Air testing

Photo credit: Hall Green by Vistry Partnerships

“We understand that air tests often happen at an anxious and stressful time,” says Sam Pile, senior test engineer at Darren Evans.

“We’re here to help, and if your building doesn’t pass the required building regulations, we’ll stay around to help you fix it on the same day if possible.

  • We’ve carried out thousands of tests across all possible structures, giving us a huge level of experience that we draw on to support your particular project.
    Whether you have a single dwelling or a large commercial project, we can offer excellent testing services to ensure compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations Standards.
  • Darren Evans Testing Services can offer nationwide airtightness testing, air barrier design advice and consultancy and a range of other support services on both domestic and non-domestic testing projects.
  • We have an excellent team of highly experienced engineers that cover the UK, we can also test in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • We can offer the complete one-stop-shop testing package as we have a great team of in-house SAP and SBEM assessors who we can work closely with.“This means we can work with our assessors to try and achieve a pass in a more cost and time effective way. That’s often a lot easier, faster and cheaper than carrying out remedial work,” explains Sam.
  • We can offer first class building diagnostics in case of a failure and a reporting system that is clear and concise with a very quick certificate turn-around time.
  • We are members of ATTMA and we are accredited to ATTMA TSL1, TSL2 and TSL4 guaranteeing certificates will be recognised and accepted by your Building Control Officer for Part L compliance.

Top tips

  1. Make sure everyone knows about the air barrier Right from the start of the project, it’s beneficial if the site management team all understand what has been designed as the air barrier, as they can quality check this throughout the build process. Having the air barrier clearly identified at the start of the project and ensuring that all trades know what it is and why it is in place makes a big difference when it comes to testing. An air barrier that is in place and intact will cause the site team much less stress at a stage in the project that is often very time sensitive.
  2. Hold toolbox talks Holding a toolbox talk at the start of the project with the supervisors to discuss the air barrier and the air sealing policy is often beneficial. “The more information that is made available at an early stage to the trades on the air barrier and air sealing the better the end results will be,” says Sam. “Doing everything you can to ensure the air barrier is not broken minimises your chances of failing air tests, which leads to headaches, delays and stress,” he adds.
  3. Assign an air test champion Having one or two people responsible for the air test barrier is crucial on big sites. That person makes sure all the trades know about the air barrier and quality assures the work. “This makes thing go a lot smoother,” says Sam. “You can be more confident that work is to required standards, so you’re more likely to pass and less likely to have to go back and re-test.”

Watch out for: 

We’re expecting an update to Part L regulations in October 2020. At the moment, you only have to air test a proportion of your units, but it’s likely we’ll move to 100% testing. “This makes it more important that all the units meet air test requirements as the financial implications of getting it wrong will become higher once this change comes into effect,” says Sam.
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Next steps

ATTMA certified engineers conduct our air pressure tests, and all our equipment is calibrated to UKAS accredited standards. To work with Sam and the wider Darren Evans team, we’ll need:
  1. Sectional drawings: layout plans and sectional drawings of all the units
  2. Project details: the total number of any one type of units in the project and their construction types
  3. Contact details: the person on site who is responsible for air testing and their contact details.
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