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76 HEATING, VENTILATION & SERVICES


GREEN OPTION


Modern wood burners are considered to be a ‘green option’ because they are a form of renewable energy and can be highly efficient


culprits to urban air pollution, particularly in the form of particulate matter. In fact, nothing could be further from the


truth. Although smoke from woodburning is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles, these are produced by incomplete burning. Modern clean-burning stoves can cut emissions by up to up to 90 per cent and generate 14 per cent less


CO2 than burning wood in an open fire. In fact, it has been estimated that the smoke escaping through London’s chimneys contributes just a small proportion – around five per cent – of the city’s particle pollution over the course of one year. Modern wood burners, in particular, are considered by many to be a ‘green’ option because they are a form of renewable energy, and can be highly efficient. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) reckons that by 2020 wood heating could contribute to the Government’s carbon reduction targets by10 per cent, with the potential to produce 25 per cent of the domestic renewable heat energy target.


Exemptions


As so often, there are some caveats. For example, if your client opts for a solid fuel stove in a smoke-controlled area, then you must specify one of the exempt appliances on the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approved list. There are different exemptions in force across the UK, so it is essential to consult the DEFRA website for more information;


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


fuels are also authorised separately in the different countries. However, all this is a small price to pay for the benefits that solid fuel heating brings. Wood, incidentally, is not a smokeless fuel, but when burnt in a DEFRA-exempt stove, it meets the Department’s air quality requirements.


Smoke control


Smoke control areas are designed to protect people from poor air quality. They are commonly used in urban areas to combat the negative health effects of chimney smoke. Following the introduction of the Clean


Air Act of 1956, local authorities were able to declare smoke control areas within their boundaries to control the emission of smoke, dust and fumes from residential and indus- trial properties in urban areas. Today, many large towns and cities are located in smoke control areas. It’s an offence – punishable by fines of up to £1000 – to use unauthorised fuel in a smoke control area unless it’s used in an ‘exempt’ appliance. The most recent Clean Air Act, which dates back to 1993, contains specific legislation to address legal requirements such as the height of chimneys on trade and industrial premises, the operation of furnaces, problems caused by dark smoke, and the use of authorised fuels.


Phil Lowe is a training manager for Schiedel Chimney Systems


ADF SEPTEMBER 2017


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