Guest Review - pro clima Intelligent Airtightness Training
This one day workshop in Airtightness Installation at Athboy County Meath was presented by Peter Smith, Darren O’Gorman and Niall Crosson in their purpose-built academy. The course initially started off with some theory with the three presenters stepping in for different sections. Everything was explained very simply without the use of technical language which sometimes puts people off.
We then moved to the demonstration area with Darren and into the mock-up room specially constructed to conduct a demonstration of measuring the airtightness of a house. Some areas of the room were purposely not taped at junctions. When the fan was switched on it was amazing how these areas showed up as leaking air. Basically, the fan extracted the air from the room, and any areas which were not sealed allowed air in through that area, which could be felt by placing your hand there. A draught could even be felt through the keyhole in the door. If anyone was ever in doubt as to why we are using these tapes, a few minutes spent in this room would allay that doubt.
Peter Smith then hosted us in another section of the training room, to explain the various pro clima tapes used and why certain tapes need to be used in certain areas. The one detail that I thought was important is that Tescon Primer RP is best used before the application of the tapes in certain areas. I have heard many comments on sites that those tapes are a waste of money as they do not stick properly. The answer to that comment is using the Tescon Primer RP first. Many companies are trying to reduce cost and not buying the primer or using untrained people to fit the tapes, who are unaware that the primer is available. They are also unaware of the technical back up from this team who are there to advise you on certain site details and visit site to advise on any problems that may arise.
We divided into four teams, each team were given the task of fitting pro clima airtightness tape around a piece of timber and a pipe protruding through a frame of Intello membrane. This proved a slow task and really showed the time that is involved in taping. It highlighted the benefit of using pro clima grommets rather than taping around services, therefore, decreasing the time needed to install and simplifying the process. When the teams have finished the task, the frames were all joined together and taped further. A fan was then connected to the frames which were by now a large box. The box was pressurised up to 100 Pascals. We examined around the box and could find air leakage in certain areas which had not been properly sealed. This exercise was very beneficial and demonstrated not only how important it is to fit the tapes properly but also to work as a team.
I was impressed with the wide variety of people from all over Ireland and some who travelled from the UK to attend this course. There were Builders, Architects, Building Inspectors, Trade Representatives from the UK and ordinary people who were about to embark on building their own house and who wanted to learn before they began.
Airtightness begins very early in the construction stage so it is important to prepare before you start. Contractors are always watching the cost of a project, if they are not training their workers before they get them to fit airtightness materials, then they are effectively wasting money. Airtightness Tapes are not cheap, so all the more reason to have training done before attempting to fit them. As houses are now being tested, they will end up going back over work that has failed which will be an increased cost to them. Workers on site are handed a roll of tape and told to tape around those windows or at junctions without knowing why they are doing it or the correct procedure that needs to be followed. They may, in fact, be doing something totally wrong or have learned from someone who has been doing it wrong. The answer is to ensure anyone who will fit airtightness tapes or membrane has completed a training course showing them the correct way to fit it, and the importance of ensuring that the membrane is not penetrated after it is fitted.
They may, in fact, be doing something totally wrong or have learned from someone who has been doing it wrong. The answer is to ensure anyone who will fit airtightness tapes or membrane has completed a training course showing them the correct way to fit it, and the importance of ensuring that the membrane is not penetrated after it is fitted.
Thank you to all the team at Ecological Building Systems for their professional presentation and also for the lunch provided which was much appreciated.
Liam Driscoll (MCIOB, MICWCI Building Inspector/ Clerk of Works)
To book your place on the upcoming pro clima Intelligent Airtightness Training Systems (15th June)