Vent-Axia Welcomes Part L Changes to Kitchen Fan Specification

Released on 15th November, the new 2013 Approved Documents for Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and new compliance guides mark an evolution in kitchen fan design. Central to the changes are amendments to a kitchen fan’s maximum Specific Fan Power (SFP) which will come into effect on 6th April 2014.

Within this raft of new documents it is the Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide, published to accompany Part L, which looks set to shake up kitchen fan specification. Within the guide a maximum Specific Fan Power (SFP) in air distribution systems in new and existing buildings for kitchen extract (fan remote from zone with grease filter) is listed as 1.0W/l/s. This marks a significant step change for kitchen extract fans which often need to accommodate high air changes, elevated temperatures and significant levels of grease, the latter that often requires filters to protect the fans.

Lee Nurse (pictured), marketing director at Vent-Axia and chair of BEAMA’s Ventilation Committee commented, ‘If we are to meet UK carbon targets it is essential to improve efficiency within our buildings. The catering industry is one of the largest energy consumers so it is vital manufacturers step up to develop energy efficient products to help the sector lower its carbon emissions. Kitchen fans have to operate in aggressive environments which require high air changes. By introducing a maximum SFP level for kitchen ventilation systems, the regulations are driving kitchen fan innovation which will result in significant energy and cost savings for caterers.’

The new Part L includes an uplift in efficiency standards of nine per cent for non-domestic buildings, putting energy efficiency firmly on the agenda. For the catering industry this is particularly significant since estimates indicate it is one of the largest energy consumers in the commercial market, using approximately two and a half times more energy per square metre of floor area than the average commercial building. Add to this energy prices which are continually escalating, and for kitchen operators it makes good sense to save energy through investing in energy efficient equipment to help mitigate fuel rises.

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