ventilation

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ventilated façades

Designing ventilated façades for building exteriors is a popular method in modern construction which introduces a series of performance benefits for occupants – but also raises specific fire safety considerations. Will Wigfield, Product Manager – Building Envelope at ROCKWOOL UK, discusses the benefits of ventilated façades and the merits of a total solutions approach to fire safety.  

In a ventilated façade system, the outside face of a building is formed by cladding panels fixed back to a load-bearing wall, creating a cavity through which air is free to circulate. This air space does more than just prevent condensation – in summer, warm weather causes a convectional air current which helps to cool the building, whereas in winter, air in the cavity remains still and provides an insulating effect.

In addition to tenant comfort, ventilated façade constructions give designers a high degree of creative freedom to produce striking exteriors that perform as well as they look.

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natural smoke ventilation

Newton House is a brand new Housing 21 Extra Care Living development in Penrith. It promotes independent living for people over the age of 55, with access to on-site care. The development offers 54 one and two bedroom apartments.
Newton House provides fully accessible facilities for residents and visitors. These include a restaurant, hair salon, residents’ lounge, activity room and communal gardens.
For the natural smoke ventilation system at Newton House, Dyer provided roof vents, dampers and louvres, and supplied and installed the controls in order to ventilate the communal areas.

 

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sub-floor

In new build homes with precast concrete or timber suspended ground floors, controlling atmospheric moisture in the sub-floor space is normally provided by means of natural ventilators. These include airbricks or grilles of appropriate size and number and are located on opposing external walls to ensure cross ventilation. Attention to detail with sleeper walls and other obstructions in the sub-floor void is also required to ensure that the air can move freely with minimum resistance between external ventilators.

While the provision of such natural ventilation is relatively easy to achieve in new build homes, existing homes often suffer the consequences of inadequate natural ventilation of sub-floor spaces. Ventilators can become blocked over time with dirt and debris or covered when external ground levels are raised through new landscaping or patio coverings. Extensions to homes can also result in natural ventilation of a sub-floor space being negatively impacted. You only have to look at the number of mid terrace homes throughout the UK with rear extensions added with original sub-floor ventilators still visible on the front façade but with none on the rear extension to understand how this can be a problem in many dwellings. There is no way to easily naturally ventilate such a sub-floor.

 

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PIV

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) is a tried and tested method of dealing with condensation and mould in the UK’s housing stock. It is estimated that PIV units have been installed in over one million homes since it was first introduced back in the 1970’s. Tens of thousands of PIV units continue to be installed every year and is often the first choice of ventilation for many landlords wishing to provide adequate ventilation for their tenants.

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H&V Awards

We are extremely proud to announce that we are once again finalists in the 2021 H&V News Awards.
Our innovative Titon Ultimate® dMEV and Titon FireSafe® Air Brick products have been shortlisted in the ‘Domestic Ventilation Product of the Year’ category.

 

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Radon protection

Radon, condensation and mould specialist Airtech, is encouraging landlords to put in place planned maintenance over the summer period to protect their residents from the effects of radon. With many people still spending more time at home than before the pandemic, healthy homes are essential for resident health and for landlords to meet their legal obligations under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. Airtech are specialists in radon testing, remediation and servicing so are well placed to help landlords tackle radon in their properties in both the short and long term.

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Ventilation MOT

Housing associations and local authorities responsible for management of housing stock, along with their specialist advisors, are to be offered advance access to the UK’s first Ventilation MOT® which has been specifically designed to establish the adequacy, or otherwise, of the ventilation measures installed in an existing home.
 
David Bly, Director of Cornerstone Professional Services (UK) Ltd, the organisation behind the Ventilation MOT®, explains why social housing providers and their advisors are being offered first adopter status, “Inadequate ventilation, or, as it’s referred to in the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, “not enough ventilation”, can be a major contributor to condensation and mould growth in a home. If a property is a recently built one, then there’s a chance that one of the recognised ventilation systems in Approved Document F has been installed and it can be demonstrated that there is “adequate means of ventilation provided for people in the building”. It’s a completely different situation in older properties which make up the vast majority of the housing stock and that’s where the Ventilation MOT® will prove very useful to social housing landlords. As a key process in the Property MOT® platform, it will let them know where they stand in terms of ventilation adequacy and what, if anything, they need to do to get there”