Building and ductwork airtightness regulations in various countries


The current trend in most European countries regarding building ventilation is to follow the “build tight, ventilate right” strategy. New energy efficient buildings are indeed getting more and more airtight to avoid energy losses through uncontrolled air leakages. Instead, mechanical ventilation systems are installed to ensure a good indoor air quality (IAQ) with controlled ventilative air flowrates.

In some European countries, minimum requirements for building airtightness are included in EP-regulations, with sometimes a mandatory justification required by testing or applying certified approach, such as in France, Ireland and United Kingdom[1]. As a result, building airtightness tests are getting commonly performed on new buildings in many European countries to quantify and limit air leakage through the envelope.
On the other hand, if the significant impact of leaky ventilation ductworks on energy use and IAQ has been well established in the literature [2], the awareness on this issue is raising more slowly.

In 2008 a series of VIP (from VIP 17 to VIP 27) were published by the AIVC, detailing the “Trends in the building ventilation market and drivers for changes” for 10 countries. Regulations have however evolved a lot in most countries since then. A new series of VIPs is being published to get an update on the current regulations in European countries regarding building and ductwork airtightness. They include for both, when relevant, information on:

  • national requirements and drivers: airtightness indicator, requirements in the regulation, energy programs, airtightness justifications, sanctions, etc.;
  • if it is included in the energy calculations and how;
  • the airtightness test protocol: qualification for the testers, guidelines, requirements on measuring devices;
  • tests performed: tested buildings/ductworks, database, evolution with time;
  • guidelines to build airtight buildings/ductworks.

Eight VIPs have been already published in this new series, and most of them have already been presented at the last AIVC Conference in Rotterdam (for Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, France and Greece). Contributions from other countries are in preparation, and a total of about 15 publications is expected to give an overview of the building and ductwork airtightness trends in various countries. Some of them are presented in this Topical Session.

[1]       V. Leprince, F. R. Carrié, and M. Kapsalaki, ‘Building and ductwork airtightness requirements in Europe – Comparison of 10 European countries’, presented at the 38th AIVC Conference ‘Ventilating healthy low-energy buildings’, Nottingham, UK, Sep. 2017.
[2]      V. Leprince, N. Hurel, and M. Kapsalaki, ‘VIP 40: Ductwork airtightness – A review’, AIVC, Apr. 2020.


The objective of this session is to present three to five of the published (or under revision) AIVC VIPs on building and ductwork airtightness regulations, giving a view of the current situation in different countries.


    1. Intro: Presentation of the series of AIVC VIPs on building and ductwork airtightness regulations – Nolwenn Hurel, PLEIAQ, France
    2. Building and ductwork airtightness in Norway: national trends and requirements, Tormod Aurlien, NMBU, Norway
    3. Building and ductwork airtightness in the Netherlands: national trends and requirements, Niek-Jan Bink, ACIN instrumenten, The Netherlands
    4. Building and ductwork airtightness in Spain: national trends and requirements, Irene Poza Casado, University of Valladolid, Spain
    5. Building and ductwork airtightness in Latvia: national trends and requirements, Andrejs Nitijevskis, IRBEST Ltd, Latvia
    6. Air tightness and its impact on energy consumption in multi-family residential buildings in Montenegro, Esad Tombarević, University of Montenegro, Montenegro


    1. Nolwenn Hurel, PLEIAQ, France
    2. Irene Poza Casado, University of Valladolid, Spain


– 90 minutes

Scroll to Top