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Part F Regulations for Ventilation in Buildings – A Guide

Part F Regulations for Ventilation in Buildings – A Guide
01 March 2022
 

Building managers and FMs are preparing for changes to Building Regulations regarding ventilation and indoor air quality.

According to actionforcleanair.org.uk, poor air quality is responsible for 36,000 deaths a year in the UK and negatively impacts the health of the 12.7 million people who live with long-standing respiratory conditions.

The CBI calculates that 3 million workdays lost to illness could be regained if air pollution levels are reduced to WHO recommended levels.

 

"COVID-19 measures temporarily enhanced standards, with many employers having invested in improved mechanical ventilation and air circulation services to support employee health and wellbeing. However, these temporary standards must become permanent if businesses hope to comply to new Part F rulings, and not slip back to pre-COVID attitudes."

–Joe Marais

Occupational Hygiene Manager, Bureau Veritas

 

What are the Part F Regulations Updates?

 

Under new Part F regulations, there is a requirement for whole-building ventilation to meet a standard of 10 litres of fresh air per person per second, or one litre per second per square metre – whichever is highest (compared to only the former requirement in the past).

Common spaces will also require natural ventilation under Part F, with openings equal to at least 1/50th of the floor area or mechanical ventilation to supply 0.5 litres of fresh air per second per m2 of the common floor space area.

Businesses can receive further advice and support on Part F from Bureau Veritas, by registering for the free webinar on Thursday 3 March at 11:00 am GMT

 

Living with COVID-19

 

Bureau Veritas has welcomed the recent updates as a step in the right direction for indoor ventilation – particularly as the government announces its “Living with COVID” plan, and an end to COVID-19 isolation laws.

The last two years have highlighted the importance of indoor air quality and ventilation and the task at hand now, according to Bureau Veritas, is to take learnings from COVID-19 and the habits formed to manage airflow to ensure compliance to new Part F regulations. 

Joe Marais, Occupational Hygiene Manager at Bureau Veritas, commented: “Ventilation has become something of a clear focus both within the home and workplace over the last two years, with a greater awareness of poor air quality and ventilation linked to COVID-19.

“As the government announces its living with COVID strategy and an end to all remaining restrictions, it’s even more vital that businesses remain alert to the importance of good ventilation in mitigating the spread of the virus – as well as other illnesses such as the common cold – ensuring wellbeing for its staff, and efficiency and productivity for the business.

 

Stricter Technical Guidance

 

“There are a number of simple steps businesses can take to drive towards greater fresh air ventilation, by opening windows or utilising air handling units – both of which COVID shone a spotlight on. However, the introduction of Part F places strict technical requirements on what must be achieved through ventilation.”

“The pandemic highlighted that ventilation is a vital component for all buildings, placing a requirement on businesses and building managers to monitor indoor air quality, specifically within ‘high risk’ occupiable rooms, where there is a risk of airborne infection. COVID-19 measures temporarily enhanced standards, with many employers having invested in improved mechanical ventilation and air circulation services to support employee health and wellbeing. However, these temporary standards must become permanent if businesses hope to comply to new Part F rulings, and not slip back to pre-COVID attitudes.

“To ensure a robust strategy is in place to promote good ventilation within the workplace, businesses must first ensure a quantitative assessment has been completed within the premises to monitor the ratio of fresh air to the size of the room or number of occupants, as well as qualitative reviews of air handling units to scrutinise their functionality. 

“This may sound like quite an undertaking, which is why we would always recommend partnering with a third-party compliance specialist to complete the relevant audits and assessments, enabling the building manager to focus on creating a strategy to implement any recommendations.”

Picture: a photograph of an open window. Image Credit: Bureau Veritas 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 01 March 2022

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