Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation

As a regular viewer of Location, Location, Location, it is all very well getting the right property, for the right money in the right place, but if that property contains an uninhabitable room because of condensation, then it almost certain to being caused by a lack of ventilation.

The new Building Regulations that came into effect on 1st October 2010 are very specific about ventilation in Document F1, stating in section 7: Work on existing buildings 7.4 “Where original windows were not fitted with trickle ventilators and the room is not ventilated adequately by other installed provisions, it would be good practice to fit trickle ventilators (or an equivalent means of ventilation) to help with control of condensation and improve indoor air quality. Ventilation devices should be fitted with accessible controls.”

In section 7.6 these Building Regulations state that “In all cases where trickle ventilators (or an equivalent menas of ventilation) are to be fitted, the new ventilation opening should not be smaller than was provided and ir should be controllable. Where there was no ventilation opening, or where the size of the original ventilation opening is not known, the following minimum sizes should be adopted.”

Dwelings:
* Habitable rooms – 5000mm2 equivalent area
* Kitchen, utility room & bathroom (with or without WC) – 2500mm2 equivalent area

The golden rule (indeed legal requirement!) is that existing ventilation cannot and must not be lessened. For example if any property owner is looking to replace an existing casement window that has two side opening vents and a top opening vent, they cannot cut down the numbers of opening vents, unless the new replacement window incorporates larger opening vents to compensate for the reduction in numbers of openings. If any builder or double glazing installer trys to save you/themselves money by offering to lessen ventilation, walk away fast, as not only is this illegal, it is not safe.

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