Air Tightness of Buildings

Well sealed buildings are vital for thermal comfort, energy efficiency and occupant safety. Airtight building envelopes are one step closer to sustainable buildings.

Air tightness (or air permeability) testing involves measuring the air leakage of a building envelope under controlled pressurisation and depressurisation. Airtight buildings help combat draughty conditions, occupant discomfort, poor sound protection, faulty ventilation systems and building inefficiencies. Buildings with an airtight envelope use less energy to heat and cool, thereby achieving both thermal and energy efficiencies.

Vipac is the world’s only laboratory to hold NATA accreditation for air tightness testing in accordance with both AS/NZS ISO 9972 and BS EN 13829. As the world sharpens its focus on energy conservation, the air tightness of buildings is becoming increasingly critical. Test results can be used towards the Green Star rating system or to prove compliance with the proposed verification method JV4 or Section J of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Establishing an airtight envelope is paramount during the design and construction stages of all building projects. Vipac can act as an air tightness consultant, making regular site visits throughout construction and running intermittent air leakage tests, also known as a blower door test.

Click here to read our case studies on air tightness testing of buildings.

From left to right: Air leakage/permeability testing of a building, with additional testing of fire/smoke control zones. Fire shelter testing in order to determine the Air Change/Hr and suitability to prevent smoke infiltration.

 

What air tightness testing services do we offer?

  • Complete air tightness in building tests
  • Partial building air tightness tests
  • Quantitative values measured and air leakage ratings determined
  • Testing for the purpose of sizing smoke extraction systems for smoke control
  • Confirming fire zone extraction requirements
  • Onsite inspections and consultation
    • Inspections throughout the building phase
    • Training of project engineers and skilled trades in improved air sealing methods
  • Component testing of (but not limited to):
    • Loading bays, shutter doors and external fire doors
    • Dampers and louvres
    • Windows and doors
    • Fan performance curves
    • Façade air leakage

Any optional extras?

      • Sealing of plant and services for the air test
      • Additional testing days on site
      • Leak detection
        • Smoke tests
        • Infrared thermal imaging or thermography
      • Consultancy service

NATA accredited

As the first laboratory in the world to hold NATA accreditation for air tightness testing, Vipac is accredited to:

AS/NZS ISO 9972: Thermal Performance of buildings – determination of air permeability of buildings – fan pressurisation method
BS EN 13829: Thermal Performance of buildings – determination of air permeability of buildings – fan pressurisation method

We are also proud members of:

AIRAH  (Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Heating)
AIVAA   (Air Infiltration and Ventilation Association of Australia)
ATTMA
(Air Tightness Testing & Measurement Association)
AWA  
     (Australian Window Association)

See our Airtightness Testing Services flyer for the full list of accredited services.