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New ductwork standard set to end confusion

The introduction of a new British Standard for cleanliness levels in newly installed ductwork is set to end confusion within the industry, according to System Hygienics

For the first time, the new BS EN 15780:2011 Ventilation for buildings – Ductwork – Cleanliness of ventilation systems clearly defines what is considered acceptably clean in newly installed ductwork.

With standardised levels of cleanliness in ductwork systems stated according to the building use, specifiers, installers and facilities managers now have clear guidance, a published set of standards and a new vacuum test that can apply to circular duct as well as rectangular ductwork.

This means that cleanliness guidelines designed to test existing ductwork, such as the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA’s) TR/19 guide to the internal cleanliness of ventilation systems, should no longer be used as a benchmark for measuring the cleanliness of newly installed ductwork.

Darren Ling, a Director of Systems Hygienics, said: “It is crucially important to clean ductwork in new buildings.

“You would not expect your brand new car to be covered in a thick layer of dust when handed over to you.

“However, many new ductwork systems are handed over in this state due to the current confusion and ambiguity about acceptable cleanliness levels.

“The new British Standard has been produced by taking the great and the good from across Europe and provides clear levels of cleanliness for new ductwork, removing any confusion over just how clean newly installed ductwork should be.”

The standard does not stop there. It has newly defined limits set against trigger levels for cleaning these types of systems for existing ductwork which differ from the current guidelines set out in the HVCA’s TR/19.

The values it recommends for existing ductwork are Low <4.5g/m2, Medium <3.0g/m2 and High <0.6g/m2, and for re-circulation and secondary ductwork it specifies Low <6.0g/m2, Medium <4.5g/m2 and High <3.0g/m2.

Mr Ling added: “The new standard is great news for the industry as it will help achieve safer, cleaner ductwork and improve indoor air quality in buildings, which is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy working environment.”

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