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Everything you need to know about EHSTrakhees green building regulations for Envelope tightness test

EHS-Trakhees is a regulatory arm of PCFC that regulates and controls all the aspects related to Environment, Health, and Safety under its jurisdiction. The sustainability departments of EHS Trakhees which was established in late 2007 administer the green building regulations under its jurisdiction which include JAFZA, Technopark, Nakheel, DP world as well as residential development in Jumeirah village circle (JVC), Jumeirah village triangle (JVT) and Palm Jumeirah.

The sustainability department also known as Green Building department of EHS Trakhees promotes the environmentally friendly construction practices and sustainability in built environment. For this, Sustainability department has green building regulations in place that are developed to suits most of the development under EHS Trakhees jurisdiction. The contractor working under EHS Trakhees jurisdiction are bound to follow these regulations throughout the construction process including building permit and completion stage.


To avoid the loss of precious energy through loss of conditioned air and to identify the defects in building envelope, the green building regulations have mandated to check the Envelope tightness of the buildings using Thermal Imaging and Blower door technic. The thermal imaging is mandatory for the conditioned spaces within Warehouses and industrial development. Whereas, blower door is voluntary for such developments. The building contractor is expected to submit the copy of Thermal imaging test report, proof of actions taken after investigation and copy of Thermographer’s CV to the authorities by the end of the project.


To minimize the exposure of building occupants to tobacco smoke, the EHS has mandated to perform the blower door test to quantify the leakage in residential developments. The aim of these tests is to minimize the ingress of smoke through uncontrolled pathways either through building corridors or from adjacent units. The residential units are required to demonstrate cumulative leakage less than 1.25 square inches per 100 square feet of the enclosure area. The blower door test shall be performed in accordance with ANSI/ASTM-E-779-03 standard. For the residential developments comprising of multiple residential units (apartments), progressive sampling methodology as described in the Residential Manual for Compliance with California’s 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards can be used to select the representative sample apartments instead of testing all apartments/units in the building.


For the villa development, thermography test is mandatory whereas Blower door test is voluntary.

Thermal survey for EHS Trakhees on part of industrial development

Below are some FAQs related to Envelope tightness test.


Q.1) My project under EHS Trakhees jurisdiction consist of warehouse and office building. Which test is mandatory for my project and for which spaces?

Ans. According to Trakhees EHS Green Building Regulations for Warehouses and Industrial Developments, it will be mandatory to check envelope tightness using Thermal Imaging technique. This test would be required for only office building only unless the warehouse is not air-conditioned.


Q.2) My project under EHS Trakhees jurisdiction consist of cold storage and office building. Which test is mandatory for my project and for which spaces?

Ans. According to Trakhees EHS Green Building Regulations for Warehouses and Industrial Developments, it will be mandatory to check envelope tightness using Thermal Imaging technique for both cold storage and office building. However, it is recommended to perform Airtightness test using Blower door to quantify the air leakage through the cold storage and take preventive actions to control the loss of conditioned air. This would eventually reduce the operational cost of the warehouse and eliminate the chances of condensation & mold growth inside the cold stage/ building.


Q.3) My project consists of residential apartment building. Is blower door test required for me? If yes, how many apartments do I need to test for the compliance?

Ans. According to Trakhees EHS Green Building Regulation GB – 4.0 Green Building Regulations, you need to check the compliance of residential units for air leakage by fan pressurization. The leakage through residential units/ apartment shall not exceed 1.25 square inches leakage area per 100 square feet of enclosure area (i.e., sum of all wall, ceiling and floor areas). You are allowed to test few samples of the building instead of testing all the apartments in the building. The samples shall be selected based on the criteria mentioned in progressive sampling methodology as defined in Chapter 4 (Compliance Through Quality Construction) of the Residential Manual for Compliance with California’s 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards.


Q.4) My project consists of residential apartment building with 3 floors. Which tests are mandatory for my project?

Ans. According to Trakhees EHS Green Building Regulation GB – 4.0 Green Building Regulations and Villas & Residential Developments up to 3 habitable floors, your project would be required to undertake Thermography test for the whole building. Apart from this, blower door test would also be required for apartments as mentioned in above answer.

you need to check the compliance of residential units for air leakage by fan pressurization. The leakage through residential units/ apartment shall not exceed 1.25 square inches leakage area per 100 square feet of enclosure area (i.e., sum of all wall, ceiling and floor areas). You are allowed to test few samples of the building instead of testing all the apartments in the building. The samples shall be selected based on the criteria mentioned in progressive sampling methodology as defined in Chapter 4 (Compliance Through Quality Construction) of the Residential Manual for Compliance with California’s 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards.

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