Launched on 27 June 2023, in the BEAMA Village at the InstallerSHOW, NEC, the guide explains the risks of poor indoor air quality in existing homes due to inadequate ventilation and then sets out general ventilation guidance in three parts: ventilation requirements when undertaking energy efficiency measures; selecting and installing suitable extract ventilation; and commissioning new or upgraded ventilation in dwellings.
Earlier, we used to spend around 90% of our time indoors and around 16 hours a day on average at home. However, since the pandemic, we are spending even more time at home, with data on remote and hybrid working in September 2022 showing around one in five (22%) of the GB workforce had worked at least one day from home in the previous week and one in eight (13%) worked at home exclusively. This makes the potential risk of exposure to indoor air pollutants significantly greater than outdoor air, especially considering indoor air is many times more polluted. When adding energy efficiency measures to an existing home, it is therefore, vital to consider whether these changes affect ventilation and if it still complies with building regulations.
The guide, therefore, explains how Part F of the building regulations requires contractors carrying out energy efficiency measures to an existing dwelling to undertake an assessment to determine what, if any, additional ventilation is needed based on the estimated impact of work. This involves installers considering all energy efficiency measures undertaken since a home was first built. The guide sets out how to calculate which category a home falls into and how this determines what ventilation is required. With category C, natural ventilation does not comply with Part F without a full design by a competent person.
BEAMA also offers guidance on how to select and install suitable ventilation. This provides useful details on minimum extract rates for fans to ensure that a correctly sized fan is specified, so it ventilates effectively and does not under or over ventilate. Commissioning is also critical to ensure effective ventilation, the guide, therefore, also explains how it is now a legal requirement under the updated building regulations to complete and submit a commissioning sheet. This is enforceable by a local authority building control service or an approved private building inspector. If an installer is registered with a recognised competent person scheme, such as the NICEIC, they may be able to self-certify some or all of the work carried out.
There is a wide range of continuous ventilation for installers to choose from to ensure exactly the right solution. For example, Lo-Carbon Svara, Vent-Axia PureAir Sense, Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C, Lo-Carbon Revive, Lo-Carbon Response 7 and more.