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Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Apex Wins Second Award

Published: 05/12/2023

Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia impressed the judges at the inaugural ECN Awards 2023. The Sussex-based company scooped the HVAC Product of the Year award with its Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex, the next generation of commercial heat recovery ventilation. Vent-Axia received the accolade at the glittering ECN awards ceremony on Thursday 30 November held at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry.

Organised by Electrical Contracting News, the ECN Awards is designed to recognise the very best of the electrical contracting industry with 20 awards spanning the following categories: Products, Sustainable Products, Projects, Training and Companies. Attended by influential electrical specialists from across the whole supply chain, Paul Martin, comedian, magician and mind-reader, hosted the evening and presented the awards to the winners. Meanwhile, guests were also entertained by magician Spencer Wood who performed close-up magic at the tables.

The standard of entries within the HVAC Product of the Year category was said to be exceptionally high. After a rigorous judging process, the judges selected the Sentinel Apex. 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 indoor air quality (IAQ). Meanwhile, to make specification simpler for consultants the Apex features many components and controls as standard.

“We are delighted our Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex won the ‘HVAC Product of the Year’ at the prestigious ECN Awards. This marks the second award for the Apex in the last month. At Vent-Axia, we understand the challenges that come with designing low-carbon buildings, therefore 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 Louise McHugh, C&I Product Manager.

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), alongside ultra-low sound levels, which are independently tested and verified by Sound Research Laboratories, and extremely low SFP, results in a significant performance improvement compared to previous commercial heat recovery units. Meanwhile, 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 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 our buildings. As buildings become increasingly airtight the threat 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 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 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 that lets users know how the system is operating with 4-button keypad for fan status and a basic commissioning setup mounted within the control panel. This allows easy commissioning and set-up. A full range of wired and wireless communication sensors are available, 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 up. 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.

The Sentinel Apex’s ECN ‘HVAC Product of the Year award is the Apex’s second award win in a month since it recently won ‘Commercial/Industrial Ventilation Product of the Year’ category at the HVR Awards 2023. Hot on the heels of these successes, the Apex was also highly commended on 1 December at the Energy Saving Awards.

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 0844 856 0590 or visit

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