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Part F of the Building Regulations and the need for UKAS calibrated instrumentsJune 2010

Laser Doppler Anemometer

In the quest for greater energy efficiency this year will see the introduction of new requirements in Part F of the Building Regulations (pdf). Coming into effect on 1 October 2010 this new Approved Document dictates that where there is an installation of a mechanical ventilation system that can be tested and adjusted, then it shall be commissioned and a commissioning notice in a recommended format given to Building Control. Furthermore, it states that for mechanical ventilation systems installed in new dwellings, air flow rates shall be measured and again a commissioning notice shall be given to Building Control. This also applies to extract fans, cooker hoods and continuously running fans.

BSRIA Instrument Solutions' open jet wind tunnel calibration facility

These forthcoming changes should mean to many commissioning specialists the opportunity for additional work, but some close inspection of the fine details are needed if you are going to undertake the task successfully. For example in the new Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide (pdf) there is a requirement for all the airflow measuring equipment to be detailed on the documentation for Building Control, and this includes information of the last calibration. This should have been undertaken within the previous 12 months, to a UKAS accredited level, and be capable of achieving an accuracy of +/- 5%.

CFD model of a 100mm anemometer in an the air stream from an open jet wind tunnel

What does this mean in practice?

Today within the UK instrument manufactures or independent test houses under their ISO 9000 quality accreditation undertake the vast majority of equipment calibrations. But in the future this route for traceability will have to change as only UKAS accredited calibrations will be considered acceptable for work undertaken to Part F of the Building Regulations.

CFD model of a 100mm anemometer in an the air stream from an open jet wind tunnel

Why the change for ISO 9000 to UKAS (ISO 17025)?

Within the Approved Document there are various different requirements for ventilation systems including those designed for use in dwellings with low air permeability rates. So one of the ways to ensure that these can be measured accurately is to specify instruments that have been adequately tested in a consistent format, and the use of UKAS calibrated equipment where the certificate details information such as the measurement uncertainty is the only way to do this.

CFD model of a 100mm anemometer in an the air stream from an open jet wind tunnel

With the new regulations coming into force soon it was considered essential by BSRIA Instrument Solutions that accredited testing equipment for air velocity and volume flow be available, as well as the capability of being able to give independent professional advice on compliance. BSRIA Instrument Solutions is one of the few companies that has ensured that it is in a position to assist in every way with meeting the new requirements of Part F. Offering a comprehensive service of advice and execution from their UKAS accredited calibration laboratory and a sales department that offers instruments from a number of the leading manufacturers. Considerable investments have been made over the last two years by BSRIA to achieving UKAS accreditation for air velocity and volume flow calibrations. For example within the laboratory an extremely accurate non-intrusive Laser Doppler Anemometer is used for checking the various calibration facilities. Similarly techniques such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are often used to model airflow characteristics around products such as anemometer heads whenever unexplained results are obtained.


For further details or to discuss your requirements please contact BSRIA Instrument Solutions: 

T: 01344 459314
or visit BSRIA Instrument Solutions website