Floor plenum airtightness
In July 2016, BSRIA published BG65/2016 Floor Plenum Airtightness – Guidance and Testing Methodology.
Since the introduction of airtightness testing as part of the Building Regulations, the air leakage of buildings has steadily reduced as construction teams have become more familiar with the requirements. By introducing lower specifications for floor plenums, it is hoped that the effect will be similar.
It is important that conditioned air in a floor plenum flows into the occupied zone and does not leak into cavities, risers, stairwells, heating trenches or other adjacent zones. A properly sealed floor plenum will allow the diffusers and grilles to fulfill their primary role of delivering air at the correct flow rate. As a result, the airtightness of floor plenums can be a serious energy efficiency issue.
BSRIA’s new guide addresses these issues and places upper limits on the air leakage of floor plenums. Distinctions are made between air leakage to adjacent spaces (normally referred to as plenum leakage), and uncontrolled air leakage into conditioned zones (normally referred to as raised access floor leakage). A testing methodology for both plenum leakage and raised access floor leakage is given, and guidance on achieving both is provided.
To download or purchase the guide, go to the BSRIA Bookshop.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air tightness in buildings.
- Airtightness of energy efficient buildings.
- BSRIA articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Building performance evaluation.
- Closing the gap between design and as-built performance.
- Energy Performance Certificates.
- Indoor air quality.
- Performance gap.
- Plenum ventilation in buildings.
- Thermographic survey.
- The history of non-domestic air tightness testing.
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