The latest set of Regulations to conserve ‘Fuel and Power’ focus on the airtightness of buildings as the next largest potential contributor to energy loss, after insulation. The 2014 Regulations for England and Wales, and 2015 Standards for Scotland included enhanced levels of air tightness, but a further major change is that the acceptable levels of air permeability are now defined according to ‘Gross Internal Area’ (GIA). EPIC has long argued that it is extremely difficult to achieve levels below  10 m3/(h.m2) at 50Pa in buildings less than 4000 m2, so this is a welcome development.

Nevertheless, buildings of any size will only achieve the new lower values demanded if they are designed, constructed and commissioned to a high standard, with specific attention being paid to the many junctions in the building, especially between dissimilar elements e.g. at windows, doors, abutting brickwork etc.

In response to the stricter requirements, EPIC has released a guidance paper that summarises its own research into the actual airtightness of buildings, how to improve compliance with insulated panels, as well as suppling points for consideration when planning to address airtightness levels, including:

  • Design
  • Complex detailing
  • Structural steelwork
  • Installation to achieve compliance

The document closes by highlighting mandatory pressure testing on new buildings below 500 m2

Insulated panels have led the way in producing an energy conserving and thermally efficient building fabric. They also meet the primary criteria that buildings should provide long-term energy performance.

If you would like to view the full guide, this can be downloaded for free here:

For further information on PIR panel manufacturers, and how their products can help your building achieve compliance, please contact one of our members:

The new airtightness guide can be downloaded for free here.