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increasing the drive towards energy efficiency through reducing energy wastage.

Assessment process These developments have all pointed towards improving Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings with heat recovery devices, efficient types of fan motor and/or energy saving control devices in ventilation systems, illustrating the joined up thinking surrounding SAP, Part L and Part F. Lee Nurse, marketing director at Vent-Axia, comments:

‘SAP is of vital importance. It defines the return on investment in terms of carbon for all building elements and, as such, not only acts as a carbon calculation, but also a design selection tool. It has become the driving force for many of our customers’ choices.’ However, within the electric heating sector SAP is

facing fierce criticism. Jon Cockburn, head of marketing at Heatrae Sadia, says: ‘Electric heating products are viewed as carbon intensive within SAP because of the way electricity is currently generated in the UK. If the government doesn’t change its view, we fear there could be a shift away from electric heating. Heatrae Sadia is currently lobbying the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to begin a fundamental review of how SAP operates.’ Chris Stammers of Dimplex shares the view that SAP

is flawed and adds: ‘We would reassess the fuel factor weighting in the SAP calculations. The fuel factor attempts to estimate the relationship of carbon intensity of different fuels by, in fact, penalising what are classed as more carbon-heavy fuels. However, it doesn’t recognise the ongoing decarbonisation of the grid as more renewable generation becomes available, and we feel that it’s time for the assumptions made on carbon content to be altered.’

Product development So how are manufacturers responding to this challenge? Most new product developments now look at energy efficiency as a guiding factor. The competitive environment

Aerheat panel heater

Compliance with Part F is essential in keeping on course with the government’s targets for zero carbon buildings

Case study: Regeneration

Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Centra and Quadra fans have helped improve the indoor air quality for residents at a block of flats located in the Ormesby area of Middlesbrough. These were refurbished by Coast & Country as part of the Decent

Homes programme. Coast & Country is one of the largest regeneration and social housing providers in the north east of England. Based in the Tees Valley, the housing company is responsible for 10,082 dwellings, comprising a mixture of flats, houses and bungalows. Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Centra is ideal for retrofitting,

providing a near silent dMEV solution with the lowest specific fan power in its class. It complies with Part F for continuous mechanical extract ventilation (System 3) and is capable of achieving up to 90 per cent energy savings and a 62kg carbon reduction. ‘After significant evaluation and testing, Vent-Axia’s Centra and Quadra fans came out on top as the most beneficial to residents to improve the air quality within our properties whilst also proving to be pleasing on the eye,’ says Robert Baillie, procurement manager at Coast & Country.

into which systems are specified and installed is driven by legislation, making manufacturers innovate to ensure that their products and services offer the best possible value to their customers. Vent-Axia’s Lee Nurse, explains: ‘Energy efficiency

in ventilation comes from three areas – motors, heat exchangers and controls. All three are being developed with continued reduction in the electrical consumption of motors. The benefits of demand controlled ventilation are also now starting to be understood, and with recent research concluding that nearly 30 per cent of the energy used in a ventilation system can be saved through automated operation.’ Heatrae Sadia is making sure that its products are

compatible with renewable technologies. Jon Cockburn says: ‘We have invested £1m in the development of Megaflo eco – an innovative hot water cylinder available in direct and indirect versions that provides greater thermal efficiency and reduces heat loss.’

Tried and tested The move towards energy efficient ventilation also means a greater importance is being placed on installed performance. EN 13141 has prompted manufacturers to verify their products’ performance claims. However, with a rise in energy efficient ventilation, another variable enters the equation, since newer ventilation technologies are more complex to install and need to be fitted correctly in order to ensure performance. Lee Nurse of Vent-Axia, comments: ‘When considering

26 ECA Today September 2011

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