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Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex Scoops CIBSE Air Quality Award

Published: 11/03/2024

Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is delighted to have won an award at the prestigious CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2024. The Sussex-based company won the ‘Product or Innovation of the Year – Air Quality’ category for its Sentinel Apex, the next generation of commercial heat recovery ventilation. The winners were announced at a glittering awards ceremony on Thursday 29 February 2024 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London.


The CIBSE Building Performance Awards (BPAs) 2024 recognises the people, products and projects that demonstrate engineering excellence in the built environment. They are the only industry awards that focus on actual, measured performance outcomes, and not just design intent or performance specifications. Vent-Axia beat stiff competition in the ‘Product or Innovation of the Year – Air Quality’ category. After a rigorous judging process, the judges selected the Sentinel Apex, which they noted supplies fresh, healthy, filtered air to improve indoor air quality (IAQ), removing pollutants such as moisture, carbon dioxide and external fumes.

The award judges also noted that Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Apex was developed from the outset with equal consideration to operational performance and whole life costing, and this is visible in the data available for the product. Other areas that the judges highlighted include the Sentinel Apex’s local sourcing and manufacturing in a low-energy facility that delivers on Vent-Axia’s low carbon manufacturing claims, with the judges praising the company for providing excellent resources – including BIM, TM65 and sizing information – to help with correct application and sizing.

“We are very proud that our Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex has been recognised by the CIBSE Building Performance Awards. This marks the third industry award for the innovative Sentinel Apex since its launch in November 2023. We understand the challenges that come with designing low-carbon buildings, which means every aspect has been considered in the Apex’s development to maximise its energy efficiency and performance, while providing excellent IAQ, ultra-low sound levels and thermal comfort. We have also designed the Apex to have a low embodied carbon footprint and to help consultants we have used CIBSE TM65 data collection methodology to provide accurate and detailed carbon information”, said Lorna Kerrigan-Hall, Sales Director C&I at Vent-Axia.

Designed to be highly energy efficient with industry-leading low specific fan powers (SFP) the Sentinel Apex has a low embodied carbon too. Occupant comfort has also been a priority in its development with the Apex operating quietly as it efficiently improves IAQ. Meanwhile, to make specification simpler for consultants the Apex features many components and controls as standard.

The Sentinel Apex achieves the holy grail by delivering the highest level of IAQ and thermal comfort with the lowest energy and noise levels. Offering up to 93% heat recovery efficiency (EN308 test method), the Sentinel Apex boasts ultra-low sound levels, which are independently tested and verified by the industry renowned Sound Research Laboratories. In addition, an extremely low SFP results in a significant performance improvement compared to previous commercial heat recovery units. Meanwhile, the Sentinel Apex's intuitive controls are compatible with Vent-Axia’s range of Sentinel-X Sensors, allowing easily configurable set points ensuring optimised IAQ, in line with Part F of the Building Regulations, while also minimising ventilation energy consumption.

To help ensure the highest levels of IAQ, Apex features ePM10 50% extract and ePM1 55% supply filters (M5/F7 equivalent) as standard. By carefully selecting the filter media and utilising the latest motors and impellers with better than IE5 efficiency the Sentinel Apex maintains extremely low SFP with low sound levels whilst maintaining excellent IAQ. As well as IAQ and energy efficiency, thermal comfort is vital in commercial buildings. As buildings become increasingly airtight the risk of buildings overheating is growing. The Sentinel Apex is the ideal solution since it features an integral automatic summer bypass designed to provide free cooling when available but it is sized to eliminate performance loss.

Developed for a wide range of applications, specifiers can choose from five sizes, delivering airflows up to 4000m3/hr. Designed to operate on the principles of demand ventilation the Sentinel Apex is ideal for applications where the rooms are used at different times of the day by a variable number of people. The Sentinel Apex system, with the matched range of Sentinel-X Sensors, can monitor occupancy and air quality and respond by adjusting the ventilation accordingly to maintain the IAQ and thermal comfort within predefined limits whilst recovering up to 93% of the extracted thermal energy.

The Apex’s new advanced integrated control system has 3 levels of interface, all as standard: simple purpose designed onboard user interface controller incorporating an alphanumerical, 2-line display with 4-button keypad for fan status and basic commissioning setup mounted within the control panel. In addition, a remote HMI that gives greater level of commissioning and control detail via a graphical display. This also provides wireless communication capability and connectivity to Vent-Axia’s App-based control system providing the greatest level of commissioning and monitoring whilst also enabling the use of a full range of wired and wireless communication sensors, with either local mains or battery powered options.

Offering ‘simply more as standard’ the Sentinel Apex boasts a range of features, components and controls that come as standard with the unit. This means consultants do not need to specify multiple different components or precisely specify the level of control required when selecting a commercial heat recovery unit. This makes specification simpler and saves time.

Designed to have a low embodied carbon footprint, Vent-Axia has used the CIBSE TM65 data collection methodology to collect accurate, detailed embodied carbon information for the Apex, working from a component level upwards. This methodology ensures data is comprehensive, accurate, reliable and up-to-date, making it easier for specifiers to focus on designing low carbon sustainable buildings. 

For further information on the new Sentinel Apex contact the Vent-Axia Commercial & Industrial sales team: For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone (0)344 856 0590.

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