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A New British Standard on Cleanliness Clears Away Confusion

Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers

There can be few building and facilities managers who are unaware of the Health and Safety regulations that require regular inspection and cleaning of ductwork systems in the buildings for which they are responsible.

It can be a good time to pay attention to air duct cleaning and inspection when the weather improves in spring and the central heating is no longer required but the air conditioning is not yet needed. Often the financial year-end also prompts a review of a business or organisation's costs over the preceding year.

It may highlight a significant outlay on energy costs and perhaps prompt consideration of whether to continue to clean and maintain an old ductwork system or to replace it with something newer and more energy efficient.

An organisation's annual energy efficiency or maintenance inspection may reveal expensive repairs that will soon be needed or that the system, while working properly, may no longer be the most effective system available, or the most cost effective.

Organisations and businesses also have a duty of care under HSE regulations to ensure that there is an adequate supply of clean air available to those who use the buildings. This is likely to be a particularly important concern in schools, hospitals or residential homes for the elderly.

It the decision has been taken that it is time to replace the current even if the ductwork cleaning programme has maintained the system's cleanliness to acceptable levels commissioning managers should be aware that a new British Standard has been introduced this year (2012) for cleanliness levels in newly- installed ductwork.

The new BS EN 15780:2011 Ventilation for buildings - Ductwork - Cleanliness of ventilation systems makes it absolutely clear what the level of cleanliness should be once the installation work is complete and the system is ready to be handed over.

Levels of cleanliness have been standardised according to the building use, giving installers and facilities managers clear guidance, via a published set of standards and a new vacuum test that applies to circular and rectangular ductwork.

Precommission duct cleaning is therefore necessary to ensure that the builders hand over the system in a condition that meets the new standard.

A survey of the new ventilation system should be carried out before beginning a precommission clean to establish a baseline and then a second survey should be carried out to verify that the ductwork has been cleaned to recommended levels.

A new system will not preclude the need for ongoing inspection and regular ductwork cleaning, but it will ensure that the energy use and operation of the system are both as efficient as possible.

About Author Alison Withers :

Pre-commissioning duct cleaning is required because of a new British Standard introduced in early 2012 that makes sets clear cleanliness standards for a newly-installed ductwork system when it is handed over to its owner. By Ali Withers. <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013
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