A CHANCE TO END SLOPPY VENTILATION However, as the general population becomes

renewed focus on the quality of indoor environments is an opportunity to weed out

“ventilation cowboys” according to an

air quality expert at Elta Group. The transmission of COVID-19 has propelled the

topics of indoor air quality (IAQ) and calibre of ventilation systems under the public spotlight over the past year. According to David Millward, group product manager

at Elta Group (pictured), this is a prime opportunity for industries to raise the standard of installation across the board, following a number of years of corner-cutting due to price wars and time constraints. Mr Millward commented: “Unfortunately we have

seen an increase in substandard systems installed in buildings over recent years, mainly due to end-users challenging critical elements in quotes and subsequently opting for ventilation cowboys.

increasingly knowledgeable about the importance of good IAQ, end-users are likely to expect, and appreciate, a higher standard of installation and specification of ventilation systems.” The importance of ventilation in the context of COVID-19

was highlighted in a government whitepaper in October last year. It echoed Elta Group’s assertion that industry must move beyond simply achieving minimum air change rates and air quality. Instead, systems must provide the most appropriate ventilation for the welfare and productivity of occupants, alongside building/room usage. Mr Millward continued: “Modern UK ventilation

systems need to be right first time, as well as sustainable and long-lasting. Choosing the right fan for the right application is paramount, which is why it’s important to be up to speed on specific characteristics and benefits of fans and their constituent parts.”


onstruction experts claim COVID-19 continues to cast a dark shadow on the industry – and say the knock-on effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt long after the initial summer celebrations are over. Construction output remains above its February 2020

level, despite a 0.8% fall in May 2021. However, there are still many risks currently faced by the industry, including the twin perils of a skills shortage and long COVID. Actuate UK, the alliance of leading UK building

engineering services, warns the sector to be vigilant and follow good practice guidance, developed over the last year, to prevent long lasting impacts on businesses. The demand for construction projects has shown little

sign of slowing. Construction was one of the few industries which continued operating during lockdowns, due to its importance in building and maintaining infrastructure of national importance, for example, the Nightingale hospitals. Actuate UK, highlights new data from a YouGov

survey, which raises questions about the ability of the UK construction sector to return to pre-pandemic activity levels. The alliance says businesses and government should start planning now to avoid winter disruption. According to the poll, in the year up to May 2021, across

all members of staff, small to medium-sized construction firms each lost an average of 29 days every month from staff absent from work. This figure excluded people on furlough – and Actuate UK

says the situation will only get worse as businesses go under or are forced to operate on much-reduced capacity. Moreover, key projects may be delayed or come to a costly halt. Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of Actuate UK member

SNIPEF, said: “As the restrictions ease, Actuate UK urges industry to strike a balance when considering the health of its workers and the need to move the economy forward. “This survey gives us grave concern about the long-term

effects of COVID on our industry. Building services are the lifeblood of all major construction projects, with heating, lighting, ventilation and digital infrastructure essential to successful project delivery. “Yet we continue to hear from members there are simply

not enough skilled installers to meet current demand. With fewer apprentices being recruited during the pandemic this has exacerbated the issue and we are deeply concerned this will impact on government targets and future projects.” The Government is currently looking at construction to

lead the post-pandemic recovery, funding new infrastructure projects such as the New Hospitals Programme in Englandand the electrification of the UK’s road and rail networks. However, Actuate UK says that with a significantly reduced

workforce, it won’t be possible to keep pace with demand – and key projects could suffer as a result. Andrew Eldred, of Actuate UK and ECA’s director of skills

and employment said: “We’re hearing first-hand accounts of construction firms being unable to recruit skilled staff, despite full order books. And this is only the start. “The pandemic has had repercussions for training; the

number of new entrants coming into the workforce has declined. The difficulties of gaining practical experience, along with reduced numbers starting apprenticeships has taken its toll.” The spectre of long COVID throws another shadow on the

horizon, with figures from the ONS showing 385,000 people in the UK have lived with symptoms for a year or more. Although vaccination can help guard against the initial impact of COVID itself, sufferers can experience brain fog and fatigue caused by long COVID, preventing them from returning to work. Mr Eldred added: “While life may return to ‘the new

normal’ for many, for others, the long-term impact of the pandemic will remain a very real barrier to work.”


The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has developed an ‘F-Gas Awareness’ training course in conjunction with affiliate member Mitsubishi Electric. It is designed to help anyone linked to the sector improve their knowledge in this field.

Daikin UK has joined forces with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at its Japan Festival. Experts from Daikin will be on hand during the festival in October to educate visitors about the role heat pumps have to play in the future of home heating highlighting key products in an interactive mobile showroom at the Brentford Gate entrance to the Gardens.

Three key suppliers, Trebles, SAV Systems and Direct Control Systems were honoured for their outstanding levels of quality, commitment and service delivery at J S Wright’s 2020 Annual Awards.

The ninth edition of ISH Shanghai & CIHE – the trade fair for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and home comfort will take place from 31 August – 2 September 2021 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

Mitsubishi Electric has launched a series of podcasts which shine a light on the sustainable, zero carbon and legislative issues affecting business today.

Steve Keeton, director of external affairs and future portfolio at Vaillant Group UK, has been elected as the new chair of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).

University College Dublin has conducted a study with Camfil that finds air purifiers dramtically increase in the removal of aerosols in poorly ventilated spaces.

Radiator manufacturer Stelrad Radiators has appointed Michael Haythorne as its new supply chain manager.


August 2021 7

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36