So, your airtight timber frame is in place, and your team of electricians, plumbers and plasterers are all poised to finish off your building. But there are a few things to bear in mind as you progress with your build, to preserve the airtightness that’s so critical to your building’s fantastic energy performance.
Keep everyone in the know
Once we’ve erected your building’s airtight shell, you can then continue to install services like electrics and plumbing just as you would with a traditionally-constructed building. It’s critical, though, that all contractors coming onto your site know that they are working with an airtight construction and how that affects their jobs, so that they don’t unwittingly compromise your building’s airtightness.
Generally, your contractor will take responsibility for briefing all your other trades. We can support your contractor with this, and we’ve often visited sites to give tradespeople a good understanding.
Record & fix early
The first thing to bear in mind is that it’s inevitable there’ll be a few breaches of your airtight shell along the way, whether to install a pipe or cable, or just by accident. That’s normal, and breaches are generally easy to reseal as long as they’re dealt with at the time.
For example, cable holes can easily be resealed with a special airtight grommit or a tear might simply need some airtight tape. But it becomes a big job if it’s not identified until after your plasterboard has gone on.The important thing is to have a simple process for recording and dealing with any breaches.
This could just be as simple as having a whiteboard on site so that tradespeople can note any breaches for the contractor to get remedied.
Your trades aren’t the only people who have to be aware of your airtight shell – you do, too!
When you come to install any fixtures that might involve piercing beyond your plasterboard layer, bear in the mind the depth of the cavity between your plasterboard and your sealed timber frame, so that you don’t inadvertently go through your airtight seal.
It’s clearly not a problem if you’re just putting in a nail to hang a picture, but it’s something to consider if you’re affixing a heavy shelving unit, for example, that requires more substantial wall fittings.
We’ll advise you on this after we’ve installed your frame and we’re always available for any questions you might have later.