So your Building Inspector has called the client, and the client has called you. Where’s the Part F Commissioning Notice? Did you do an airflow test? Have you completed the certificate and the form?
Flow Rate tests, also known as Part F tests, PEATA Certificates and Airflow Tests, have been a requirement of the Building Regs since 2010. Building Inspectors are increasingly enforcing this requirement, and insisting on Commissioning Notices and Flow Rate tests. Usually the tests are performed by electricians or building compliance professionals, using specially-calibrated equipment such as a vane anemometer. They’re usually PEATA members – PEATA provides full training on how to perform Flow Rate tests We also provide software to create PEATA Certificates and Commissioning Notices, and offer free hire of the equipment needed.
So what exactly is a Flow Rate test?
A Flow Rate test measures the volume of air being extracted through fans in the building. They’re typically done on bathroom extractor fans and cooker hoods, as well as whole-house ventilation systems.
Can’t I just rely on the fan rating quoted by the manufacturer?
Sadly not. The manufacturers test their fans under ideal laboratory conditions. Once the fan is installed on site, performance often drops dramatically. Our real-world tests have shown that even fans from major manufacturers don’t always pass Flow Rate tests, even in common installation scenarios.
So how do I get a Flow Rate test for the Building Inspector?
You can either contact one of our registered testers, or join PEATA and do the test yourself. If you’re only likely to do one test – perhaps you’re a self-builder or DIY enthusiast – then you should probably contact one of our registered testers. Likewise, if you’re a busy contractor or developer then it probably makes sense to contract this out. If you’re an electrician, building compliance professional, or someone else who installs extraction fans regularly, then you should probably join PEATA and do the test yourself. Our online course provides full training and takes only a couple of hours to complete – we’ll even loan you the kit you need to do your first test – for free!