New Technical Standards for Scotland - June 2015

The new Technical Standards for Scotland have recently been published and will be effective from October 2015. This means suppliers and specifiers must become familiar with the revised contents well in advance of that date so decisions can be made on compliance and with what products.

As far as Ventilation is concerned there are a number of key changes which require closer scrutiny and have implications up and down the supply chain. Much of the content of the Standards has remained unchanged from that included in the Consultation document published earlier in the year.

The first main change is that the Standards now require that all new properties are fitted with a CO2 sensor, complete with alarm, when pollution levels are too high, to be sited in the main bedroom. Guidance must be supplied on how to increase ventilation as a result.

Another main change covers a move over to Equivalent Area (known as ‘EA’, which is based on air flow) being the unit of measure of background ventilation away from the Free Area (the geometric opening area of a ventilator). This is recognised across Europe, so the change makes sense. The level of background ventilation required, in EA terms, means that it may be more challenging to find compliant product, as it will require more vents in more locations to reach compliance levels. Achieving the alternative average EA figure across all rooms in a property could be difficult given the constraints of space and aesthetics in certain dwelling types. However at Titon we do offer a proven range of products designed to maximise EA and can provide background ventilators to suit, either stand alone or within the context of more sophisticated whole house systems.

The revised Standards are clearer about recommending that night vent positions should not be used to provide background ventilation, as aside from the fact they compromise security, the Standards state clearly that the correct testing standard (BS EN 13141) has no recognised method of testing a window opening to give a measurement for this purpose. It would be very difficult to demonstrate the ventilation performance of a night latch position, and the opening would of course vary depending on the size of the window.

The Standards now clarify that background ventilation products should be air flow tested for EA with internal and external devices (e.g. ventilator and canopy, or ventilator and grille) as a combination. There is also additional guidance regarding siting of vents.

For mechanical ventilation, the Technical Standards do not go into much detail on the requirements, instead referencing BRE Digest 398. Some new guidance on dMEV now appears.

All detail is discussed in an accompanying Domestic Ventilation Guide which is also being re-written to relate to the content of the 2015 edition of the Technical Standards.

If you have any questions about compliance to these revised Technical Standards please contact us.