Know what you want? Try our 'Supplier Directory' 
folder Indoor air quality

Urgent call to define 'fresh air' in buildings

As the UK emerges from lockdown, a leading ventilation specialist is accelerating calls for a clearer definition of ‘fresh air’, in order to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in our public buildings.

With the closing down of many public spaces as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, focus on the air we breathe and the need to improve it has increased. As many ventilation strategies are built around the delivery of ‘fresh air’ into a building, Elta Group is highlighting the lack of clarity surrounding its definition. 

David Millward, Group product manager at Elta Group, comments: “Simply defining ‘fresh air’ as allowing outside air to circulate inside does not go far enough, as the quality is not always sufficient, nor is it immediately controllable. This can be particularly problematic in urban areas, where high levels of pollution mean that natural ventilation, such as opening a window, can bring harmful pollutants into the building.”

Contractors and those tasked with delivering ventilation solutions are being urged to play their role in changing public perception, and familiarise themselves with the latest regulations. New consultation documents for Parts L and F of the Building Regulations detail a change in emphasis towards air quality, with specific guidance on monitoring IAQ in offices.

There should be the means within ventilation systems to measure CO2 and other air quality indicators, which helps to ensure that the ‘fresh’ air being brought in from outside is suitably healthy. There will also be specific guidance on how to ventilate certain types of buildings, or rooms in which particular activities are taking place. For example, where there is singing, exercise, or large numbers gathering, an increase in ventilation rates is likely to be required.

Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) will play an important role as emphasis shifts to managing ventilation rates, as it facilitates the adjustment, whether that’s automatic or manual, of rates according to what is needed. This ensures that air circulation can be adapted to meet a change in occupancy levels or alterations to the internal layout of a room. It enables systems to either increase or decrease their output depending on the situation, whether that’s working up to meet compliance, or down to minimise energy costs.

Mr Millward concludes: “As we move forward, it is important that the legal definition of fresh air becomes more prescriptive, and moves away from a reliance on high-quality outdoor air. By incorporating closer monitoring of internal air and taking advantage of the latest technology, particularly in relation to DCV, we can ensure that we are meeting the demands of today while catering for the needs of the future.”


Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?

The IOR Annual Conference – a conference on-demand

Delegates to the IOR Annual Conference taking place from 21 to 22 April will get the chance to access the event live and all sessions and recordings for up six months afterwards providing fantastic value and allowing anyone registering for the event ...


Panasonic expands VRF offering with new R32 Mini VRF ECOi LZ Series

Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions is expanding its wide range of VRF products with the introduction of its new R32 Mini VRF ECOi LZ Series. The new line-up includes five new compact outdoor units (4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 HP) and a wide choice of ...


Fridge Freezer Direct Introduces J & E Hall's range of Cellar Cooling

Reliable and energy efficient, the JCC range of cellar coolers are designed to be used in wine and beer cellars above or below ground.
ACR News is the number one magazine in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Don’t miss out, subscribe today!
Subcribe to ACR News


6th IIR Conference on Thermophysical Properties and Transfer Processes of Refrigerants
12th International Conference on Compressors and their Systems
GWP>150 ban in sealed systems