Level 1 & Level 2 ATTMA Testing Available
Whether you have an energy efficient house or an old draughty building, the Blower Door can measure airtightness. The unit has an output of 35 to 7,200 m³/h, and by using more than one Blower Door unit in parallel, even the largest building can be tested.
Measuring an existing building’s air-tightness or checking a new build’s air-tightness after installation of building wraps are done by generating a gentle vacuum in the house through the Blower Door fan or 50 Pascal (similar to a wind loading of a moderate breeze on the building).
The fan measures how much air is being removed to keep the pressure difference at 50 Pascal. It is then possible to find the air leakage points in the building envelope.
Finding the air leakage points is done by several methods:
The Blower Door has proven itself in everyday measurement applications, and is automatically controlled from the DG-700 pressure gauge – you just monitor the readout of the measured results on the screen. Using these results, the Tectite Express software generates a complete test report in accordance with EN 13829.
We also test Positive and Negative pressure in rooms. This helps to confirm that a room will maintain operating pressure at the design airflow rate. This in turn ensures balance, that HVAC equipment has been sized correctly, and that the commissioning process can be completed.
Where Blower Door Testing is now recognised within the BCA
It is recognised as a verification method for both JP1(e) of Vol. 1, and P2.6.1(f) of Vol. 2, the sealing of a building’s envelope against air leakage. While JP1(e) has different targets of air movement depending on class of building, P2.6.1(f) (which deals with most residential buildings) sets out a clear target of 10m3/hr.m2@50Pa (or 10 air changes per hour at 50 Pa.)
What this means?
This means that our blower door tests can be used to achieve compliance with P2.6.1(f). As per this section of the building code, if airtightness is 10m3/hr.m2@50Pa or less, then a building’s envelope is in compliance with P2.6.1(f).
Now that the testing method is standardised, and that there is a tangible target (10m3/hr.m2@50Pa) which everyone agrees with, Australian homes can be built with air tightness in mind, without worrying about compliance with the BCA. This also applies to the different classes of buildings specified in JP1(e), just with different targets of air changes per hour.
V220.127.116.11 Verification of building envelope sealing
“Compliance with P2.6.1(f) is verified when a building envelope is sealed at an air permeability of not more than 10 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa reference pressure when tested in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 9972 Method 1.
The intent is that 10 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa is broadly equivalent to 10 air changes per hour at 50 Pa when applied to homes.”
JV4 Building envelope sealing
“Compliance with JP1(e) is verified when the envelope is sealed at an air permeability rate, tested in accordance with Method 1 of AS/NZS ISO 9972, of not more than—
(a) for a Class 2 building or a Class 4 part of a building, 10 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa reference pressure; or
(b) for a Class 5, 6, 8 or 9a or 9b building, other than a ward area, in climate zones 1, 7 and 8, 5 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa reference pressure; or
(c) for a Class 3 or 9c building, or a Class 9a ward area in climate zones 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8, 5 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa reference pressure.”
ATTMA is the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association.
AIVAA is the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Association of Australia.
ATTMA is an international organisation of testing professionals, while AIVAA is a domestic association (whose tester members are registered with ATTMA).
ATTMA sets out the technical standards for how air-tightness tests should conducted. Registered testers can then conduct Blower Door Tests to the standard, making the test consistent across the industry.
AIVVA is focused on lobbying rather than regulation. Their statement of purpose is;
This is a helpful and informative guide that will help you throughout your projects or answer your questions.
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