It is extremely disappointing to read that yet again pressure-testing of houses has not been included in the proposed changes to the Building Regulations (21 May, page 18).
Often the only way to show compliance is to pre-completion test, be it for drainage, soil or sound. Only those that have something to hide should fear any form of testing.

Many countries, such as Canada and Sweden, already carry out air-leakage testing. Not only are construction methods and detailing improved to ensure compliance, but the quality of the end product is vastly improved. Often constructing to more rigorous detailing not only decreases air-leakage but also improves fire performance protection. Buildings that prevent air leakage from within are also better equipped to prevent leakage from external elements. Thus, the building's weather protection is increased.

The construction industry had been given a chance to ensure compliance through the use of robust standard details. These have been generally ignored.

The one fail-safe way of improving the thermal value of homes is through the use of pressure-testing. Simply increasing the thickness of insulation is not enough.