BTS and the IAA discuss the importance of measurement and testing on retrofit projects
In this video our Managing Director, Luke Smith, sits down to talk all things measurement and testing with Nigel Donohue, CEO at the Insulation Assurance Authority:
PAS 2035 exists to encourage a whole-house approach to retrofit. However, there is a very real risk that the sector invests huge amounts of time and resources in assessments that fall short of providing meaningful insight into what upgrades are right for the building in question or what performance uplift those measures truly deliver.
Traditionally standards for retrofit of existing homes and buildings have focussed almost exclusively on how individual products perform in a lab and the standards to which they are to be installed. With the introduction of PAS 2035 there are now a set of standards serving a new and vitally important aspect; the design, specification and evaluation of retrofits. That is to say, investment is now very rightly being encouraged in the early stages of a retrofit project to make sure that a building is properly understood via a detailed assessment process so that the right package of measures can be most appropriately specified. Then, once the works are complete, PAS 2035 also introduces a series of requirements around how retrofits should be evaluated to make sure they truly deliver the intended outcomes.
Here at Build Test Solutions we have long advocated the critical importance of objectively measuring the key aspects of building performance such as heat loss rates, air tightness, ventilation and U-values. Only by measuring buildings can we be absolutely sure how they perform, what upgrade measures are most appropriate and how those upgrades work in practice. As an organisation who provides assurances and warranties on the work carried out by others, the Insulation Assurance Authority (IAA) share this view.
Key takeaways from the discussion with the IAA include include:
- There are a raft of Government, and increasingly also many voluntary initiatives, that require the PAS 2035 process to be followed. Ranging from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), the Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD) and the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG).
- PAS 2035 already requires a degree of measurement and testing as part of the higher risk Pathway C projects. However, with the advent of low cost scalable measurement methods, there is a strong case for going further and faster.
- An example of which includes the IAA Background Ventilation Tester scheme that allows trained operatives to use a low pressure Pulse test as a means of informing the ventilation strategy for a building.
- Measurement and testing is set to become increasingly commonplace with EPCs able to be made more accurate through acceptance of measured inputs. What’s more, clients are also increasingly demanding verification of works as part of their contracts.
- For assessors, coordinators and contractors, measurement and testing not only presents an opportunity to offer new services, it also presents a means of carrying out quality control on jobs, helping with continuous improvement and serving to help mitigate any disputes.
To learn more about the opportunities measurement and testing might open up for your business, use the contact us form to arrange a call with a member of our team.