Vent-Axia is delighted to support BEAMA’s updated Ventilation White Paper. Launched on 16 February 2022, BEAMA’s ‘Better Ventilation, Better Homes, Better Health’ White Paper sets out a 4-step policy pathway for the future to deliver effective ventilation and improved indoor air quality (IAQ) inside UK homes in order to help protect health and wellbeing. Vent-Axia fully supports this White Paper as it aligns with the company’s commitment to improving IAQ through ventilation to protect public health.
Vent-Axia welcomes the White Paper’s proposals as the next stage in improving IAQ. Its publication follows on from the new Building Regulations, launched in December 2021, which start to redress the balance between ventilation and the drive for energy efficiency. Amendments to Part F (Means of Ventilation) include: higher ventilation rates; considering ventilation when adding energy efficiency measures; ventilation compliance and improving ventilation to protect health. BEAMA’s suggested policy steps in the report address all these points too but then take them one stage further, calling for additional measures to improve IAQ.
BEAMA’s policy solutions includes four steps for sustainable, safe and efficient ventilation for a healthier nation. The first step is a move to continuous supply and extract ventilation with heat recovery in new build homes. This is of particular importance for delivering high standards of IAQ and ensuring energy efficient operation. It also recommends mandatory air quality monitoring to measure ventilation performance and to alert occupants when levels drop below the minimum standard as well as additional ventilation requirements for the management of airborne virus transmission.
Step 2 aims to ensure energy efficiency retrofits are matched by ventilation measures to protect health and wellbeing, enshrining the principle of ‘Ventilate when you Insulate’. Vent-Axia welcomes this addition since previously many homes have suffered from condensation, mould and poor indoor air quality following energy efficiency measures, which have increased the airtightness of the building envelope to reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, BEAMA recommends all existing homes should have a Part F compliant ventilation system and an assessment of current ventilation levels should be included as part of an EPC package.
The third policy solution looks at driving ventilation compliance standards and providing clarity that systems must be installed and/or commissioned by a registered Competent Person or signed off by Building Control. Finally, step 4 recommends treating poor IAQ and ventilation as a public health emergency and, in addition to public education campaigns on the risks and solutions, making sure it is enshrined in all relevant policy areas.
‘Vent-Axia is committed to protecting public health by improving indoor air quality through ventilation. We therefore fully support the BEAMA 2022 Ventilation White Paper. As energy efficiency measures have been implemented to lower carbon emissions, we have all witnessed the consequences of sealing up homes and insulating them without considering ventilation. It has resulted in indoor air pollution,” says Richard Paine, Product and Marketing Director at Vent-Axia. “With the publication of this White Paper and the new Building Regulations we now hope to start to redress the balance of ventilation with energy efficiency, since the pandemic has clearly shown the importance of good indoor air quality to health and wellbeing.”
Vent-Axia has a range of continuous ventilation solutions, suitable for both new build and retrofit projects. The Lo-Carbon Sentinel Kinetic mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) range is ideal for airtight thermally efficient new builds, and is a whole-house, multi-room ducted solution that combines supply and extract ventilation in one unit. Warm, moist air is extracted from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting and passed through the heat exchanger before being exhausted to the outside. Low carbon, energy saving and clean, fresh incoming air is filtered and then preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers 93% of the heat energy [in line with Product Characteristics Database (PCDB) data] that would otherwise be wasted. With comfort key for occupants the systems also feature a ‘summer bypass’, for passive cooling when conditions allow and an integral humidity sensor for intelligent air quality control. The Sentinel Kinetic Advance is the best performing MVHR unit in its class due to its high SAP rating and a SFP of 0.39 and provides residents with many benefits including quiet operation, App control, constant volume control, lower energy bills and improved IAQ.
For continuous ventilation in retrofit projects, the Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon Heat Save decentralised heat recovery ventilation unit is designed for living rooms and bedrooms in single and multi-family buildings. The unit provides extract and supply ventilation to improve IAQ and supply fresh air to rooms. Heat Save is very energy efficient, using only up to 3.1W, and also achieves up to 84% heat recovery, using the warmth from outgoing air to temper incoming air to avoid cold drafts and to reduce energy bills. Two or more reversible fans are installed in habitable rooms and they alternate between supply and extract fan modes every 70 seconds to extract dirty air from the room and replace it with filtered outside air. Heat Save provides a single room or whole house balanced ventilation system with heat recovery and is easy to expand as needed, adding more units for a whole house solution.