06 Feb 2017
Eco House Air Testing in the Lake District National Park

Eco House Air Testing

Eco House Air Testing.

I was in the lake District National Park last week testing a fantastic eco home. The house was built on a disused railway siding near Broughton in Furness. The developer had wanted to build an eco house on a plot behind his existing house, but from what I gathered during the time I was on site this was not an easy project. The main issue appears to have been with the local planning authority and secondly building contractors not wanting to work outside their comfort zone.

The house achieved an air test score of a fraction over one, which is almost to passive standards. What was impressive, was that this was a traditional block built house and not a timber frame house which generally perform better. Credit needs to go to the developer who was very fastidious throughout the build process and this was almost certainly why there were issues with the building contractors.

We are always saying that its not difficult to build air tight houses but you wouldn’t think so when you see some of the things we see. Basically what this developer did was ensure that there was no penetrations through the internal plaster board and where this was unavoidable he ensured that the holes were immediately sealed.

Yes you can drive your building contractors mad by maintaining a tight control of the building project and keeping a close eye on them, but it pays off in the end. This developer had his issues and once he realised that his chosen contractor was not delivering the quality and attention to detail that he wanted, he sacked them. It seems a bit harsh, but if you want to build an eco house, that attention to detail is everything.

My advice when you are choosing  your contractors is to be very clear about what your end goal is and if you are building an eco house, make sure your chosen contractor is clear about what this involves.

Use our check list as an example and give a copy to all the trades that you employ. Don’t assume that they understand what an eco house is or that they understand the principles of air tightness. Hold back a percentage of their invoice (be clear that you are going to do this) until after your air test, we will be able to identify where there are issues and usually we can pinpoint the responsible trade. This will ensure that the checklist is adhered to and not just left on the dashboard of the builders van.


Tips from : Eco House Air Testing.

Involve us at planning stage and we can advise on both air tightness and ventilation.

Check out our top tips page and down load our air test check list.

Give each trade a copy of the check list.

If you are going to project manage the build be fastidious and be clear about you end goal.


Article Eco House Air Testing  by Phil Ramshaw (Director)

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Northern Air Testing is an ATTMA authorised air testing company.