MVHR Design it too late AT YOUR PERIL What does that mean and why is it important?

Solarcrest have been retrofitting MVHR into both new and existing properties for almost a decade, which means they know all about the challenges and potential pitfalls you will face during an install, as well as the benefits of actually living with MVHR.

One of the greatest challenges is how to hide all the ventilation plant inside the building, without dropping ceilings or losing valuable storage space. Ventilation plant typically takes up more space than all the electrics and plumbing combined, including the boiler and water cylinder. Imagine two 5’ tall pallets of ventilation material for every 100m2 of floor area and you’ll be close.

One of the greatest pitfalls is therefore planning the ventilation too late. If the plantroom size, location, internal layout, and structural members are finalised before anyone looks at ventilation, what should be a new build install becomes a new build retrofit, even if a spade hasn’t touched the ground. Retrofits cost more than installs, both materials and labour.

Allow space for vertical risers and distribution manifolds, and a larger property can potentially manage with a single MVHR system. If those options are eliminated before the MVHR is designed, the same property could need one MVHR system per floor. That means more filters, maintenance, controllers, void space requirement and ultimately more cost, particularly lifecycle cost when the MVHR units reach the end of their serviceable life. All because the MVHR was designed late.

Planning MVHR early also allows concepts like NOx filtration, or heating and cooling to be considered. Brilliant concepts that can provide climate control for the home. But concepts that can’t be retrofitted later without pulling all the ceilings down and returning to first fix.

Proper prior planning prevents problems during the install. Problems that can hold up the job or cause last minute design changes that compromise ventilation performance, not to mention acoustic performance. According to Solarcrest, one pound saved on design causes two pounds worth of headaches. So, if you want a slick build process without expensive surprises, think about designing the house around the ventilation rather than the other way around.

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