Smoke Shaft Testing & Building Regulations

Smoke Shaft Testing & Building Regulations

Looking at Smoke Shaft Testing & Building Regulations

There is a number of building regulations and guidance for undertaking air testing to Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) smoke shafts. Here’s a summary of the main regulations and standards:

Approved Documents:

• The Approved Document B – this provides guidance on fire safety and mentions the role of AOV systems in facilitating evacuation by clearing smoke. It’s important to refer to the latest version of this document for detailed guidelines.
• BS EN 12101-2:2006 – AOV smoke shafts must comply with standards such as BS EN 12101-2:2006, which covers the design of smoke ventilation systems.
• BS EN 9991 (2015) – Fire Safety in the design management and use of residential buildings.
• Smoke Shaft Testing Requirements: all tests are carried out in accordance with the requirements of ATTMA TSL Issue 1, CIBSE T23:2000, BS EN 13829 and BS EN 12101-2:2006.
• Smoke Shaft Testing Frequency: Annual air testing is required to ensure the AOV smoke shafts are running correctly.
• Air Testing Body: The air test to the smoke shafts should be carried out by a Level 2 ATTMA member, Level 1 IATS, or a UKAS accredited testing laboratory.
• UKAS Calibrated Equipment: Testing should be carried out using UKAS calibrated equipment to meet ISO 17025 air permeability standards.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to consult the official documents and any recent amendments provided by the UK government and relevant authorities for AOV Smoke shafts.

How Long will a typical smoke shaft air testing project take

The duration of a typical smoke shaft testing can vary based on factors such as the size of the building, the complexity of the smoke shaft system, and the testing methodology. However, I’ll provide a general estimate:

  1. Small Buildings or Single Shafts: For smaller buildings with a single smoke shaft, the test may take 1 to 2 hours. This assumes straightforward access and minimal complications.
  2. Larger Buildings or Multiple Shafts: In larger buildings, or those with multiple smoke shafts, testing can take a bit longer. Expect 2 to 4 hours or more, depending on the scope.
  3. Preparation and Setup: Setting up the equipment, sealing openings, and ensuring safety precautions add to the overall time. Allow additional time for safety checks and coordination.
  4. Testing Process: The actual air testing involves pressurising the shaft and measuring air leakage. The time spent on this step depends on the shaft’s size and complexity.
  5. Reporting and Documentation: After testing, data analysis, reporting, and documentation take additional time. This includes recording results, identifying any issues, and recommending corrective actions.
  6. Failed Air Test – If the shaft fails the test, a combined thermal imaging and smoke air leakage test can be undertaken, and a report collated. The time required to collate the report, varies depending on the size of the shaft and the amount of air leakage paths identified.
  7. Remedial Work (if required): If the shaft fails the test, remedial work inside the shaft may be necessary. The time required for repairs or improvements varies depending on the amount of remedial works required and the ease of access to undertake the works.

Remember that accuracy and thoroughness are essential during smoke shaft testing. It’s crucial to follow established procedures and prioritize safety. Consult with experts to determine the specific duration for your building’s smoke shaft air test.

Why use APT for your smoke shaft air testing?
We have been undertaking AOV smoke shaft testing throughout London and the South-East, on many prestigious projects such as Battersea Power Station, The Imperial War Museum and Clarridges and Berkeley Hotel.

Our experienced engineers at Air Pressure Testing have over 10 years in the field of smoke shaft testing, so we know how to help clients to pass their testing and achieve smoke shaft signoff.

What can we do?

• Smoke shaft survey visits
• A UKAS and ATTMA Level 2 testing company
• Smoke shaft air test certification
• The latest high-powered fan equipment
• UKAS calibrated equipment
• Smoke testing in the event of an air test failure
• Thermal Imaging in the event of an air test failure
• Same day quotation
• Experienced test engineers
• Thousands of air pressure tests undertaken
• Fantastic customer satisfaction score

Air Pressure Testing Ltd boasts a client base from one of self-builders to the largest construction companies in the UK. We offering leading design, consultancy and compliance for every part of your project, at all stages. It’s our aim to provide a friendly and professional stress-free experience.

APT Sound Testing can be contacted on 01525 303 905, or via our website contact page to discuss your Smoke Shaft Testing and any specific requirements with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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