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Client Stories | Arms Garden

May 2, 2021

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler



Buildpass were recently invited to work with the idyllic Arms Garden – a rural development of 14 plots – on their SAP calculations, air leakage tests and energy performance certificates. Find out more in our latest case study.

Arms Garden is a beautiful development in the heart of Sutton Benger. This 14 plot site – designed and curated by the brilliant Stonewood Homes – is abundant in character, high quality finishes and traditional notes. 

So, it was a real moment of pride for the Buildpass team when they approached us to support them with their sustainable construction journey. 

The project.

Stonewood Homes approached Buildpass for support with:

An initial test of the first two completed units resulted in a failure as the buildings weren’t quite meeting the desired air leakage requirement. It was therefore necessary to take a deep dive into the dwellings so that we could deliver clear, actionable advice before taking the tests a second time.

The work.

In order to support the builders, we were able to run our testing equipment at near maximum air pressures to identify areas of significant leakage. We then took photographs of these areas and also walked through the unit with the assistant site manager to both show these and provide recommendations to overcome the issues. 

Whilst on site, we also undertook a visual inspection of the other works in progress and made concise, impactful recommendations for improvements to the fabric construction. Our recommendations focused on first fix to ensure less filling would be required at second fix.

Our findings also led us to question the main heating system as part of our guidance. In addition – and due to our role as SAP assessors – we were able to amend the SAP to improve the air testing requirements for the properties.

Top tip: Download our guide 10 top tips for passing your SAP assessment

Following all of our recommendations and the consequent adjustments, we returned to the site a week later to reassess the dwellings – all of which then passed, meeting all necessary requirements. A job well done, we’d say!

The feedback.

But, what did they say?

Buildpass have now provided air tests, SAPS and EPCs for 11 plots at our site Arms Farm in Sutton Benger, with another three remaining. On every plot, Graham and Andrew have been professional, personable, accommodating and flexible in response to our consistently tight deadlines and changes. They are always diligent and knowledgeable on their visits to site and willing to go the extra mile to provide documentation on a swift turnaround. It has been a pleasure working with them.”

Top tips for passing your air test first time.

After the project, we decided to pull together some of our key findings and some handy hints to pass your air test the first time.

Usual areas with problems are:

Read our blog: 10 top tips for improving your air leakage score

Looking for support on your next air test? Get in touch with Buildpass for a free consultation – we’d love to chat.

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