Green Building Solutions International

VILLA AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
Villa Testing for Estidama Pearl Rating

GBSI has been selected as the air tightness consultant for several Emirati National Housing Projects across the UAE. Air tightness is a crucial element in the construction of these villas that are expressly built as homes for Emirates as they are a major factor in achieving the sustainability requirements of the 2030 plan. The nature of simple villa construction supports an airtight enclosure without difficulty because the basic materials used are inherently airtight and straightforward construction techniques are employed.

First and only villa test
In 2011 GBSI conducted the first villa air tightness tests in the United Arab Emirates helping to launch the important sustainability villa building regulations in the UAE with UPC. GBSI was asked to perform comparative air tightness tests of villas built before the advent of the Estidama regulations with a sample villa in a four project attempting to qualify for a two Pearl rating.

At the request of developers
The number of villas built from 2011 to 2013 will more than triple the amount of villa housing available in Abu Dhabi. Energy waste is found when villa’s building envelope is not airtight resulting in the release of air artificially cooled (at a high energy cost) to the outdoors. The impact of the energy savings achieved by constructing an airtight villa cannot be underestimated. Projected levels of energy use for the new villas alone would require the UAE to increase power generating capacity several times over current capacity.

Air conditioning is 60 to 70 percent of domestic electrical power consumption. At the request of prominent builders in Abu Dhabi, GBSI created proprietary construction checklists for preventing air leakage in villa construction, including the use of sealants, construction techniques, ventilation systems, window selection and proper gasketing for doors. These relatively low-tech methods of eradicating air leakage in villa construction are crucial to villa sustainability and future energy consumption.

Pre-test services
Pre-test services including reviews of plans, construction drawing details and specifications and most importantly on-site inspections during the construction phase. Formal reports are a key component of GBSI service to ensure successful sustainability compliance is meet by the building’s construction. GBSI uniquely, conducts trial tests on a model villa and issues a report with a checklist of air tightness test reports rectification.

Achieving successful LEED and PEARL certifications
Lastly, as a certified, independent, air pressurization agent GBSI test results reports meet all national and international qualifications. Managing Director, William Whistler, LEED and an Estidama qualified professional, assists clients by working with all government regulatory authorities to attain successful applications for LEED and PEARL certifications and all other Dubai Municipality requirements.

GBSI has experience providing the required documentation including a professional CV, test method statement and certified reports leading to successful Estidama certification. GBSI is currently contracted to provide IDP3-R2 services for projects totaling over 6,000 Emirati National villa units.

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