A training programme developed by a national trade body gives specifiers and contractors the insight to tackle the rising number of reported cases of mould growth and condensation in UK homes.
The Property Care Association’s (PCA) Residential Ventilation Masterclass gives a broad-based overview of the key issues in tackling excess moisture in properties.
According to the PCA, factors predominately linked with modern living – including increased levels of occupation and rising fuel costs, as well as a drive to make homes more energy efficient, are all playing a part in the growing issue.
Efforts to reduce air leakage through draught proofing and retrofit insulation, as well as the changing climate patterns – featuring warmer, wetter weather – are also of significance.
Key to addressing the issue according to the PCA is the installation of appropriate and efficient ventilation.
Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “Cases of mould and condensation problems linked to increased levels of atmospheric moisture are on the increase, but a great many of these issues could be improved through the correct use of appropriate ventilation strategies.
“However, despite the impact that good ventilation can have on a property’s moisture levels, the current regulation and guidance setting out minimum requirements in homes is mixed and usually ignored or misunderstood.
“To provide a reference point for good practice and to take the guesswork out of specifying fans and ventilation units, we have developed the Residential Ventilation Masterclass to look in detail at effective systems and the associated industry regulations.
“As a result, delegates will gain an understanding of how to design and specify ventilation systems that meet the requirements of Part F of the building regulations and evaluate existing systems against the standard.”
The Residential Ventilation Masterclass is suitable for anyone involved in the specification and installation of retrofitting fans and mechanical ventilation solutions in existing homes. The first course of 2018 is being held on Thursday, March 15, at the PCA’s training centre in Huntingdon.
The issue of effective ventilation is a major focus of the PCA.
Next year the trade body is holding an International Residential Ventilation & Preservation of Buildings Conference to further investigate issues including the nature of occupation, methods for identifying and rectifying defects – and the expected performance of existing buildings.
Open to PCA members and non-members alike, the conference takes place on the 14th and 15th June at The Slate, University of Warwick, in Coventry.
As well as the conference and training programme, other initiatives from the PCA include the development of a Residential Ventilation Group (RVG), the publication of a ‘Code of Practice for the Investigation and Provision of Ventilation in Existing Dwellings’ and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE).
The PCA has also produced a video offering a comprehensive overview of the issues faced.
Featuring interviews with academics at University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE), the short film is available to view at https://youtu.be/QFQ2a9XEop8.