Discreet but effective ventilation is a key part of the design for the St John Bosco Arts College in Liverpool, which won last year’s RIBA North West Award. The original idea was to use floor-standing displacement ventilation terminals for this massive ‘hangar’-style open-plan facility, but the architect, BDP, felt they would be too intrusive. A second proposal involved multiple jet nozzles to ventilate the space, but BDP was concerned about their unsightly appearance. The team then turned to Ruskin Air Management’s Jason Laugharne, who proposed slot diffusers.
In response to the challenges of ventilation for commercial buildings, Robert Dennis of Airflow Developments looks at the key issues to consider and the innovative solutions that can save valuable time, energy and costs — whilst creating a healthy interior environment.
Ventilation manufacturer Envirovent has launched a range of semi-rigid ducting which is quick to install and airtight. The Fast Track range is available in circular and flat-oval form and in various sizes. There are three sizes of duct for domestic and small non-domestic systems. All ductwork can be connected to a universal distribution box using adapters.
Gilberts (Blackpool) offers a solution to maximise the benefits of natural ventilation in rooms such as IT suites and science laboratories in schools. Particular issues in such areas include heat from IT equipment and CO2 from Bunsen burners. Gilberts’ solution is its Mistrale Fusion (MFS) natural-ventilation system with the inclusion of enhanced and boost options.
Airbox from Weatherite Air Conditioning is an air-containment solution that provides an energy-efficient addition to airflow management for data centres. It provides an effective way of helping to control airflow in data centres, server rooms and communications rooms.
Are some approaches to demand-controlled ventilation so complex that they are not effective in reducing overall cost and carbon footprint. Andrew Bott of Nuaire shares his views.
Achieving good indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings can be expensive in terms of energy consumption. David Black of Flakt Woods examines how that cost can be minimised.
Camfil’s Hi-Flo II air filter is an enhanced version of the Hi-Flo low-energy air filters. Aerodynamic pockets optimise performance, and these filters have been rated A+ by Eurovent. They save up to £30 a year for every installed filter.
To help protect and improve indoor air quality in new homes, BEAMA has launched the ‘Health home mark’ campaign. It calls for support of a ‘Healthy home mark’ in all new homes to enable buyers to identify that its has been fitted with effectively installed continuous mechanical ventilation.
Gilberts of Blackpool’s Mistrale 75 ventilation units achieve accurate and stable airflow and also have low air leakage and good thermal performance. Air leakage is as low as 5 m3/h.m2, with a U-value of 0.93 W/m2K, similar to a double-glazed window.
Air conditioning delivers a quality indoor environment, and that quality can extend to indoor air quality — as Jody Lees of LG explains.
Faced with an odour problem in a recently constructed property on a new £25 million college development, a national contractor called in Gibbons Ultraviolet solutions. The Gibbons team recognised the constant, offensive odour as so-called ‘dirty-sock syndrome’ being harboured by the HVAC system.
Following the development of a centre dedicated to training in ventilation cleaning and hygiene, Peter Reid of AEME and Overclean traces the leading role that the UK has played in developing awareness and standards for indoor air quality throughout the world.
Airflow has introduced a new range of basic MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) units for residential housing. Tunca Sekban, MVHR product manager, says, ‘MVHR in residential dwellings is becoming increasingly common, and units such our new BV range make this type of ventilation a much more realistic option for developers and social housing providers. The low running costs and high efficiency ratings mean payback times are significantly lower than several years ago when MVHR first came to the fore for ventilation.’
Gilberts’ Series GB range of barrel-type swirl diffusers provides a wider range of architectural and design style swirl-diffuser options that combine aesthetics with cost-effective alternative design. These diffusers have a fixed-size square fascia designed to fit plaster ceilings and standard 500 or 600 mm-square ceiling grids.
The Viper SCC range of duct-mounted centrifugal fans is part of Elta Fans’ Select range and can produce high pressure even with low air volumes. The fan is well suited for installation in sports and leisure facilities, schools, colleges, retail centres, factories and similar duct-mounted installations. These fans have been designed with the requirements of the ErP Directive, which came into force on 1 January 2013, in mind.
WindowMaster has produced a ‘white paper’ for contractors on how best to ensure that natural-ventilation systems in new schools meet the criteria for the Priority School Building Programme. It can be downloaded from the link below (case sensitive).
Guidance on ventilation in education is provided by Xpelair Ventilation Solutions’ CPD training programme. It is designed to help specifiers and installers better understand the changing ventilation requirements and legislation in the education sector.
Nearly half the British workforce (46%) have suffered headaches, tiredness and felt less productive because of stale air and stuffy working environments — according to research conducted by Populus for Guardian Air Hygiene. Of the 1082 workers surveyed, 38% believe that the quality of air in workplaces is an indicator of employers’ attitudes to employees’ wellbeing.
Aereco’s DXR demand-controlled MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) system for homes controls both the supply and exhaust air streams. It is claimed to achieve 92% energy savings compared with a mechanical exhaust ventilation (MEV) system at constant airflow, while providing the same indoor air quality.
Good indoor air quality is essential in commercial applications to maintain productivity and comfort. Andy Cardy of Fläkt Woods, looks at how building-services engineers can optimise working environments while reducing energy costs.
One of the challenges of natural ventilation is reducing the expense of tempering cold draughts in winter. Shaun Fitzgerald of Breathing Buildings takes up the subject.
If a building’s occupants do not feel healthy and happy then they cannot be productive, so getting the indoor air quality right is an important step to delivering a ‘good’ building. Perry Jackson of Mitsubishi Electric looks at how effective mechanical heat recovery ventilation can help both the wellbeing of occupants and overall building efficiency.
Ability Projects has developed a 190 mm-deep Matrix self-balancing fan-coil unit to complement the current 270 and 235 mm-deep units. Matrix units have internal-rotor-motor fans and motor sets with every fan directly coupled to its own motor, making every fan/motor assembly an independent entity and enabling its speed to be individually controlled.
Vortice twin fans (pictured) and acoustic box fans are designed to run so quietly that they are suited to applications such as museums and libraries. General manager Kevin Hippey says, ‘These void-mounted products offer a new opportunity for specifiers working in environments where combating noise is particularly important.’
With poor indoor air quality being estimated to cost two million healthy life years annually throughout Europe alone, Alan Macklin of Elta takes a look at the HealthVent project.
Daikin Europe’s VAM and VKM heat-recovery ventilation units include CO2 sensors and optional filters to reduce energy lost and maintain high air quality in commercial premises. They are quick and easy to install and also offer night-time free cooling when part of a complete climate solution.
The refurbishment of three Munters desiccant dehumidifiers at Manchester Aquatics Centre has reduced running costs by about 20%, while preserving the building fabric and optimising comfort. The project involved replacing all major components, replacing the old reactivation ductwork with polypropylene and retrofitting the dehumidifers with Munters energy-recovery purge technology to reduce running costs.
HEVAC president Mike Nankivell highlights the importance of filters to indoor air quality and why IAQ should be considered alongside energy efficiency.