Approved Document F: What’s Changing for Indoor Air Quality in 2022
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Eco Industry Solutions has combined our most relevant changes to Building Regulations 2010 Part F: Ventilation, detailed in the 2021 Approved Document F Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings for you below.
WHEN WILL THIS COME INTO EFFECT?
The Approved Document F will come into effect on 15 June 2022.
WHO IS THIS RELEVANT TO?
The guidance is relevant to both new buildings and when retrofitting old buildings.
If you are responsible for non-residential buildings such as office workspaces, schools, healthcare estates, factories or food production facilities then this document is for you. This may include facilities managers, property or estate managers, and landlords as such or any other similar workplaces.
The most relevant and important ventilation changes in reference to Part F of the document but not all are listed below :
CHANGE 1: CO2 MONITORING IN OFFICES
It states: Paragraph 1.21 – In new buildings, [occupiable rooms] should have a means of monitoring the indoor air quality. This may be achieved using CO2 monitors or other means of measuring indoor air quality.
In offices, if you are using CO2 monitors, they must:
- Be non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) type CO2 monitors.
- Be mains powered.
- Be placed at breathing height and away from windows, doors or ventilation openings where practicable.
- Be placed at least 500mm from people where practicable.
Note that this only applies to rooms larger than 125m3 in volume, or 50m2 floor area, and smaller than 800m3 in volume, or 320m2 floor area.
CHANGE 2: UV-C & HEPA FILTERING FOR RECIRCULATED AIR
Paragraph 1.37 – Ventilation systems that, under normal operation, recirculate air between more than one space, room or zone should also be able to operate in a mode that reduces the risk of the transmission of airborne infection. This can be achieved by one or more of the following.
- Systems capable of providing 100% outdoor air to the levels specified in paragraphs 1.32 to 1.34 to all occupiable rooms and common spaces, without recirculating air.
- Systems incorporating a UV-C germicidal irradiation system that is able to disinfect the air that is being recirculated. This type of system is commonly located within the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or ductwork.
- Systems designed so that they can incorporate HEPA filters if required, which are able to provide filtration of the recirculated air.
Recirculation of air between spaces, and rooms should be able to operate consistently to effectively reduce the risk of the transmission of airborne infection.
CHANGE 3: VENTILATION INTAKE CONTROL
Paragraph 2.1 – Ventilation systems should be designed to minimize the intake of external air pollutants, [if]…
- the pollutant values in the location of the building exceed any of the limits [from Schedule 2 of the Air Quality Regulations 2010].
- the building is located near to […] sources of significant local pollution.
More details are in paragraphs 2.2 to 2.6 of the approved document.
Notably, paragraph 2.6 of the guidance stipulates that you can reduce or close ventilation during periods of heavy pollution.
Paragraph 2.6 – Where sources of pollution vary with the time of day, such as urban road traffic, it may be acceptable, for time-limited periods, to take one of the following actions.
- Reduce the flow of external air into ventilation intakes.
- Close ventilation intakes when the concentrations of external pollutants are highest.
NOTE: In these circumstances, expert advice on monitoring data.
This authorisation to minimise re-circulation under certain conditions brings opportunity for both increased indoor air quality and reduced energy use.
Eco Industry Solutions recommends an indoor air quality monitor that can provide you with real-time data. It’s important that you can keep track of the air quality throughout the day.
We offer a FREE consultation to assist in understanding which monitor you may require and what filtration unit would be best suited to your workspace. We will size and select appropriate solutions that will reduce infectious aerosols from spreading and any external pollutants to protect your environment.
Change 4: Airflow in common spaces
Paragraph 1.33 – Common spaces in offices, including rooms or spaces used solely or mainly for circulation, such as corridors and lift lobbies, should be provided with either of the following.
- Natural ventilation by appropriately located ventilation opening(s) with a total opening area of at least 1/50 of the floor area of the common space.
- Mechanical ventilation installed to provide a supply of outdoor air of 0.5 litres per second per m2 of floor area of the common space.
While for occupiable rooms in offices, the guidance recommends outdoor air should be supplied at a rate of 10 litres per second per person, or 1 litre per second per m2 floor area (whichever is highest). This does not include common spaces.
Now mechanically ventilated common spaces in offices must have a minimum air supply rate of 0.5 litres per second per m2. Note that this is below the 1 litre per second per m2 that was in the draft guidance.
Change 5: VOC / TVOC
It states :
Appendix B3 – As an alternative to using TVOC, the individual VOCs may be applied where their use is supported by robust independent evidence. Public Health England’s Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for Selected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the UK should be used. Testing against these metrics is likely to be more complex than testing against TVOC.
As well as in Part F, individual VOC testing is a requirement in BREEAM and WELL standards.
Eco Industry Solutions supplies TVOC measuring devices as well as CO2 monitors. Our highly sensitive sensors on our air purification units determine the particle load in the room air and the concentration of volatile organic substances (VOC). This information is displayed on the display screen.
Change 6: Maintenance
Paragraph 1.7 – Reasonable access should be provided for maintaining ventilation systems, including all of the following.
- Providing access to replace filters, fans and coils.
- Providing access points for cleaning ductwork.
- Providing access for the general maintenance of plant
IMPORTANT – This information has been provided on the guidance for Part F that was released early 2021, before the World Health Organisation released their updated global air quality guidelines in September.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this PDF, or any queries with regards to monitoring and managing your internal air quality in line with the legislation, please get in touch and I’d be more than happy to talk through your current situation and the options you have available to you.