The latest AOVs provide enhanced connectivity and boast a powerful 24-volt electric motor

We should all remain committed to developing buildings which are sustainable and safe

last full revision in 2006. It is therefore expected across the industry that 2018 will see a revision to the regulations with regard to smoke ventilation systems in the next generation of buildings.

Intelligent smoke ventilation systems are the latest products to become available and are designed to detect heat or smoke within a building and aid the natural flow of smoke out whilst delivering enhanced safety for building occupants. The Automatic Opening Vent is a key element in this system and if not specified to the correct standard can have a detrimental impact on a full working system. The latest AOVs provide enhanced connectivity and boast a powerful 24-volt electric motor which effortlessly powers the arms which open the vent. These AOVs also deliver a ‘future proofing’ aspect as they already meet the necessary requirements surrounding the proposed changes to legislation and currently conform with Part L of Building Regulations and Part B which pertains to Fire safety.

When specifying such products, it is important to ensure that the entire product, not just isolated components, have been fully tested and certified to EN12101 – 2:2003, a legal requirement under the Construction Products Regulation 2013 and the European standard for smoke and heat control systems. It replaced BS7346:1991 as the UK’s product standard for rendering, products which do not meet


this new standard are unsuitable and unacceptable.

What does the future hold?

Whilst legislation regarding the exact specification and requirements is yet to be confirmed, it is clear that the AOV and an intelligent smoke ventilation system as a whole supports the widest possible expectations that may be enforced. By installing such products in buildings now – before the legislation is mandatory – architects are delivering tangible benefits to their clients by future proofing buildings. Clearly, an awareness of current and future legislation plays an important part in product development and managing end user expectations by ensuring specification now will meet future safety criteria too. As manufacturers it is important that we work with associated legislative bodies – including National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM) and Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) –to develop products and systems that not only provide aesthetics for buildings but also support safety requirements protecting those that live, work, study or occupy those buildings in whatever way. We all need to remain committed to developing buildings which are sustainable and safe.

Jim Lowther is sales director at Xtralite ADF MAY 2017

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