BEAMA has published its first ventilation whitepaper, entitled Better Ventilation, Better Homes, Better Health, with a raft of measures aimed at solving the issues facing the industry and helping to deliver better indoor air quality in UK homes.
The whitepaper identifies two main issues facing the industry:
· The lack of a joined-up approach towards energy efficiency and ventilation
· Poor-quality installations which are ‘plaguing the industry’
The paper calls for compulsory assessments of ventilation provision following the installation of energy efficiency measures, a revision of Building Regulations to refocus on ensuring ‘in-use performance and end-users’ needs’ and asks government to make it compulsory that all ventilation installations are undertaken by an installer who is a member of a competent persons scheme.
BEAMA also call on the government to make indoor air quality a government priority by financially incentivising the installation of ventilation improvements and undertaking public education campaigns on the health risks of indoor air pollution and the simple steps that homeowners can take to improve their own home air.
Poor indoor air quality is responsible for thousands of deaths a year and millions of pounds worth of healthcare costs. It is linked to a range of serious health diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mental health conditions. In the shorter term it reduces cognitive ability and exacerbates allergic and asthmatic symptoms.
As successive governments strive towards zero carbon homes, the installation of energy efficiency measures and the building of modern airtight homes has not been met with an equal consideration of the need for corresponding ventilation improvements – meaning that pollutants are becoming trapped inside homes putting householders’ health at risk.
The whitepaper details four overarching steps that government should take, and outlines how these can be achieved, in improving ventilation and indoor air quality in UK homes:
1) Improve the focus on Indoor Air Quality in the Building Regulations
2) Improve compliance with the current Building Regulations
3) Avoid problems of poor air quality following refurbishment
4) Make IAQ a government priority.
Commenting, Keith Ritchie, chairman of the BEAMA Ventilation Group, said, “As homes are becoming ever more airtight, we need to focus on ensuring that the ventilation industry plays its part in helping to deliver good indoor air quality. Energy efficiency improvements are being made in isolation without due consideration to the unintended consequences of sealing up homes and where installations of ventilation are being made, they are often not up to scratch. Our whitepaper aims to tackle all of these issues with a few simple steps that government could take to help ensure better indoor air for all.”