Airtightness & Ventilation Requirements

Airtightness & Ventilation Requirements
One of the main aims of Building Regulation Part L is to design and construct homes which are more airtight.  We look at the implications and how an air tightness test is carried out as we as the more recent domestic extract fan testing requirements.

One of the main catchphrases of the last decade is ‘Build tight, ventilate right; however, lately it appears to be landing on deaf ears.

Many people in the UK still see the concept of ‘airtightness’ quite unwelcome. They often say that they won’t be able to breathe in an air tight house. Or I’m old school so I ‘I always sleep with the windows wide open, so what’s the point?’ They fear that an airtight house will be unhealthy full of condensation etc. In some cases there is an element of truth to this as many classic Victorian houses were not designed to be air tight in order to expel the coal smoke, with the most common air leakage paths through sash windows, floorboards and through the open fireplaces.

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At the time we thought this was healthy; however perceptions are quickly changing. Now, with the growing awareness of concepts like low-energy houses as well as more comprehensive measures such as PassivHaus and zero carbon homes, people are more aware on just how important air tightness testing is in low-energy homes and commercial buildings.

In an airtight house, air quality is much more controlled and it isn’t simply down to random draughts, it is much more planned. As above the ‘ventilate right’ bit of the equation really takes precedent. Airtight homes rely on whole-house ventilation systems. We thus have three essential elements to a low-energy home, they are:

• Lots of good quality insulation
• A good airtightness target
• A whole-house ventilation system

It is essential all three make up the total solution; you need all three working in unison to be truly effective, if you combine all three, you get a low-energy, comfortable home with good indoor air quality.

Testing for Airtightness
Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the building fabric. This is not to be confused with the controlled flow of air into or out of the building through purpose built ventilators. The pressure differential is measured across the envelope of the building be means of a large fan installed temporarily sealed and a range of static pressures and environmental readings are taken. The fan is switched on and the air pressure in the property is gradually increased or decreased and the differential pressure is recorded at each step.

The total air flow required to achieve a pressure differential of 50 Pa is calculated and divided by the total building envelope area to provide the leakage rate in m3/hr/m2.

On each development, an air pressure test should be carried out on THREE units of each dwelling type or 50% of all the instances of that dwelling type, whichever is less.
A block of flats should be treated as a separate development irrespective of the number of blocks on the site.

Depending on the size of the property, the duration of the air tightness test should take no longer than 2 hours with the air tightness test certificate issued some 2 days later.

It is best to make sure that the building is fully prepared for the air tightness test, in most cases the main areas of air leakage are through penetrations in the kitchen and/or utility room and through penetrations in the bathrooms and cloak rooms. Other common air leakage paths are through the wall/floor junction, light fittings and boilers rooms and service cupboards.

Designing for Air Tightness
The key to attaining a good airtightness test result is to design in an air barrier at the outset, and then to ensure that it is properly installed and not tampered with during construction. For instance, instead of allowing plumbers and electricians to drill holes without supervision, the service connections need to be carefully planned in advance and the air barrier penetrations sealed accordingly, otherwise you may have large service penetrations etc. that are not adequately sealed before the installation of kitchen units which can result in large air leakage paths that are almost impossible to seal without removing the kitchen units, which may cause damage to your nice new kitchen.

Heating an Airtight House
If you achieve a good air leakage rate the less heating the house will need further down the line e.g. if you have two identical 3 bedroom houses and House A has achieved an air leakage rate of 4m3/hr/m2 and House B: 10m3/hr/m2, then House A should be 25-35% cheaper to heat each year which can result in some huge monetary savings each year.

Mechanical Ventilation – How does it work?
A MVHR system continuously extracts polluted air from a building. The stale air is passed through a heat exchanger, which is then used to pre-warm incoming fresh air. This ensures a fresher, warmer and more comfortable environment; the Key Benefits of this are
it provides a better quality of clean, fresh and healthy air. It also impacts on energy bills — recovering up to 95% of otherwise wasted heat, ultimately reducing the overall heating requirement. Another notable benefit is the lowering of noise issues as it negates the need for window trickle ventilation.

Mechanical Ventilation Testing
Under Building Regulations Part F all new dwellings will now require post-completion testing of ventilation equipment for dwellings. All domestic ventilation systems should be tested from a basic extract fan test in the toilet (Type 1) to the supply and extract valves in a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system (Types 3 and 4). We can undertake the domestic ventilation testing at the time of the air tightness testing saving you time and reducing coordination issues.

If you require air tightness or domestic ventilation testing, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your building passes first time. If you require more information please contact me direct on 07775 623464 or visit the airpressuretesting.net website today.

Annual Integrity Testing

Annual Integrity Testing On Your Protected Enclosure
Many of our clients are not aware they need to undertake an annual enclosure integrity test. For a fire suppression system to work, the room must have sufficient integrity to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge – usually 10 minutes). If the enclosure fails to hold the gas for the specified period the fire may reignite. As this is the predominant cause of enclosure failure, the British and International Standard (BS: ISO14520) requires that an enclosure integrity test be conducted on system installation and thereafter at annual intervals and/or if any changes have been made to the enclosure envelope, i.e. ceilings, walls, floors or doors.

Air Pressure Testing have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests on varying room types from small comm’s rooms to massive power station turbines; and due to our experience of finding air leakage paths we have the experience to help you achieve a enclosure test pass at the first attempt. We are one of a very few companies that fully understand the theory behind extended discharge tests and are able to undertake air testing to enclosures where extended discharge tests are required.

Extended discharge tests are commonly used where it is not possible to fully seal an enclosure such as a Gas Turbine Enclosures in power stations. An initial discharge is release in a sufficient concentration that extinguishes the fire, and then an extended discharge takes place to replenish the extinguishing agent at a suitable rate to prevent the fire reigniting for a required period of time.

Initially the annual integrity test was introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to discharge testing following the phase out of Halon extinguishant under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, Inergen, Proinert, IG55, FM200, FE25, HFC 227ea, FE25, Novec 1230 and CO2 to name but a few.

The annual enclosure testing is clean and non-disruptive, using a door mounted fan(s) to measure leakage flow. We can quickly workout the retention time obtained for the total room leakage. If this is below that required by the Standard, a detailed smoke inspection is carried out to identify all major leakage paths for remedial sealing. A formal report is issued detailing the results from the smoke tests highlighting the air leakage paths.

If you fail the enclosure test, Air Pressure Testing can also undertake the remedial sealing works for you. We can undertake the sealing works out of hours as we understand the impact/cost of closing down areas such as turbine/server rooms etc. We supply the materials, access and manpower to undertake the enclosure sealing works so we can provide a ‘one stop solution’ for the annual enclosure test requirements.

If you would like more information in regards to your annual enclosure test and/or remedial sealing works please contact us now on 07775 623464 or visit the Air Pressure Testing website today and speak to one of our highly experienced technical staff.

Sound Insulation Testing

Sound Insulation Testing – Broken Down Rating Methods
The sound insulation rating methods that follow are defined in:

Sound insulation testing is usually undertaken near the end of a project to show that the party wall and floor partitions meet the standards shown in Building Regulations Approved Document E.  The method for testing for airborne and impact sound insulation is in full accordance with: the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 & 7: 1998. Sound tests are broken down into various rating methods.

The sound insulation rating methods that follow are defined in:

Rating Method – RW
This single figure rating method is the rating used for laboratory airborne sound insulation tests. The figure indicates the amount of sound energy being stopped by a separating building element when tested in isolation in the absence of any flanking paths.

Rating Method – DnTw
The single figure rating method that gives the airborne sound insulation performance between two adjacent rooms within a building as measured within site conditions. The result achieved is affected not only by the separating element also by the surrounding structure and junction details.

Rating Method – Ctr
The Ctr adaptation term is a correction that can be added to either the RW (laboratory) or DnTw (site) airborne rating. The Ctr term is used because it targets the low frequency performance of a building element and in particular the performance achieved in the 100 – 315 Hz frequency range. This term was originally developed to describe how a building element would perform if subject to excessive low frequency sound sources, such as traffic and railway noise.

This rating is expressed as RW + Ctr and allows the acoustic designer to critically compare performances. The rating method has not been universally welcomed. Some acousticians believe that the method is too crude as it only considers the low frequency performance, and because site measurements at low frequencies are prone to difficulties, which can lead to a lack of confidence in the results achieved.

Rating Method – Lnw
This single figure rating method is the rating used forclaboratory impact sound insulation tests on separating floors. The figure indicates the amount of sound energy being transmitted through the floor tested in isolation, in the absence of any flanking paths. With impact sound insulation, the lower the figure the better the performance.

Rating Method – LnTw
The single figure rating method that is used for impact sound insulation tests for floors. The figure indicates the sound insulation performance between two adjacent rooms within a building as measured on site. The result achieved is affected not only by the separating floor but also by the surrounding structure, e.g. flanking walls and associated junction details.

Rating Method – Dncw
The single figure laboratory rating method, which is used for evaluating the airborne sound insulation performance of suspended ceilings. Laboratory tests simulate the room-to-room performance of the suspended ceiling when a partition is built up to the underside of the ceiling with sound transmitted via the plenum.

Air Pressure Testing is UKAS accredited to undertake both Sound and Air Testing and is also accredited to ISO 17025:2005 ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’. If you would like more information in regards to sound insulation testing and/or acoustic design, please contact visit the Air Pressure Testing website or call us on 07775 623464.

Business:             Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Acoustic & Noise Testing Services

Noise Assessments for the Work Environment
The decibel (usually shown as dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. The decibel scale is a little odd because the human ear is very sensitive. Your ears can hear everything a moving insect to a loud firework.  In terms of scale and power, the sound of the jet engine is about 1,000,000,000,000 times more powerful than the smallest audible sound. That’s a colossal difference! The smallest audible sound, (near total silence) on the decibel scale is 0 dB.

A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB. Here are some common sounds and their decibel ratings: • Near total silence – 0 dB • A small insect walking – 5db • A whisper – 15 dB • A standard conversation – 60 dB • A lawnmower – 90 dB • A jackhammer  – 110 dB • A rock concert or a jet engine – 120 dB • A firework  – 140 dB One important consideration id the difference distance makes to sound – if further away you are greater the power is diminished. All of the ratings above are taken while standing near the sound at a similar position.

Another important fact is that any sounds above 85 dB can cause hearing loss, and the loss is related both to the power and length of exposure to the sound You know that you are listening to an 85-dB sound if you have to raise your voice to be heard by somebody else. Eight hours of 90-dB sound can cause damage to your ears, i.e. a normal working day.  On the extreme end of the scale exposure to 140-dB sound causes immediate damage and pain.

To overcome these dangerous noise levels, new technology is being embraced. For instance due the constraints of acoustic testing / exposure on building sites, robotic demolition equipment are being used to undertake heavy jackhammer works, thus alleviating the need to put peoples hearing at risk.

Here is a quick breakdown of the sound levels and exposure times:

  • 110 Decibels Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.
  • 100 Decibels No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure recommended.
  • 85 Decibels Prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

APT often under take exposure at work noise reports often for construction noise monitoring. We undertake measurements using class 1 equipment that allow you to ensure that your workforce is protected from the effects of excessive construction noise exposure.

Once the levels are recorded you can quickly reference the hearing protection manufacturer for specific muffs, inserts etc to pick the correct hearing protection.

This is crucial on a busy site as that other warnings are put in place to allow workers to communicate effectively if they have full hearing protection, i.e. being njured by moving plant or objects because you can’t hear what is happening

The doseBadge system is also very useful in almost all Noise at Work applications, especially as it is so small that it does not interfere with work patterns. If you are unsure of the noise assessment services you require, please call us on 07775 623464 or visit the Air Pressure testing website today.

Business:             Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Integrity Testing Server Rooms

Integrity Testing Server Rooms
Initially the enclosure integrity testing was introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to discharge testing following the phase out of halon extinguishant under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, Inergen, Proinert, IG55, FM200, FE25, HFC 227ea, FE25, Novec 1230 and CO2. Air Pressure Testing provides the necessary Room Integrity Testing to the required NFPA 2001 or ISO 15004 methodologies.

We have undertaken enclosure testing on all types and sizes of enclosure, from server rooms in offices to hospital intensive care units. In each case we carry out the necessary volumetric calculations prior to the test and use calibrated test fan systems along with laptops running complaint integrity testing software to determine results immediately upon completion of the server room enclosure test.

We ensure that our enclosure integrity testing is clean and non-disruptive, using a door mounted fan(s) to measure leakage flow. Work may continue as normal in the room during the test. An immediate result is obtained for the total room leakage and consequent extinguishant retention time. If this is below that required by the Standard, a detailed inspection is carried out to identify all major leakages for remedial sealing. A formal report is issued detailing the results and any recommendations. The failure report should be retained for regulatory authority/ insurer’s reference. If you fail the test – Air Pressure Testing can undertake the remedial works for you; and due to the importance of these areas; specialise in out of hour’s remedial works as we understand the impact/cost of closing down areas such as turbine rooms etc. to minimise disruption.

In the event of a failed enclosure integrity test we can quickly locate and record the air leakage paths. We can quickly provide enclosure air leakage reports highlighting the worst air leakage paths so remedial works can be quickly targeted.

The server room integrity tests passes we can issue the test reports incorporating all necessary data test information and certification within a few days of the enclosure integrity test.

What Rooms Usually Require Enclosure Integrity Testing

All rooms protected by fire extinguishment require Enclosure Integrity Testing – rooms such as Computer Server Rooms, Plant Rooms, and Laboratory’s. Given the potential consequences of fire damage and down time for such critical areas/equipment, it is essential that an integrity test is undertake before handover of the enclosure and annually thereafter, or if the protected rooms enclosure has received new works resulting in new penetrations through the rooms envelope.

For a fire suppression system to work, the room must have sufficient integrity to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge. Failure to do so may cause the fire to reignite causing further damage. As this is the predominant cause of failure, the British and International Standard (BS: ISO14520) requires an enclosure integrity test be conducted on system installation and thereafter at annual intervals.

Air Pressure Testing have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests on varying room types from comm’s room/s to massive power station turbines enclosures; and have the experience to help you achieve a test pass at the first attempt. We are one of a very few companies that fully understand the theory behind extended discharge tests and are able to undertake testing to enclosures where extended discharge tests are required.

Annual integrity testing is required by the BFPSA and its now carried out by all major commercial institutions such as banks and data companies. It is also worth noting that your buildings insurance may be negated if you don’t undertake the annual data room integrity test.
Server Room Testing – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do I need a fire enclosure test on my server room?

A – The test is a requirement of the British Standard for gaseous fire extinguishing systems – BS EN:ISO 14520. Most fire insurers will require evidence that the test has been conducted and the result is satisfactory.

  1. How quickly can an server room integrity test be arranged?

A – Usually within a few days.

  1. How long does the enclosure test take?

A – Usually between 1 and 2 hours.

  1. Will the server room integrity test set off alarms?

A – No. The enclosure test is completely independent of the detection system.

  1. Is the server room integrity test disruptive?

A – No. It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The enclosure test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.

  1. Does equipment such as servers need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – No the equipment can keep running.

  1. Does air conditioning need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – Recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either dampered closed or will be temporarily sealed.

  1. Will I get a certificate if I pass the server room integrity test?

A – It will be issued within a few days. This should be retained for possible inspection by the authorities/insurers. A summary certificate can be issued at the time of enclosure test if required.

  1. What happens if the room fails the server room enclosure test?

A – We can carry out an inspection to identify leakage paths for remedial sealing. These will be pointed out at the time of the enclosure test and a plan included in the report. It is recommended that a retest be conducted after remedial action to confirm the adequacy of the retention time.

  1. Can remedial sealing be done at the time of the server room enclosure test? – Yes, provided the leakage can be swiftly remedially, or temporarily, sealed.
  2. Can APT undertake remedial sealing?

A- Yes we can do this if requested or the client can arrange remedial sealing themselves.

  1. Do you supply any literature to help us prepare for the enclosure test?

A – Yes, we supply all our clients with an easy to follow checklist to help you prepare for the test.

  1. How often should the enclosure integrity test be done?

A – The relevant British Standard (BS EN:ISO 14520) specifies that the test should be conducted annually as part of routine maintenance.
If you have a protected enclosure that requires an integrity test or you think you have a problem in terms of your enclosure construction then contact Air Pressure Testing as we can send across our air sealing checklist to help you prepare for the server room enclosure test. We can also offer a sealing service should it be required.

If you would like more information in regards to a server room integrity test, please contact us now at on 07775 623464 or visit the Air Pressure Testing website today.

Business:             Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Integrity Testing Server Rooms

Integrity Testing Server Rooms
Initially the enclosure integrity testing was introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to discharge testing following the phase out of halon extinguishant under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, Inergen, Proinert, IG55, FM200, FE25, HFC 227ea, FE25, Novec 1230 and CO2. Air Pressure Testing provides the necessary Room Integrity Testing to the required NFPA 2001 or ISO 15004 methodologies.

We have undertaken enclosure testing on all types and sizes of enclosure, from server rooms in offices to hospital intensive care units. In each case we carry out the necessary volumetric calculations prior to the test and use calibrated test fan systems along with laptops running complaint integrity testing software to determine results immediately upon completion of the server room enclosure test.

We ensure that our enclosure integrity testing is clean and non-disruptive, using a door mounted fan(s) to measure leakage flow. Work may continue as normal in the room during the test. An immediate result is obtained for the total room leakage and consequent extinguishant retention time. If this is below that required by the Standard, a detailed inspection is carried out to identify all major leakages for remedial sealing. A formal report is issued detailing the results and any recommendations. The failure report should be retained for regulatory authority/ insurer’s reference. If you fail the test – Air Pressure Testing can undertake the remedial works for you; and due to the importance of these areas; specialise in out of hour’s remedial works as we understand the impact/cost of closing down areas such as turbine rooms etc. to minimise disruption.

In the event of a failed enclosure integrity test we can quickly locate and record the air leakage paths. We can quickly provide enclosure air leakage reports highlighting the worst air leakage paths so remedial works can be quickly targeted.

The server room integrity tests passes we can issue the test reports incorporating all necessary data test information and certification within a few days of the enclosure integrity test.

What Rooms Usually Require Enclosure Integrity Testing
All rooms protected by fire extinguishment require Enclosure Integrity Testing – rooms such as Computer Server Rooms, Plant Rooms, and Laboratory’s. Given the potential consequences of fire damage and down time for such critical areas/equipment, it is essential that an integrity test is undertake before handover of the enclosure and annually thereafter, or if the protected rooms enclosure has received new works resulting in new penetrations through the rooms envelope.

For a fire suppression system to work, the room must have sufficient integrity to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge. Failure to do so may cause the fire to reignite causing further damage. As this is the predominant cause of failure, the British and International Standard (BS: ISO14520) requires an enclosure integrity test be conducted on system installation and thereafter at annual intervals.

Air Pressure Testing have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests on varying room types from comm’s room/s to massive power station turbines enclosures; and have the experience to help you achieve a test pass at the first attempt. We are one of a very few companies that fully understand the theory behind extended discharge tests and are able to undertake testing to enclosures where extended discharge tests are required.

Annual integrity testing is required by the BFPSA and its now carried out by all major commercial institutions such as banks and data companies. It is also worth noting that your buildings insurance may be negated if you don’t undertake the annual data room integrity test.

Server Room Testing – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do I need a fire enclosure test on my server room?

A – The test is a requirement of the British Standard for gaseous fire extinguishing systems – BS EN:ISO 14520. Most fire insurers will require evidence that the test has been conducted and the result is satisfactory.

  1. How quickly can an server room integrity test be arranged?

A – Usually within a few days.

  1. How long does the enclosure test take?

A – Usually between 1 and 2 hours.

  1. Will the server room integrity test set off alarms?

A – No. The enclosure test is completely independent of the detection system.

  1. Is the server room integrity test disruptive?

A – No. It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The enclosure test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.

  1. Does equipment such as servers need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – No the equipment can keep running.

  1. Does air conditioning need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – Recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either dampered closed or will be temporarily sealed.

  1. Will I get a certificate if I pass the server room integrity test?

A – It will be issued within a few days. This should be retained for possible inspection by the authorities/insurers. A summary certificate can be issued at the time of enclosure test if required.

  1. What happens if the room fails the server room enclosure test?

A – We can carry out an inspection to identify leakage paths for remedial sealing. These will be pointed out at the time of the enclosure test and a plan included in the report. It is recommended that a retest be conducted after remedial action to confirm the adequacy of the retention time.

  1. Can remedial sealing be done at the time of the server room enclosure test? – Yes, provided the leakage can be swiftly remedially, or temporarily, sealed.
  2. Can APT undertake remedial sealing?

A- Yes we can do this if requested or the client can arrange remedial sealing themselves.

  1. Do you supply any literature to help us prepare for the enclosure test?

A – Yes, we supply all our clients with an easy to follow checklist to help you prepare for the test.

  1. How often should the enclosure integrity test be done?

A – The relevant British Standard (BS EN:ISO 14520) specifies that the test should be conducted annually as part of routine maintenance.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires an integrity test or you think you have a problem in terms of your enclosure construction – please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net as we can send across our air sealing checklist to help you prepare for the server room enclosure test. We can also offer a sealing service should it be required.

If you would like more information in regards to a server room integrity test, please contact us now on 07775623464 or visit the Air Pressure Testing website today.

Business:             Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Annual Integrity Testing On Your Protected Enclosure

Annual Integrity Testing On Your Protected Enclosure
Many of our clients are not aware they need to undertake an annual enclosure integrity test. For a fire suppression system to work, the room must have sufficient integrity to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge – usually 10 minutes). If the enclosure fails to hold the gas for the specified period the fire may reignite. As this is the predominant cause of enclosure failure, the British and International Standard (BS: ISO14520) requires that an enclosure integrity test be conducted on system installation and thereafter at annual intervals and/or if any changes have been made to the enclosure envelope, i.e. ceilings, walls, floors or doors.

Air Pressure Testing have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests on varying room types from small comm’s rooms to massive power station turbines; and due to our experience of finding air leakage paths we have the experience to help you achieve a enclosure test pass at the first attempt. We are one of a very few companies that fully understand the theory behind extended discharge tests and are able to undertake air testing to enclosures where extended discharge tests are required.

Extended discharge tests are commonly used where it is not possible to fully seal an enclosure such as a Gas Turbine Enclosures in power stations. An initial discharge is release in a sufficient concentration that extinguishes the fire, and then an extended discharge takes place to replenish the extinguishing agent at a suitable rate to prevent the fire reigniting for a required period of time.

Initially the annual integrity test was introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to discharge testing following the phase out of Halon extinguishant under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, Inergen, Proinert, IG55, FM200, FE25, HFC 227ea, FE25, Novec 1230 and CO2 to name but a few.

The annual enclosure testing is clean and non-disruptive, using a door mounted fan(s) to measure leakage flow. We can quickly workout the retention time obtained for the total room leakage. If this is below that required by the Standard, a detailed smoke inspection is carried out to identify all major leakage paths for remedial sealing. A formal report is issued detailing the results from the smoke tests highlighting the air leakage paths.

If you fail the enclosure test, Air Pressure Testing can also undertake the remedial sealing works for you. We can undertake the sealing works out of hours as we understand the impact/cost of closing down areas such as turbine/server rooms etc. We supply the materials, access and manpower to undertake the enclosure sealing works so we can provide a ‘one stop solution’ for the annual enclosure test requirements.

If you would like more information in regards to your annual enclosure test and/or remedial sealing works please contact us now on 07775 623464 or visit the Air Pressure Testing website today and speak to one of our highly experienced technical staff.

Business:         Air Pressure Testing

URL:                http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Air Tightness Testing & Consultancy Services

Air Tightness Testing & Consultancy Services
Air Tightness Test failures at the handover stage of a project can prove hugely costly in regards to financial and programme aspects of the development.

Successful Building Air and Sound Tests stem from an attention to detail at an early stage in the Design and Construction Processes.

We believe that by being involved at the beginning of a project we can save our clients expensive and difficult remedial works at the pre-completion stage of a project.

To help our client achieve compliance with Part L of Building Regulations, we offer the following consultancy services:

  1. Design review We will carry out a review of the buildings envelope drawings identifying any potential weak areas that may perform poorly during the air testing. We can then produce suitable details for use by the design team.
  2. Site Survey Inspection During the construction phase we can visit the site and inspect the work. A report will be produced highlighting any areas of concern or poor workmanship, that may lead to potential air testing failure.

Design Review/s for Air Tightness and Acoustic Compliance
Using our technical knowledge and design experience within the construction industry, we can quickly identify areas of the building design and specification that pose a risk to the air tightness and acoustic specification.

We check that air tight elements are fit for the intended purpose and will have the expected life span. Our operative’s expertise, skills and experience provide clients with pragmatic design solutions; to minimise the risk of the air tightness and fire enclosure test failure in the short and long term.

We have experience of auditing and advising on the correct air sealing works on all types of projects from a small enclosures – such as such as hospital intensive care units) to large distribution warehouses.

Audit reports can be prepared, providing a schedule of works, cross referenced with relevant drawing details and photographs, this allows for a quick and easy site reference for all of your site staff and sub-contractors. Site audits should be carried out at critical points during the build programme, i.e. during the main construction of the external envelope. This will ensure that any potential problems are identified prior to the installation of ceilings etc. which makes remedial works very difficult.

Site Audit Case Study – Hospital Isolation Room)
Our on-site expertise was used to good effect during a project constructing 4 isolation rooms. The contract specification included an item for the Contractor to achieve an air permeability rate under 1m³/h/m². By carrying out site audits and having a strong proactive approach with the contractor; we achieved the stringent air tightness specification. This was achieved with minimal disruption despite the air tightness target being 10x lower than the building regulations standard.

Smoke Tests to Highlight Areas of Air Leakage
Our powerful yet portable smoke testing equipment makes up part of Air Pressure Testing air test equipment. The smoke testing equipment allows for rapid visual diagnosis of air leakage paths.

As part of our standard air testing equipment we carry both hand-held and large building smoke generators. The large building smoke generators can be linked together to ensure all parts of large buildings are filled with smoke, which makes for easier diagnostics. When the building is pressurised, smoke is forced out through air leakage paths thereby providing conclusive evidence of areas requiring attention, it is essential that you have a competent person such as your Site/Project manager available to witness the smoke test, so the site team has an understanding of the project/s air leakage paths and can start the sealing works straightaway.

Whether you need a full on-going air tightness design/consultancy service or just a simple air tightness test, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your building passes first time.

If you are unsure of the air tightness services you require, please call us on 07775 623464 or visit the APT Air Pressure Testing Website.

Business:             APT Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Sound Insulation Testing London

Sound Insulation Testing London
With the high number of new build and property refurbishment projects starting throughout the London, it is extremely important all developers account for robust sound insulation and acoustic design detailing at the design stage of their construction.

Part E of Building Regulations require that developers demonstrate the sound insulation performance of separating walls and/or floors in new-build dwellings or rooms for residential purposes (as well as those newly formed by a material change of use)

This applies to when separate buildings are attached via a common partition not exclusively used by the same occupants. The only way to the relevant compliance with building regulations is to undertake sound insulation testing on your London property.

The regulations set minimum performance requirements for sound insulation between spaces, as to provide reasonable conditions for living. Performance can be demonstrated either by sound testing a sample of as-built constructions/properties.

Sound insulation testing may also be required in non-residential buildings such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, whereas-built performance needs to be demonstrated to ensure noise sensitive areas (e.g. classrooms, wards, meeting rooms) are suitably insulated from noisier areas or to comply with BB93 & BREEAM. There are two main types of sound testing that are undertaken to comply with Building Regulations Part E, they are airborne sound testing and impact sound testing. This is a brief description of each:

Airborne Sound Testing Services
Separating walls and floors are tested for airborne sound. This should be undertaken by an accredited member of an organisation – APT Sound Testing is UKAS accredited for Sound Testing. When testing airborne sound performance two adjoining rooms are used. A sound source (loudspeaker) is set up in one room on one side of the separating wall or floor being sound tested. The sound levels in each are room are then measured using a sound level meter.

The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E. For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This type of sound test is used to imitate and test for impact noise or ‘footfall’ noise such as high heel shoes on the floor above.

Impact Sound Testing Services
For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This type of sound test is used to imitate and test for impact noise or ‘footfall’ noise such as high heel shoes on the floor above. This sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, (as shown on the right) which drops a series of weights onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations.

The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (L’nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Company:           Air Pressure Testing Services

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net

Pre-completion Sound Testing

Pre-completion Sound Testing
Sound Insulation Testing which is completed near the end of a development to show that the performance of the party divides meets the Building Regulations Approved Document E stipulated performance values. The testing methods for airborne and impact sound insulation is in full accordance with: the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 & 7: 1998.

Apartment blocks often require airborne wall, floor and impact sound tests. Airborne sound tests are normally required between horizontally and vertically separated pairs of rooms. The sound tests are undertaken by using a sound source, amplifier and loudspeaker to generate a high noise level in one room (the source room).

Noise measurements are then taken in both the source and receiver rooms using a prescribed number of source and microphone positions. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

For or vertically separated rooms impact sound testing may also be required. This sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, which drops a series of weights/small hammers onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (L’nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

The sound levels required are usually 45dB for airborne wall and floors and 62dB for Impact Sound Testing. For converted properties the sound levels change to 43dB for airborne wall and floors and 64dB for Impact. the amount of sound tests you require depends on the size of the development. All new build properties and conversions require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested, i.e. if you have 10 flats you would require 1 x 6 pack, this consists of 2 airborne wall, 2 airborne floor & 2 Impact sound tests. However if you have 11 units this would rise to 12 Sound Tests or 2 x 6 pack.

If you are complying with code for sustainable homes the standard required may rise between 3-8dB so if you need to comply with more stringent standard, than it’s worth asking us to undertake an acoustic design review. For a small fee you have a peace of mind that the acoustic elements will be robust enough to pass the sound insulation test.

We also undertake air tightness testing to comply with part L as well as part E. This allows our clients receive Sound & Air Testing in one easy package; thus reducing cost and improving onsite co-ordination. Air Pressure Testing is UKAS accredited to undertake Air & Sound Testing and is also accredited to ISO 17025:2005 ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’

If you have a project that requires air and sound testing and you are unsure how to comply with Part E of Building Regulations then contact APT Sound Testing now, we can propose a sound testing schedule that should comply with Part E. Please contact us via our website: www.airpressuretesting.net or telephone us on 01525 303905 and with consultants nationwide, we can offer an extremely proactive cost effective service.

Business:         Air Pressure Testing

URL:                www.airpressuretesting.net