’s obvious that the work to make that building airtight has been undertaken because of its vibrant colour – there are no half-measures, so it gives the developer piece of mind as well as proven quality.