Troubleshooting

“The creative process is in formulating the problem. Once that is done in the right way, it’s all routine table work. The problem is solved” – Piet Hein

Diagnosing Building Problems

anemometer

This temperature sensor was seeing corridor not room temperature because of an air leak detected by thermography and confirmed with an anemometer.

Working out why a building is not performing as intended is always an interesting challenge. It is particularly rewarding when a simple solution is found to a long term problem. We have a wide range of tools and techniques at our disposal but it is our understanding of buildings and experience that usually proves most useful.

 

Smoke and Mirrors

cold smoke used to identify drafts

Cold smoke used to identify drafts in a school reception area.

We often use cold smoke to help find air leaks during blower door tests and to identify air movement caused by leaks or convenction. A video borescope now replaces mirrors on a stick for most inspections of hard to reach places.

Thermography

thermography

Thermography helped locate the source of overheating in this Edinburgh art Gallery

Thermal imaging is a very useful tool for identifying a wide range of building related defects including air leaks, missing insulation, water ingress and heating system problems. Thermal imaging is a powerful tool but requires expert interpretation and an understanding of building physics and practical construction for the pretty pictures to yield accurate information.