Testing. Testing. Your Self Build MOT.

Drew Barker
Posted January 22, 2024

When it comes to buying a car you are reliant on either a manufacturer’s warranty or an MOT to confirm that it’s in good working order and performing as it should.

When building your own home, the plans in front of you shows build components, insulation materials and top of the range windows. Surely you can be confident that the plans will indeed provide the energy efficiency and performance you’re expecting from your design?

Sadly, this is not always the case. In actual fact, the UK suffers from a whopping 200% performance gap in terms of what is designed, compared to what is actually built. And the only way to ensure your self or custom build home is truly built as designed, and therefore performing as it should, is through testing.

The first Passivhaus standard property on the Isle of Man.

When looking at build options, standard build regulations will require air testing for each self build (50% for each house type for developments). But if you’re looking at building to Passivhaus standard, there are strict criteria in place to ensure each building is performing as it should:

  • Use 1/10th of the energy required by traditional houses.
  • Require less than 15kWh/(m2yr) for heating or cooling.
  • Must be airtight with air changes limited to < 0.6ACH@50 pa pressure.
  • During warmer months (25°C+), excessive temperatures must not occur more than 10% of the time.
  • Must not exceed 120kWh/(m2yr) for all domestic applications (heating cooling, hot water and domestic electricity).

In addition, there are criteria for thermal insulation, heat recovery, airtightness, window/doors and the absence of thermal bridging. All these elements must be thoroughly tested before being signed off and approved as meeting the standards.

At Beattie Passive, we take testing to a whole new level.

Graven Hill Passivhaus custom built 1

Our build system goes beyond these Passivhaus standards through rigorous inspection of vital build elements. As part of every build, we carry out testing on airtightness, sound migration, cavity insulation, thermal imaging and U-values. These tests are performed at crucial stages of the build process, by independent engineers, to ensure construction methods are optimised, and any minor defaults can be rectified with minimal disruption and cost to the overall build.

Through these ongoing and stringent testing procedures, each build assures the highest level of construction to meet the requirements for final Passivhaus certification. Only upon reaching the design standard, will we issue a quality assurance certificate. This ensures the buildings deliver the superior performance as designed.

It’s our gold standard MOT certificate, achieved every time.