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Airtightness of Buildings

Achieving air tightness in practice

This Department of Communities and Local Government funded project considered the overall conclusions and key messages obtained through design assessments, construction observations, discussions with developers and pressurisation test results. The project analysed the airtightness performance of current UK housing, the implementation and impact of current and future legislation and identified potential areas for future work.  Following an initial literature review, the project adopted an action research methodology that involved the research team working very closely with 5 developers to investigate the practical design and construction issues that arise in making improvements to the airtightness of speculatively built mainstream housing. Two construction types were represented in the project, masonry cavity and steel frame.  The project highlighted a number of issues that need to be considered when constructing dwellings to meet a particular airtightness target. Suggesting that certain construction types appear to be intrinsically more airtight than others, complexity of the design can have a significant effect on airtightness, certain approaches to improving airtightness are likely to be both more successful and more robust than others and that achieving consistently high levels of airtightness in dwellings may prove difficult within existing design and construction cultures.

Research Outputs

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