Concern & action: Sufficient ventilation?

Adequate ventilation is needed for the occupants in a building and for the protection of the building fabric in normal circumstances. Some measures can reduce the existing air permeability and make necessary additional ventilation. In addition, Certain activities (e.g. cooking, showering/bathing, drying clothes) create high moisture loads. Appropriate active ventilation system are needed to remove this excess moisture. Otherwise significant localised moisture problems can occur.

Suggested actions

Before Implementation

Monitor and measure existing room and fabric moisture conditions pre refurbishment. Carry out airtightness test (include open flues) to assess infiltration levels in existing building. Assess existing ventilation provision and weigh up ventilation strategy options post refurbishment to address proposed increased airtightness. Take into consideration household size and occupancy pattern. Establish ventilation strategy to provide adequate ventilation in line with AD Part F, including air provision for occupants in the building and adequate ventilation at points of moisture generation within building (bathroom, kitchen, utility and other wet rooms). Beware of personal preferences that may override optimum system settings Decide on operation strategy and balance the need for good user understanding and automation of the ventilation system. Consider automation may be best for higher risk levels. Consider moisture buffering internal finishes and controls triggered by humidity sensors.

During implementation

Physically test the installed ventilation system capacity to confirm design criteria given in AD part F is met. Communicate the ventilation strategy to occupants clear and simply and check they understand it. Beware of personal preferences that may override optimum system settings.

After implementation

Monitor indoor air quality post refurbishment and report results. Monitor room and fabric moisture conditions and report findings. Carry out regular visual checks for damp patches and mould growth in vulnerable areas (kitchen, bathrooms)



Tech Paper 6 - Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings (2009)
Halliday, S., (Gaia Research)

Warmer Bath: A guide to improving the energy efficiency of traditional homes in the city of Bath (2011)
Bath Preservation Trust & Centre for Sustainable Energy

The Performance of Traditional Buildings: the SPAB Building Performance Survey 2013 (2013)
Rye, C, Scott C & Hubbard, D.

Energy Efficiency In Historic Buildings - Draught-proofing windows and doors (2010)
English Heritage

Energy Efficiency In Historic Buildings -Secondary glazing for windows (2010)
English Heritage

Improving Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings
Historic Scotland

Future Fit: Installation Phase in depth findings (2011)
EST/Affinity Sutton

Will drivers for home energy efficiency harm occupant health? (2010)
Bone, A., Murray, V. Myers, I., Dengel, A. and Crump, D.

Breathability: The Key to Building Performance (2005)
May, N.

Guidelines to avoid mould growth in buildings, Advanced Buildings Energy Research, 3, pp. 221-236. (2009)
Altamirano-Medina H., Mumovic D., Davies M., Ridley I. and Oreszczyn T.

Energy Heritage: A guide to improving energy efficiency in traditional and historic homes (2008)

Guide to building services for historic buildings -Sustainable services for traditional buildings (2002)

Conversion of Traditional Buildings Part 2 - sections 3 Enviroment & 6 Energy (2007)
Ed. Dennis Urquhart, Historic Scotland

Insulating pitched roofs at rafter level/warm roofs (2012)
English Heritage

Insulating pitched roofs at ceiling level/cold roofs (2012)
English Heritage

Insulating flat roofs (2012)
English Heritage

Insulating thatched roofs (2012)
English Heritage

Insulating dormer windows (2012)
English Heritage