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Airtightness Testing for New Dwellings - a practical guide for builders


This BSRIA document outlines the requirements of the approved Building Regulations for 2006 as they apply to new dwellings.

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This BSRIA document outlines the requirements of the approved Building Regulations for 2006 as they apply to new dwellings. The methodology of airtightness testing techniques is presented along
with diagnostic methods such as smoke testing and thermographicsurveys.
The 2002 Building Regulations required all commercial and industrial buildings with a gross floor area greater than 1000 m2 to be tested for airtightness to a minimum standard of 10 m3/(h.m2) at 50
Pascals (Pa). Not only does Approved Document Part L2A of the Building Regulations for 2006 extend this requirement to all sizes of commercial and industrial buildings, Approved Document Part L1A is also extended to include airtightness testing of new dwellings.
The Approved Document Part L1A for work in new dwellings will require, with few exceptions, type-testing of all new dwellings to an airtightness standard of no greater than 10 m3/(h.m2) at 50 Pa. For
some dwellings where the carbon emission rate is difficult to meet for architectural reasons, then the airtightness target under the SAP calculations may need to be reduced to 7, 5 or even 3 m3/(h.m2) at
50 Pa to meet the overall carbon emission rate required by the Regulations.
Buildings containing rooms for residential purposes such as nursing homes, student accommodation and similar are not considered as dwellings. In such cases, Approved Document Part L2A will apply.
Building contractors who elect to adopt the accredited construction details route to demonstrating compliance with the Regulations will still be required to undertake airtightness testing, albeit with a potentially smaller sample of dwellings.

Chris Knights and Nigel Potter
October 2007

Publication details

No. of pages24
Number of books in set1
Date publishedAugust 2006


If you have any specific questions about this publication please contact our Publications Manager David Bleicher on +44 (0)1344 465529 or david.bleicher@bsria.co.uk

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