The changes to Part F and Part L of the Building Regulations came into effect in October 2010.
EnviroVent, looks at the impact, in particular to Part F, that they will have on the ventilation industry.
To address climate change, the UK Government has reacted strongly to enforce stringent legislation to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2050. As 25% of carbon emissions come from homes and a further 17% from non-domestic buildings, every household and business, both public and private must increase their energy efficiency levels. From October, the new amendments to Approved Documents Part F (Means of Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of Fuel & Power) will play a crucial role in achieving this ambitious target resulting in the following three-fold effect on ventilation:
Homes are being designed, built and improved to increase air tightness in order to improve energy efficiency in line with The Code for Sustainable Homes target emission rate - a 25% increase on the previous 2006 target. Ventilation is a necessary requirement of building a new property. As we continue to ‘seal up’ new dwellings with triple glazing, thicker loft and cavity wall insulation along with energy efficient heating; we increase the need for good ventilation. Coinciding with this is the launch of Part L’s Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide. For the first time legislation will see the specific fan power of less than 0.5 watts/l/s as a requirement for intermittent fans installed in new build developments.
The guide states that the specific requirements for continuous extract ventilation systems should not be worse than 0.7 W/l/s, 0.5 W/l/s for continuous supply ventilation systems and 1.5W/l/s for continuous supply and extract with heat recovery systems. This is a significant step forward for energy efficient DC motors as some of the traditional intermittent AC motor-driven fans will fail to meet the 0.5 W/I/S specific fan requirement and will consequently disappear from the market. It was fundamental that the changes to Part F coincided with the changes to Part L to ensure that while improving energy efficiency in the ventilation solution installed there was no compromise made on the air quality as a direct result of the new level of air tightness.
In 2007, the BRE document MEV & MVHR system monitoring for SAP Appendix Q, highlighted the bad practice surrounding the installation and commission of MEV and MVHR systems. It has been instrumental in bringing into force major revisions to Part F. The conclusion to the BRE document was simple; poor installation of MEV and MVHR units resulted in inefficient systems which were underperforming and not doing the job they were intended for; to provide healthy indoor air quality. In some cases, flexi ducting had been installed so poorly that the air flow (already constrained by the use of flexi-ducting) was restricted so much that the air had to negotiate a ‘spaghetti junction’ of ductwork to either extract or input any air into the property. Heat recovery units were being fitted in line with Code Level requirements.
However, they were failing miserably to perform, and the need to enforce good practice had become apparent. Part F’s new Domestic Ventilation Installation and Commissioning Compliance Guide will ensure that both mechanical and passive ventilation systems are commissioned correctly by competent installers. Furthermore, the airflow rates for mechanical ventilation must also be measured at commissioning stage. ‘For mechanical ventilation systems installed in new dwellings, air flow rates shall be measured on-site as part of the commissioning process. This shall apply to intermittently-used extract fans and cooker hoods, as well as continuously running systems.’ Revision: Approved Document Part F (Means of Ventilation)
To maintain an efficient system, the owner/occupier will be informed about the servicing of the unit installed. They will then be responsible for ensuring that sufficient airflow rates are constantly achieved. As evidence that the appliance has been commissioned and measured to standard a check list will have to be completed for each new dwelling and passed to the building control body. It is no secret that the HVAC industry is now looking at a skills gap especially when it comes to the correct installation of heat recovery systems which are much more complicated to fit than single fan solutions. As the only UK ventilation manufacturer which employs its own nationwide team of installers, EnviroVent’s is ideally placed to offer a complete service solution, helping builders and developers meet the new requirements of Part F & L. Each competent installation engineer is specialised in the complexities of MVHR and MEV installations to ensure the correct working of the systems which fully comply with SAP Appendix Q installation checklists. From enquiry right through to handover, EnviroVent’s knowledgeable team will take full responsibility for your project.