Keeping it cool - November 2012

This appeared as part of the Keeping it cool article in Housebuilder, November 2012

“The changes to Part L of the Building Regulations have led to improved energy efficiency measures and much higher levels of airtightness, which have to be reflected in our approach to Ventilation. The first imperative is to ensure indoor air quality is not compromised but maintained to prevent an adverse risk of ill health. Therefore Part F 2010 recognises that if uncontrolled or accidental ventilation due to “leaky” construction is eliminated then controllable ventilation needs to be increased to prevent the build up of harmful pollutants and moisture and so increased ventilation provision for dwellings with a design air permeability tighter than, or equal to 5m3 per m2 floor area at 50Pa.

A further significant change was made to the legal requirement making it necessary to inspect, commission and test all ventilation systems on-site, including passive and mechanical devices, to ensure they were effective and energy efficient, and then provide the building owner with the information needed to use and maintain the system safely.

The second imperative is to improve the energy efficiency of ventilation systems by reducing the amount of energy consumed by products and reducing the heat energy lost by the displacement of warm air with fresh cooler air from outside. This is largely addressed via appendix Q of Part L which allows for ventilation system and product choices to be included directly in the SAP calculation. Ever more demanding SAP targets are driving innovation in the ventilation industry with a continuous stream of product improvements. Titon’s own range of HRV units (mechanical ventilation extract and supply with Heat Recovery) are now the first choice of many seeking to improve their SAP ratings or seeking to reduce energy bills as they not only recover most of the heat energy otherwise lost through ventilation, but also use very little power.

The choice of Installer, too, can also help as improved SAP ratings are now available if members of an appropriate Domestic Ventilation Competent Persons Scheme carry ou the work. At Titon we operate a BPEC Approved training school and are work closely with contractors to help them achieve the qualifications required to become members of such schemes.

All in all, ventilation must be a consideration at the start of the building process  ventilation strategy, product choice and integration with the build are all vital to ensure a compliant, energy efficient, best value and healthy outcome for all”.

Paul Rainbird, Operations Manager (Ventilation Systems)

Download as PDF