By June 5, 2020 Read More →

Ventilation key to Government’s COVID-19 return to workstrategy

‘Keep Indoor Places Well Ventilated’ is one of the key principles cited in the UK Government’s COVID-19 return to work strategy, published on 11 May 2020. The strategy also states, “Evidence suggests that the virus is less likely to be passed on in well-ventilated buildings and outdoors” and advises to “Use external extractor fans to keep spaces well ventilated and make sure that ventilation systems are set to maximise the fresh air flow rate.”

Vent-Axia has welcomed this guidance since the company has seen firsthand how ventilation has helped fight the virus. The leading British ventilation manufacturer has helped in the national response against COVID-19 by supplying ventilation to a number of field hospitals, including the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.

This latest guidance echoes the statement by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer, at the Government’s COVID-19 press briefing on 29 April 2020. He said: “There is a definite truism across all of the science literature, that ventilation is a most critical part of reducing transmission from respiratory viruses.”

The Government has also issued sector specific guidance for working safely during COVID-19. To meet their duty of care, employers need to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practical level by taking preventive measures. Ventilation plays a critical part in managing transmission risk, with the document stating that businesses should check whether a ventilation system needs to be serviced or adjusted before reopening.

“A raft of global scientific evidence has confirmed aerosol transmission, making it a higher risk to be inside a building than outside. As the lockdown begins to ease with more people going back to work, businesses need to prepare by ensuring their ventilation system is working. To lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission inside a building or home it is vital to increase airflow and ventilate effectively. Now is the time to check ventilation to ensure there is enough airflow to dilute the virus in the air and improve indoor air quality. Ventilating for longer and opting for ventilation with higher airflow volumes will help reduce the risk,” said Jenny Smith, head of marketing at Vent-Axia.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers’ guide ‘CIBSE COVID-19 Emerging from Lockdown: Safely Re-occupying Buildings’ advises high levels of ventilation in all occupied areas of the building. A second document, ‘CIBSE COVID19 Ventilation Guidance’, gives detailed guidance for building managers/operators to minimise the risks of airborne transmission of COVID-19.

The overarching advice is to increase the air supply and exhaust ventilation, supplying as much outside air as is reasonably possible to dilute and remove the virus as much as possible. More detailed advice includes: extending the operation times of supply and extract mechanical ventilation systems; start ventilation at nominal speed at least 2 hours before the building usage time and switch to lower speed 2 hours after the building usage time; in demand-controlled ventilation systems changing the CO2 setpoint to lower to maintain operation at nominal speed; and to keep ventilation on 24/7 with lower ventilation rates when people are absent. CIBSE also directs readers to refer to manufacturer’s guidance for help.

Vent-Axia has a number of ventilation options for businesses keen to improve their ventilation and indoor air quality. The Sentinel Totus² Demand Energy Recovery Ventilation system (DERV), offers an effective solution to both ensure good ventilation and so improved IAQ, plus it offers a range of sensors, such as CO2, PIR occupancy detection, humidity or temperature which are employed to determine the room’s air quality, adjusting the ventilation requirements automatically and managing the system’s ventilation rates accordingly. Meanwhile, the ultra slim and energy efficient Slimpak EC single in-line box fans are ideal for offices, and the T-Series commercial fan offers high performance ventilation with low running costs and rugged reliability, making it suitable for a wide range of sectors including offices and pubs. With restaurants potentially opening up in July, the EKF kitchen box fan offers high performance ventilation at low running costs.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia email customer service: or visit

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