Proper ventilation and air conditioning in large commercial buildings, and especially in office buildings, has many benefits. These include some benefits that can contribute to a healthier bottom line. The environment in the workplace is receiving plenty of attention, with employee morale continuing to be an important consideration for business owners. Furthermore, scientists have proven that a healthy workplace is a productive workplace.
In the UK, buildings are ventilated by a combination of air infiltration and “purpose-provided ventilation” - the forced introduction of heat and cool air into the workspace. Outdated heating and aircon systems can be a drain on the building’s budget but with today’s highly efficient and effective systems, air quality can increase even as energy expenses decrease. Today’s revolutionary aircon system designs really do offer the best of both worlds.
Proper ventilation in the office building can only be achieved through this combination. Purpose provided ventilation is defined as, “the controllable air exchange by means of a range of natural and/or mechanical devices such as trickle vents in windows and electric extract fans.”
As we have come to learn more about the importance of good ventilation at home and in the workplace, building regulations have been established with the intent of minimising uncontrollable infiltration ventilation and maximising healthy doses of controllable ventilation.
In residences, Part F deals with ventilation in living areas. Part C deals with ventilation requirements for entire structures and Part J concentrates on ventilation where fuel-burning appliances are situated.
Part L deals both with energy efficiency and sets standards by which today’s UK buildings are to be sealed and be more airtight than in the past. In addition to identifying best practices for sealing buildings, Part F also sets forth provisions for proper ventilation of buildings.
The Building Regulations also identify that poor ventilation is the leading source of heat loss for many office buildings in the UK. Part L of the Building Regulations emphasises the minimum requirements for sealing office buildings. Pressure testing is encouraged under this provision.
Customising ventilation improvements
While the ventilation requirements are clearly set forth, property owners must understand that no two buildings are exactly the same. This usually means that customised air conditioning and ventilation solutions are necessary in each case. The best place to go for the best solution for your office building is a reliable and licensed commercial air conditioning professional.
These professionals can test the ventilation system and inspect the heating and cooling systems to ensure the building is not suffering “sick building syndrome.” Some solutions, like individual extract fans, are very affordable and can be used in wet and damp areas to improve ventilation. Passive vents are another affordable solution.
Designing a customised solution and implementing a new ventilation system can be a financial commitment. However, if the building owner considers the increased productivity, better morale, and arguably fewer sick days that accompany good ventilation and air conditioning systems, the return on the investment will be noticeable over time.
Together with the installation of an effective air conditioning system and ventilation solution, it is important to understand the importance of regular maintenance.
Keeping your system healthy and maintained will save time and money in the future.
At Oxford Air Conditioning, we take our planned preventative maintenance schedules extremely seriously. After analysing our client’s individual requirements, we develop a strategy of maintenance schedules and service levels that are customised to suit your needs.
Keeping to this plan reduces potential downtime, increases the number of first time fixes, and improves the efficiency of your Air Conditioning equipment. By using our expertise and the latest technology and software, we ensure the very best long-term results for our clients.
For more information about Oxford Air Conditioning, get in touch today by calling 01235 524411. You can also contact us online.