Leading British ventilation manufacturer, Vent-Axia, showcased its latest continuous ventilation solutions at this year’s InstallerSHOW held at the NEC in Birmingham last month.
Visitors to Vent-Axia’s stand could discover simple solutions designed to remove the risk to installers when retrofitting ventilation by ensuring compliance with the latest Part F (Means of Ventilation) of the Building Regulations. On show was a range of continuous ventilation including Vent-Axia’s app-controlled Lo-Carbon Svara, its highly efficient Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C, and the Vent-Axia PureAir Sense with odour sense technology.
A key addition to Part F for installers is a new sub section ‘Installing Energy Efficiency Measures’ in existing properties. Here it sets out that: “When carrying out energy efficiency measures to an existing dwelling, an assessment should determine what, if any, additional ventilation provision is needed, based on the estimated impact of the work.” In homes, this new positive move will help protect health and wellbeing and protect buildings from damp, condensation and mould caused by moisture being unable to escape. For installers this means reconsidering the ventilation they install and moving from intermittent to continuous ventilation to ensure compliance.
Part F provides two options for calculating these new ventilation requirements, the first is the simplified method which covers most properties, the second is seeking expert advice. With the simplified method energy efficiency measures are counted and classified whether they are minor or major and depending on the number are then allocated to category A, B, or C. The category determines what ventilation is required. Installers should be aware with category C natural ventilation does not comply with Part F without a full design by a competent person. The simple solution to comply with Part F is to choose continuous ventilation for existing homes since it is compliant with both category B and C and is the easiest and safest way of complying.
“Over the last few years, we have all seen the real consequences of sealing up homes and insulating them to make them more energy efficient. It has resulted in indoor air pollution. Amended Part F has started to redress the balance of ventilation with energy efficiency, however, not everyone is aware of the changes or how to comply with them,” said Natasha King, Product Manager at Vent-Axia.
When calculating ventilation requirements, installers need to consider the energy efficiency measures that have been made since the home was first built, as well as ones that are planned. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly how many energy efficiency measures may have been added over the years to a dwelling. This could lead to an installer inadvertently fitting intermittent ventilation in what they think is a category B home but instead is a category C and as a result it will not provide sufficient ventilation to protect the occupants’ health, risking poor IAQ, condensation and mould. A simple solution to ensure compliance with amended Part F every time is to install continuous ventilation.
There is a wide range of different types of continuous ventilation to choose from to ensure exactly the right solution. For example, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Svara offers condensation control which helps improve IAQ and is backed up by easy installation, quiet operation and is controllable via a smartphone. Meanwhile, the Vent-Axia PureAir Sense is the UK’s only bathroom fan with Odour Sense technology that increases airflow when the air is poor, helping ensure a comfortable living environment. Alternatively, there are de-centralised mechanical extract ventilation (dMEV) units, such as the Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C, which is highly efficient with its exceedingly low Specific Fan Power (SFP) values as impressively low as 0.08 w/l/s and provides almost silent operation at 7.4dB(A).
Meanwhile, for installers aiming to help landlords tackle condensation and mould and improve IAQ, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Revive, an intelligent filter-less unitary fan, boasts powerful, quiet and efficient ventilation, and features an adjustable trickle speed. Alternatively, the intelligent Lo-Carbon Response 7 from Vent-Axia is a filterless unitary fan that features an ultra-low profile for discreet installation; increased airflow performance; a digital control menu; as well as a 7-year guarantee. With four models, the range boasts flexibility built into the digital control menu allowing it to meet the variety of needs encountered in social housing properties by offering continuous ventilation, as well as constant volume and SELV options.
Another solution for deeper refurbishment of properties, including bedrooms and living rooms, that will be on show on Vent-Axia’s stand combines continuous ventilation with heat recovery. The Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution range consists of three different de-centralised Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (dMVHR) units, which can be used on a room-by-room basis or used together to help maximise energy savings. DMVHR uses the heat from stale air that is being extracted to warm up the fresh air coming in. Therefore, bringing in fresh but pre-warmed air, providing ventilation while also saving energy. The range comprises: the Lo-Carbon Heat Save, Lo-Carbon Tempra and Lo-Carbon Calido – by using these units together as a Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution it will help maximise energy savings by introducing heat recovery to the property.
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