Building a home in Galway, Mayo or Roscommon? Its important to know about ventilation and your options.

If you are building a new home in Ireland, the regulations surrounding ventilation have changed over the past Heat-Recovery-green-house-plansnumber of years. It is not as straightforward as it used to be.

Please ensure that you get proper advice prior to building and make the decisions that ensure that you are compliant, but also cost conscious.

The following information is taken from the Irish Ventilation Industry Association Website http://www.ivai.ie

Ventilation is the process of renewing the indoor air to maintain good indoor air quality. Ventilating a building is almost a direct extension of breathing:

  • Breath In fresh air to replenish oxygen levels;
  • Breath Out the stale air to evacuate CO2, excess humidity and pollutants in the same process.

A ventilation system is therefore a two-way flow of air (fresh air in, stale air out) whose key roles are to:

  • reduce indoor pollutants concentrations to a healthy level by extracting and diluting stale air with clean air from the outside;
  • reduce excessive air humidity levels by extracting it when and where it is produced in high concentration such as during cooking, showering, etc.;
  • remove carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by breathing and replace it with clean, fresh air full of oxygen;
    remove unpleasant smells from cooking and other bodily functions.

In addition, ventilation can perform other functions such as cooling during the summer by removing excess indoor heat, or supply air to combustion appliances.

The following sources of air pollution are of real concern to our Indoor Air Quality:

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Ireland, after smoking;
Second-hand smoking causes cancer and serious respiratory illnesses;
Combustion pollutants emitted by poorly vented and maintained appliances can cause serious illnesses and irritations. Carbon monoxide is the silent killer;
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by many modern materials and chemical products affect your well-being and can make you seriously sick;
Certain moulds when found at high concentrations indoors can cause hay fever-type symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes;
Asthma triggers such as moulds, dust mites, pet hairs, second-hand smoke, etc. cause symptoms including coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and breathing problems.

The first step is to reduce or prevent indoor pollutants at source, including by:

Selecting low VOCs materials, cleaning products, etc.;
Inspecting and maintaining fuel-burning appliances regularly, and vent them appropriately;
Testing for radon and prevent ingress into the building;
Reducing asthma triggers by removing materials harbouring dust mites, preventing smoking indoor, preventative cleaning and dusting, etc.
Installing carbon monoxide alarms as necessary;
Preventing moisture build-up in the building fabric e.g. by repairing leaks, draining foundations, sealing cracks, etc.

Sean Gavin Electrical & Beam have been installing MVHR Ventilation and PIV Ventilation systems in Ireland for a number of years. Our experience is second to none. Our focus is on delivering a product that will save you money over its lifetime and one that is best fit for purpose from day 1.