Airtightness is the measure of how much air leakage there is from a building. This is determined by carrying out an airtightness test, and the figure obtained from the testing is the air permeability value. Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of a building which can be caused either by the wind blowing against or across a building, or warm air rising within a building (the stack effect). Heated air escapes through holes and gaps in the building fabric such as cracks around doors and window frames, poorly sealed electrical and plumbing connections and unfinished service holes. Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss, and discomfort to the occupants from cold draughts.
Air leakage can be measured by pressurizing or depressurizing the building to see how much air flows in or out of the building at a given pressure. Air tightness tests are useful to architects, building services designers, energy assessors, builders, services installers, fire sealers, air tightness testers, building controllers, building owners/ occupiers, etc. Airtightness testing is the best way to assess the performance of the building fabric in stopping the uncontrolled passage of air. It is also a very effective method of locating air leakage paths in a completed building.
This course focuses on The Building Regulations 2010 for use in England, and the supporting guidance document Approved Document L Conservation of fuel and power. Similar regulations exist in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This course has been organised into five modules as mentioned below which are discussed in detail in the course. At the end of the course the reader will have a good understanding of:
a) What is airtightness testing?
b) The need for airtightness testing
c) The theory of air permeability measurement
d) Airtightness testing methods
e) Site requirements and procedures