Dual Flow Ventilation, or how to guarantee healthy air in bio-passive homes

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As a society, we are becoming increasingly aware of the relationship between health and buildings, an issue that House Habitat has addressed right from its early days.

The design process for our bio-passive homes is rooted in the principles of bioclimatic architecture and involves the use of toxin-free natural or ecological building materials. Furthermore, in order to guarantee health-friendly air indoors, it includes a dual flow ventilation system that expels contaminated air and filters the air entering from outside.

Santiago Pascual, Commercial Director at Siber, a leading name in ventilation system, explains how it contributes to people’s wellbeing and comfort.

Concerns regarding building health are on the rise. What can double flow controlled mechanical ventilation (DF CMV) contribute in this sense?

CMV came about many years ago as a means of guaranteeing indoor air quality thanks to a system of ongoing renewal. One of the advantages is that it does so without having to open the windows, a cause of reduced comfort levels for much of the year. This renewal allows for the expulsion of the contaminants generated by people’s activities inside the home (CO2, odours or fumes) or emitted by the materials used (VOCs, damp, etc.).

CVM meets the minimum regulatory requirements, whilst DF CMV, in addition to indoor air renewal, also offers health benefits for people, such as air purification thanks to a filter system that improves its quality by removing dust, pollen and particles in suspension.

A key aspect is the protection provided against radon gas, which was not correctly addressed in the regulations; in this sense, the recent update of the Spanish Technical Building Code (CTE in its Spanish initials) prescribes CMV in its HS6 Base Document.

Other health benefits include the enhanced thermal and acoustic comfort levels DF CMV offers over natural ventilation and the basic CMV system.

“The regulations on building ventilation must go much further. We are talking about people’s health”

Experts have stressed that it contributes to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in buildings, where infection rates are highest…

Scientists and organisations around the world are continuing to research the possible causes for the spread of the virus. At the moment, the general opinion amongst the scientific community is that effective ventilation will reduce the spread of the virus and the risk of infection. Here at Siber, we are convinced that the right ventilation – natural, mechanical, or a combination of both – helps to reduce infection.

Used DF CMV filters

How have the recent modifications to the Spanish Technical Building Code affected building ventilation?  

The Spanish Technical Building Code, which regulates building ventilation, stipulates the minimum requirements to guarantee health standards in homes. As experts in ventilation solutions with more than 15 years’ experience in design, planning, installation and meeting users’ needs, with thousands of facilities successfully installed, we can safely say that it includes only the minimum requirements. This is a question of people’s health and therefore we should and can do much more.

There are two Basic Health Documents (HS3 and HS6) that intervene directly in the question of building ventilation. This issue is also addressed in the Basic Energy Documents, which stipulate the energy requirements for Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings. In both cases, the regulations fall far short of expectations. This is precisely the reason behind the launch and market success of certificates such as Passivhaus, BREAM and WELL, as well as specific methodologies like House Habitat’s bio-passive homes and 100x100madera.

“House Habitat bio-passive homes stand out for their high level of health and confort”

What do Siber’s systems contribute to House Habitat’s bio-passive homes?

After so many years of cooperation and projects based on a philosophy of mutual learning, stemming from our shared commitment to ongoing improvements in order to create better homes for people, I feel confident enough to say that Siber’s DF CMV systems are part of the success behind House Habitat and 100x100madera’s bio-passive homes. These constructions stand out from the rest of the market due to issues that are seemingly simple but often all too rare, such as optimum levels of health and comfort combined with energy savings and care for the environment.

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