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New buildings fail quality tests

MATERIALS

ONE IN three newly built buildings are failing routine quality tests, according to research and testing body BRE.

It claimed that up to a third of completed non-domestic buildings it tested for airtightness under greenhouse gas emission rules failed.

Building regulation approved document L2, introduced in 2000, said contractors working on non-domestic buildings must demonstrate they are airtight by reviewing designs with building control officers or testing in the final stages of construction. It recommends testing for buildings greater than 1,000 sq m.

But contractors are still failing to get to grips with the technicalities of building an airtight structure, according to Mike Jagg, head of BRE's airtightness service.

He said: 'Companies still seem unaware that local authority building control has to be satisfied a building is airtight before it is signed off.Contractors are not addressing the issue at the start of a project when it is often quite simple to put the right design and workmanship principles in place.'

This would help save time and money later on in the project, he claimed.