There is currently much debate and discussion around monitored or installed performance versus designed performance of ventilation systems, notably on residential new build developments. We all know that new build homes must comply with building regulations yet what is in debate now is something beyond the need for simple ventilation flow rates and the energy efficiency of products.
Discussions have been around the need for compliance and mandatory regulation versus the actual end target of good indoor air quality and healthy homes. Groups like Zero Carbon Hub VIAQ task group show growth in MVHR systems beyond 2016. To address the change from simple fans to MVHR systems, the industry pushed for a step change in improved ventilation installs; through BPEC training courses and emphasis on system commissioning and sign off sheets. Many within the ventilation industry had hoped the BPEC training would follow a ‘corgi’ style model with a brand name and recognition people could trust to enforce good ventilation. However a parallel question is will a perfectly installed ventilation system guarantee good indoor air quality and also be cost effective?
If we look at our European counterparts then there is less focus on purely SFP. The UK has been driven by SAP and SFP figures which might meet regulations but do they really allow for the way we live in our homes?
A growing trend seen by UK manufacturers is the move from simple fans to more automated ventilation systems and, as a result, a higher level of controls including sensors for measuring humidity, C02 and occupancy.
It’s an important discussion point now how we measure air quality. We need to take into account the impact of lifestyle and occupancy on the indoor air quality in our homes, and ensure that our ventilation systems are not only correctly installed but are controllable and responsive.