Mandatory building airtightness testing came gradually into force in the UK, France, Ireland and Denmark. It is considered in many other European countries because of the increasing weight of the building leakage energy impact on the overall energy performance of low-energy buildings. Therefore, because of related legal and financial issues, the building airtightness testing protocol and reporting have become crucial issues to have confidence in the test results as well as the consistency between the measurement results and values used in the energy performance calculation method.
The reference testing protocol in Europe is described in EN 13829, but many countries have developed specific guidelines to detail or adapt EN 13829 requirements.
This study compares building preparation rules for airtightness testing in 11 European countries.
Information has been collected through a questionnaire sent to TAAC (TightVent Airtightness Associations Committee) members. We found that building preparation differs significantly from one country to another and that the two methods described in the standard are either too detailed or insufficiently described to fit with the specificities of each country regarding building preparation. It concludes on possible improvement for EN 13829 including:
- In one hand describing more precisely the basic principles of the preparation to avoid ambiguities and,
- In another hand, allowing some flexibility to the countries to specify rules consistent with their energy performance calculation method.