Not only does the consultation propose that all new dwellings should have an air tightness test (effectively removing the existing sampling approach), but it also seeks views on introducing Build Test Solution’s Pulse technology as an alternative method of air tightness testing.
Pulse was issued with a ‘Statement of Verification’ under BRE Global’s Environment Technology Verification (ETV) scheme back in June, and the inclusion within this consultation represents yet another significant step towards delivering this innovation to industry.
The consultation proposes that the Pulse test should be used for new dwellings with ‘a designed airtightness of between 1.5m3/m2h and the maximum allowable airtightness value in Approved Document volume 1’.
What is Pulse?
Originally developed by a team of researchers at the University of Nottingham, Pulse is a portable compressed air based system which is used to measure the air leakage of a building or enclosure at a near ambient pressure level. The Pulse test is performed at a pressure differential of 4 Pa (4 pascals) as opposed to 50 Pa; this provides a better representation of normal inhabited conditions, helping to improve understanding of energy performance and true building ventilation needs.
Luke Smith, Managing Director of Build Test Solutions comments:
Our aim has always been to ensure that Pulse becomes recognised as an approved testing method for air permeability testing within the next update of Building Regulations. We are of course thrilled to see the proposals put forward within the Future Home Standard consultation, and are keen to see the response from wider industry. We firmly believe that Pulse delivers a pioneering approach to fabric air permeability measurement, providing a quicker and easier air testing method for qualified testers and consultants.
Build Test Solution will be responding to the consultation in due course, with responses due before the deadline on the 10th January 2020.