Electrical Contracting News (ECN) May 2017 - Page 34

SPECIAL FEATURE HVAC VENT-ELATION Ventilation solutions are absolutely essential in order to improve air quality within domestic and commercial properties. However, for any chosen system to perform as intended it must be installed correctly, adhere to the required building standards and follow best practice procedures. Here, John Kelly, marketing manager at Airfl ow Developments, looks at the key points to consider. The Air Academy offers seminar and training facilities to accommodate installer courses. 34 | May 2017 I n recent months, indoor air quality has been something of a hot topic, with research continuing to indicate the importance of combating indoor air pollutants. This is because through the increased use of insulation and double-glazing our buildings are fast becoming hermetically sealed. Whilst this means heat cannot escape – neither can indoor air pollutants and crucially - clean air cannot get in. The result of the increased airtightness is that damp, mould and condensation can develop, which will inevitably cause damage to the building fabric and occupant health over time. In 2016, a report published by the Royal College of Physicians highlighted how children’s attention spans, problem solving and decision making skills were all negatively affected when schools failed to extract stale, humid air. Similarly, in offi ces that lacked a supply of healthy, clean air into the premises, productivity was hindered. Taking into account that on average 90 per cent of our time is spent indoors, we begin to understand just how critical it is that commercial buildings benefi t from effective ventilation systems that protect against the harmful effects of indoor air contamination. According to Approved Document F, rooms in offi ce buildings where printers and photocopiers are in substantial use (greater than 30 minutes per hour), the required extract rate is 20l/s per machine during use. As well as complying with this legislation, studies have suggested that effective ventilation can provide other benefi ts for both businesses and employees. According to a report by the World Green Building Council, a study of almost 4,000 workers, showed short term sick leave was found to be 35 per cent lower in offi ces ventilated by an outdoor air supply rate of 24l/s per person compared with buildings with rates of 12l/s per person. In addition, a laboratory study in 2011 found that increasing ventilation from 5l/s to 20l/s per person improved worker performance by up to eight per cent. Variety of ventilation Effective ventilation can provide many benefi ts for both businesses and employees. The good news is that there are a variety of ventilation solutions available to protect commercial buildings and their occupants. However, while the market offers a plethora of high performance solutions, selecting the appropriate product and