Vent-Axia welcomes Part F of the Building Regulations

Leading ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia has welcomed the publication of new Approved Document Part F of the Building Regulations, as a “vital step to improve indoor air quality” as we move toward the Future Homes Standard on the road to Net Zero. Published on 15th December 2021, Part F (Means of Ventilation) goes hand-in-hand with the new amended Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power), which is set to help the UK deliver Net Zero with a reduction of almost a third less carbon for new homes. However, as buildings become more air tight to improve efficiency it is essential to consider indoor air quality too to protect the wellbeing of inhabitants. The new Part F therefore sets out “significant changes”, which will drive adoption of low carbon ventilation as an industry standard and improve the quality of the air we breathe in buildings.

A key addition to Part F, which reflects the significance of ventilation in meeting Net Zero, is a new sub section ‘Installing Energy Efficiency Measures’, which relates to existing properties. “When carrying out energy efficiency measures to an existing dwelling, an assessment should determine what, if any, additional ventilation provision is needed, based on the estimated impact of the work.” 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. This positive move will help protect the health and wellbeing of inhabitants from indoor air pollution and protect buildings from damp, condensation and mould caused by moisture not being able to escape.

For New Build residential homes, ventilation has also increased in Part F to support the safety of residents with an overall move to more advanced ventilation solutions, such as Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) and Continuous Mechanical Extract Ventilation instead of traditional Intermittent Extract Ventilation (now referred to as Natural Ventilation throughout the document). Natural Ventilation is now only suitable for dwellings with a design air permeability higher than 5 m3/(m2·h) meaning many new build dwellings will be out of scope of this technology. With the increased airtightness of buildings, and increased minimum whole dwelling ventilation rates for continuous mechanical extract units, higher performing options are needed. Here housebuilders look to favour continuous mechanical extract units that offer a 125mm diameter spigot model since the larger surface area will allow greater airflow through the fan at a much lower noise level and SFP. This means fewer fans are required to achieve whole house ventilation rates.

“We welcome the new Part F of the Building Regulations. Since Kyoto, the UK has been striving to reduce its carbon emissions. However, unfortunately indoor air quality has taken a back seat. However, over the last 5 years we have all witnessed the real consequences of sealing up homes and insulating them to make them more energy efficient. It has resulted in indoor air pollution. The new Part F has started 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,” said Richard Paine, product and marketing director at Vent-Axia.


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