Passively helping achieve odour-free, fresh environment

New developments by Passivent can help care homes not only comply with national minimum standards but simultaneously improve the environment both within the establishment and beyond.

Key points in both the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes and the sector’s Social Care Institute for Excellence Practice Guide 09 both require that ‘premises are kept clean, hygienic and free from offensive odours throughout’, to help deliver Dignity in Care.

Specification of a Passivent intelligent Passive Stack Ventilation (iPSV) system delivers ‘more for less’, silently operating 24/7 to ensure bathrooms and toilets are adequately aired, without any energy consumption or user input, and for less capital cost than conventional mechanical extraction. Further in new build scenarios, the lack of requirement for electricity provides credits under BREEAM.

The system works like a chimney, harnessing natural variations in air pressure and movement to draw warm, ‘used’ internal air out of the building. Humidity sensitive extracts in “wet” bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets open and close according to fluctuations in the moisture content in the air, exhausting the warm, internal air through ducting and out through a high level wall or roof ventilator. As the system uses natural air movement and changes in relative humidity to function, it consumes no energy, and requires no input from the room’s occupant to turn it on or off. It also operates silently, obviating the tendency to avoid using the ventilation because of fan noise- a common problem with mechanical extraction.

A range of extracts enables exact tailoring of the ventilation to each specific area, be it humidity in bathrooms, showers, toilets and kitchen areas, odours in WC’s and sluice areas, or a combination, and for the ventilation to be constant or ‘on demand’- either manually or motion sensing.

As the flow rate is controlled by the extracts in each room, ventilation is tailored to exact requirements, operating only as, when and where needed, rather than boosting the whole system when moisture in just one bathroom rises. As a result, heat loss through unnecessary ventilation is eliminated, enhancing energy efficiency and reducing lifetime costs.

Passivent ventilation is already proven in the care home environment, both refurbishment and new-build. Wellburn Care is just one example, which upgraded the Grade II listed Grimston Court and included Passivent’s ventilation to ensure each resident’s room in the main house remained fresh and odour-free but without impairment to the historic, ornate décor. Explains David Robinson, Development Manager for Wellburn Care, “It was an extremely complicated specification because of the need to preserve the décor and reflect our wish to create the ambience of a 5star hotel. The design work from Passivent was fantastic, developing a scheme that would work properly yet blend in with the opulent internal finish.”

Passivent supplies background ventilation solutions including tricklevents and through-wall ventilators, standard and ‘intelligent’ mechanical ventilation, passive stack natural ventilation and the new and innovative iHybrid, which combines natural ventilation with heat recovery to yield a 55% reduction in fan energy use and a 39% saving in lifetime costs over standard mechanical heat recovery, with its systems supported by its nationwide Mastercare scheme of approved installers. Its ability to design, supply and install all domestic ventilation solutions means it can provide authoritative, unbiased advice to the building industry to ensure new schemes comply with the new Approved Document, and all other regulatory requirements.

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