When you’re trying to select the company to carry out your air tightness test, choosing between competitors can be intimidating. Contractors are constantly updating their technologies and developing new techniques, making it difficult to penetrate industry jargon to understand which company is right for you.
In order to simplify matters, here are five things to look out for when sorting the best from the rest.
Awareness of the Law
Since 2006, all commercial and residential builds have been required to carry out an air tightness test, to ensure that they comply with building regulations. Without such a test, buildings can be deemed uninhabitable, leaving those in charge of the project in a very difficult position.
Consequently, it’s vital you choose a company that fully understands the legal regulations surrounding the air permeability test. Ideally, your contractor should be able to guide you through all of their procedures, explaining how and why certain measures must be taken, and placing them within an understandable legal context.
When it comes to air tightness testing, only tests performed by accredited companies will be deemed legitimate by the local authorities. This means that tests performed by non-accredited companies will be worthless before the building regulators; choose the wrong contractor, and you could be forced to pay for another test later. Organisations are accredited by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BiNDT), though many will also seek accreditation from the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association (ATTMA).
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a company to test a building is how much support they can provide prior to the test. This support can include explanations of the test procedures, checklists detailing the site standards necessary for your building to pass the tests, and pre-test visits to the site by trained professionals. An excellent company will work with builders and developers from an early stage, providing advice and assistance, to ensure the foundations of an airtight build are in place.
A Desire To Pass
Finally, it’s important to consider whether a testing company has a reputation for guiding their clients through the test. Though no reputable assessor will pass a building that doesn’t meet the high standards set by building regulators, some companies offer a service that greatly increases the chances of a successful test. Companies that truly want you to pass the test first time will provide useful tips to builders and developers, and get involved early on, to increase the likelihood of success.
Hiring the right air tightness testing company is not just about finding testers who are technically proficient, but finding a company that is able to guide you through the process using their specialist expertise. As modern builds become more and more complex, employing different materials, more intricate designs and new technologies, utilising the experience and advice of a top testing company is increasingly necessary. If you keep the above tips in mind, your choice should be a little easier.
This article is written by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam with useful information from NATTS. Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyGGrassam, she is a Yorkshire girl with some interesting things to say!