Swiftclean issues warning over ventilation system guidelines


Gary Nicholls, MD of ventilation system cleaning service provider Swiftclean Building Services, has urged the industry to consider adopting TR/19 guidelines as a standard for the construction of ventilation systems rather than the Building & Engineering Services Association’s (B&ES) DW144 standard.

The TR/19: Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems (Second Edition 2013) document was issued by B&ES in July 2014. Following these changes, the industry is now more concerned with the cleanliness of ventilation systems than ever, and there is even an onus on the installer to hand over the ventilation system in a clean condition.

However, Swiftclean believes there are still some important differences between DW144, the standard for the construction of ventilation systems, and TR/19, which concerns their ongoing cleanliness.

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Nicholls commented: “Compliance with TR/19 guidelines depends greatly on having sufficient access to be able to carry out the expert cleaning needed to comply.

“This means that practically, we should see access doors at the regular intervals recommended in TR/19. The irony is that DW144 does not require access doors to be fitted at the intervals set out in TR/19; it allows ductwork to be installed without sufficient access provision to clean it in compliance with TR/19.

“This means that at the system’s first clean, it may well be necessary to retrofit these doors at a greater cost than if they had been installed during the system’s initial installation. In addition to that, the locations required for access door retrofitting may well be obstructed by other installed building services, which will need relocation and, therefore, even greater additional cost could well be incurred.

“The property owner or facilities manager would quite reasonably suppose that if they are cleaning and maintaining a new build property, they will have a system that will simply need cleaning to comply with TR/19.

“This is not necessarily the case. To reduce the cost of construction, ventilation systems are still regularly installed with fewer access doors than will be needed to comply with TR/19. This can result in property owners incurring the unexpected costs of retrofitting ventilation access doors in a relatively new building; and we often have to be the bearer of this bad news.”

He added: “This issue is one that property owners and FMs should be made more aware of. If the FM provider is in place during construction, it is strongly recommended that they plead the case for constructing ventilation systems with access doors installed in accordance with TR/19 requirements.

“Both DW144 and TR/19 guidelines are technically acceptable for designing a ventilation system; but while following DW144 may cost less at the time of construction; following TR/19 guidelines during design and construction will save the client money in the longer term.”

Swiftclean would now like to see more consideration being given to designing, specifying and installing ventilation systems according to their TR/19 high, medium or low classification for each part of a building.

Nicholls concluded, “As soon as they are installed, these systems must be tested and where necessary cleaned, and certificated in accordance with their classification. Since we are required to comply with TR/19 from commissioning onwards, it would seem both logical and sound financial planning to construct access provision in all ventilation systems in accordance with TR/19 guidelines from the outset.”

Tags : cleaningductworkguidelinesswiftcleanventilation
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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