There is an innovative way to make air as fresh as possible within educational buildings, and thus achieve compliance with Government guidelines(*).
Gilberts, the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist has developed a range of modular filter boxes to integrate with its innovative stand-alone hybrid natural ventilation unit, the Mistrale Fusion System (MFS).
Added during initial installation or retro-fitted to the MFS through- wall or through-window unit, the filter units help minimise ingress of unwanted and/or harmful airborne particulates into the internal space.
“Under Government COVID guidance for schools, fresh air from outside should be optimised, and recirculatory solutions set to full fresh air. ” explains Gilberts’ Technical Director Roy Jones. “MFS delivers as standard 8l/s of ventilation: the DfE requirement for a fully-occupied ‘typical’ classroom of 32 people, so exceeds the 5l/s of fresh air the new Guidance recommends.
“Adding a filter box- initially or retrospectively- gives added assurance that any pollutants are removed before the air enters the room. And the MFS is a stand alone solution requiring just one system/zone (classroom), further minimising risk of cross-contamination into other air spaces. Thus, educational establishments can optimise the fresh air supply, without any of the disadvantages of having windows open, with all the associated issues with ingress of pollutants, pollen, noise etc which can adversely affect pupil concentration.”
Gilberts’ core MFS unit comprises a box fitted through the external façade with louvres, that mixes internal and external air to ventilate the internal space. A mixing damper within modulates airflow to allow the new, fresh air to mix with the warm exhaust air, thus extracting its heat without the need for an exchanger. The integrated low energy fan energises to blend the internal air, ensuring an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintains a comfortable internal environment for occupants.
Just 2 no MFS128 units or 1 x MFS256 unit will ventilate a standard 32-person classroom, achieving the 8litres/sec/person fresh air required by current Department of Education Building Bulletin (BB101) and PBSP guidelines. Each unit also achieves relevant acoustic considerations: its operational ‘noise’ is less than 30dbA and meet SEN (special educational needs) room requirements, and it has been engineered to absorb external noise to keep within the classroom criteria required by BB93. A boost mode also enables a room’s air to be purged for fast redress of air quality and temperature. Heating coil options are also available to provide primary heating to classrooms.
Gilberts has further taken care to attain compliance with Building Regulations Approved Document L. The MFS range attains air leakage better than legislative requirements – 5m3/HR/m2, and a U value of 1W/m2/°C. As with all Gilberts’ ventilation solutions, it delivers efficient weather performance via its bespoke louvre system.
Founded 50+ years ago, privately owned Gilberts is unique in having its own, on-site (85,000ft2) manufacturing facility, producing engineered solutions, with an in-house test centre. Technical expertise is supported with full in-house testing addressing air movement and combining with computational fluid dynamics CFD).