Springing a leak? The gaps in airtightness regulations


Findings from the Centre for Energy Epidemiology raise concerns about whether new buildings are compliant with building regulations on airtightness.

In a paper entitled ‘Hitting the target and missing the point’: Analysis of air permeability data for new UK dwellings and what it reveals about the testing procedure‘ a group of researchers looked at data which suggested that ‘gaming’ of the test procedure was occurring. In other words short-term measures were being taken to get new homes through the compliance tests without really meeting with the intention of the regulations.

Airtightness is an important part of keeping CO2 emissions down from buildings, and leaky buildings can also lead to ill health through cold and damp. Moreover, lack of airtightness can lead to health and safety issues with people blocking up built-in ventilation shafts to keep their homes warm.

The team analysed data from the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association (ATTMA) of over 100 new homes. The data seemed to suggest that short-term measures such as additional sealing are being carried out to help buildings pass the test which are not likely to last into the longer term.


Read more on this research and access the paper on the CEE website

More on the CEE Centre on this site.