Air Tightness Tests
Building Regulations now require all New Builds to have an Air Tightness Test Certificate. This is to comply with `Part L` of the Building Regulation from April 2006. These can only be carried out by a Qualified, Accredited and Insured Energy Assessor.
Air Tightness Testing/Air Permeability Testing/Air Leakage Testing measures the degree to which heated or cooled air is being lost through leaks in the building envelope.
The Government is committed to reducing C02 emissions by 60% by 2050. Part of their strategy is to reduce the waste of energy as a result of leaky buildings. To this end the Government introduced changes in Building Regulations under Part L to achieve a 20% reduction in C02 emissions for all New Builds,from April 2006.
These changes will produce more Energy Efficient Homes, cut C02 emissions and help tackle climate change. Nearly 40% of the overall building`s heat loss is through ventilation alone, which results in paying almost double for our fuel bills.
Domestic Energy Performance Certificates. (EPCs).
Housing is responsible for nearly 30% of the UK`s carbon dioxide emissions. Domestic EPCs have been introduced as part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2005) to help improve the Energy Efficiency of buildings, cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Domestic EPCs are valid for 10 years.
New Build Dwellings require an On Construction EPC which can only be produced by an On Construction Domestic Energy Assessor. (OCDEA). OCDEAs can also produce Low and Zero Carbon Certificates for the Low Carbon Homes Scheme. This is a new rate relief scheme that came into effect on 1st April 2010. It aims to encourage the building of Low and Zero carbon homes in Northern Ireland. Further details can be obtained at
Non Domestic EPCs (Commercial EPCs) are now mandatory upon construction, sale or rental of any Commercial property, whether new or existing. Commercial EPCs are also required if the premises have been divided into smaller units or have been renovated.
Approved Document L2A-2006 of the Building Regulations stipulates the need for a full Energy Calculation for all newly constructed buildings.
The Simplified Building Energy Mode (SBEM) software used to produce this documentation is then used to create the EPC which is required prior to the building being occupied.
EPCs are applicable to;
All Dwellings for sale from June 2008,
All New Builds from Sep 2008,All Rented property from Dec 2008,
All Commercial property from 2010.
The Relevant Regulations-The new EPC regulations are in "The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008". They can be found at; ( www.epb.dfpni.gov.uk)
The EPC Report has an Energy Efficiency Chart and an Environmental Impact chart that will give the building a rating from A-G, A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. An EPC assessment for the month of MARCH will cost £40 for a 2 bedroom house and £50 for a 3 bedroom house.
The Energy Efficient Rating is a measure of the property`s efficiency, the lower the Rating the higher the cost of fuel bills.
The Environmental Impact Rating is a measure of a property`s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (C02) emissions. The higher the rating the less impact it has on the environment.
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