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Air Tightness testing

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The target for any new build should be to achieve an air permeability test result of less than 1.00m3/h/m2 as this is best practice.

Best practice Good Acceptable Fail
q50 result @ 50 Pa 1 m3/hr.m2 or less 1-3 m3/hr.m2 3-5 m3/hr.m2 Over 5m3/hr.m2


It is advisable that from the start of a new build ensure a plan is put in place with the builder or an air-tightness specialist with regard to the details of the building that are most likely to be areas of possible air penetration. This will reduce running costs for the end user and have a big impact on the BER rating if a good result is recorded once tested.

It is recommended than a mid-phase air tightness test is carried out prior to slabbing and internal finishes are installed to get an indication of the air tightness and identify areas where air is penetrating the building. This will give peace of mind and reduce further works down the line to remedy any issues.

Further Guidelines:

An air tightness test should be carried out on all dwellings on all development sites including single dwelling developments, to show attainment of backstop value of 5.00 m3 /hr/m2 for Part L 2019 and 7.00 m3 /hr/m2 for Part L 2011.

Upon completion of the build, ensure Airtightness test is carried out by an NSAI registered specialist and the house is tested to: Test Standard: I.S. EN 9972:2015 – Thermal Performance of Buildings – Determination of Air Permeability of Domestic Buildings.

Source: The Air Tightness Testing & Measurement Association (ATTMA) TS1


Under the Building regulations PART L 2019 a low air tightness test result of less than 3.00m3/h/m2 will require a controllable ventilation strategy to be put in place.

This is to ensure adequate no of number of air changes to ensure air quality.