England & Wales Building regulations
VENT-AXIA WELCOMES THE “STEP CHANGE” IN BUILDING REGULATIONS
- Part F Building Regulations - Means of Ventilation - 2010 Edition
- Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide - 2010 Edition
- Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide - 2010 Edition
- Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide - 2010 Edition
Vent-Axia, the leaders in energy efficient ventilation technology, welcomes the publication of the new Approved Documents for Part F and Part L of the Building Regulations as an essential “step change” and a key stage towards reaching zero carbon homes in 2016. Released on April 30 the Approved Documents Part F (Means of Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) set out “hugely significant changes” which will drive the adoption of low carbon ventilation as an industry standard.
Core to the Government’s aim to cut the UK’s carbon emissions, Part L’s new Target Emission Rate (TER) represents a 25% sweeping improvement over the previous regulations and is in line with achieving Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3. Meanwhile, both Approved Part L and F include a number of detailed major revisions which underpin compliance with stated minimum energy efficiency levels for all ventilation systems. With the launch of Part L’s new Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide ventilation performance levels are highlighted. Here for the first time a specific fan power requirement of less than 0.5 watt/sec is included for intermittent fans used in both refurbishment and new build developments.
To further lower dwelling emission levels homes need to be increasingly air tight. As a result, changes to Part F publish guidelines for airtight properties with infiltration rates tighter than 5m3h/m2 at 50pa. For Intermittent System 1 and Passive Stack System 2 approaches, in airtight dwellings the guidance increases background ventilation rates by upto 50%. This looks set to cause some developers to re-evaluate their designs and move any new planning applications away from intermittent fans since the previous provisions in Approved Document F 2006 have already been difficult to achieve when using trickle ventilators in windows.
The changes to Part F and Part L favour continuous ventilation since it performs better in SAP, is easier to specify and easier to standardise as trickle vents are not required. For Continuous Mechanical Extract, System 3 approaches, the guidance removes the requirement for background ventilation in dwellings designed with infiltration rates above 5m3h/m2. It is likely that these factors, along with the Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) benefits of SAP Appendix Q will combine to boost the adoption of whole house Mechanical Extract Ventilation systems (MEV and dMEV) and Mechanical Extract Ventilation systems with Heat Recovery (MVHR).
In addition, for the first time Part F will require post-completion testing of ventilation equipment. Part F’s new Domestic Ventilation Installation and Commissioning Compliance Guide has been introduced to ensure that ventilation not only delivers the required airflow, but does it efficiently and quietly. The guide includes sign off procedures and paperwork completion to ensure performance and efficiency are met.
“Approved Documents Part F and L represent an important “step change” in Building Regulations. If we are to meet the UK’s carbon targets and reach zero carbon homes by 2016 it is essential to meet staged efficiency targets. These sweeping changes to the Building Regulations set out a clear agenda for low carbon ventilation,” explains Ronnie George, Managing Director at Vent-Axia. ”They recognise the contribution that ventilation equipment with energy efficient, Lo-Carbon™ DC motors can make in reducing fuel consumption, both in new, airtight properties and in retrofit projects. As such, they are hugely significant. They will reward those forward-thinking companies who are already ahead of the game in developing technologies that meet or exceed these new demands and help reduce a building’s carbon footprint”.
Vent-Axia is the only ventilation company offering a full range of Lo-Carbon™ fans which will meet the Approved document’s specific fan power requirement of less than 0.5 watt/sec for all applications. A Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon™ DC motor extract fan can replace an ordinary fan and achieve energy savings of up to 90%. Changes incorporated in Approved Document Part F now require the ventilation rate of a given property to be calculated dependant on the designed infiltration rates. This eliminates the need for background ventilators in habitable rooms when specifying MEV or dMEV systems for applications at 5m3h/m2 or above. So, dMEV systems, like Centra from Vent-Axia, would prove a simple and scalable solution which, because it is also the best performing dMEV unit on SAP Appendix Q, would result in DER reductions too.
“Historically, low energy DC motors, especially in residential extract fans, have been available at a high premium with many models being over twice the price as the equivalent AC versions” adds Ronnie George. “However, because we have invested in our UK manufacturing base we are now able to offer our extended and extensive Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon™ range at a lower price point. Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon is not just the energy efficient option but the Building Regs compliant option as well as the best value for money option.”
Vent-Axia provides a comprehensive range of ventilation products under its Lo-Carbon™ umbrella, each featuring the latest in Lo-Carbon DC motor technology. The range includes SAP Appendix Q eligible products such as: the Sentinel Kinetic Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system; the Sentinel Multivent on-demand MEV ventilation system; the versatile, multi-purpose Quadra domestic fan; the new Lo-Carbon™ Centra as a discreet, near silent, dMEV solution with the lowest specific fan power on SAP Appendix Q. All of these solutions now offer energy benefits in SAP and Part F. The range also includes Lo-Carbon™ versions of Silhouette, the market leading low profile axial fan as well as the VA100, Minivent, Vent-a-light and Solo+, the most comprehensive range complying to the new proposed building regulations.
Vent-Axia’s on-going strategy is to ensure that all products and systems will, over time, fall under its Lo-Carbon™ banner. This commitment places Vent-Axia at the forefront of the drive for low energy HEVAC products.