Be ready for air testing of non-domestic buildings

Be ready for air testing of non-domestic buildings

Leading Irish energy & airtightness consultancy Greenbuild has advised the building industry to be prepared for the new requirement, as of January of this year, to test new non-domestic buildings for airtightness on completion.

This article was originally published in issue 29 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge

The rule was introduced under a major revision to Part L of the building regulations for non-domestic buildings, which aims to bring such buildings up to nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards.

“Where before testing was just compulsory for housing, it is now compulsory for new non-domestic buildings too,” Gavin Ó Sé of Greenbuild, an NSAI approved airtightness tester, told Passive House Plus.

Ó Sé said that as well as having years of practical experience in testing commercial and public buildings, the company also prepared for the change in regulations by attending specialist training in the airtightness testing of non-domestic buildings in both the UK and Winnipeg, Canada.

He explained that testing of larger buildings is more complex than testing a typical house because of the larger volumes of air, meaning several fans might often be required, spread out over different parts the building.

“There’s often more complex mechanical installations too, such as ventilation and air conditioning systems, which need to be prepared properly before the test.”

“Some in the industry might get a shock at the sudden requirement for airtightness testing at sign-off in order to comply with regulations, but the pain can be taken out of the process by engaging an experienced tester as early as possible.”

Ó Sé also told Passive House Plus that Greenbuild is PCN Level 2 certified for thermal imaging of buildings.

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