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Alex Tonge, Director

Thanks for taking the time out to visit our latest blog.

Our recent blogs have been educationally focused and if you haven’t given them a read yet, please do so!

With that in mind, in this edition of our blog we wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with an update on one of our ongoing Ventilation Solutions projects to demonstrate our services with a worked example on how we take the theory of ventilation design and make it a (successful) and compliant reality for our clients.

We aim to support our clients every step of the way, overseeing the whole process from initial advice and design to handover, ensuring they have an optimal ventilation solution.

Initial Engagement

Our ethos is to treat the client as we would want to be treated.

Architectural Drawings Of Elevations

When we were approached by our client, the first step was to fully understand their requirements.

Ecotest’s approach is personable and we always want to provide assurance to our clients that we will provide them with a with a ventilation system that fits their needs. We also won’t try to oversell MVHR if it simply isn’t feasible (e.g. if it is not possible to run the ducting in an efficient manner, or it is not possible to locate a unit and allow space for maintenance, etc.)! Our ethos is to treat the client as we would want to be treated and we would rather specify another solution such as continuous mechanical extract ventilation. Whatever the outcome our aim is to fulfill their requirements and ensure compliance with Approved Document F.

In this instance MVHR was applicable and the next step was to follow up our initial conversations with a site visit and a survey. This isn’t always required, however, in this instance the build was already well underway, so we needed to act fast to identify any deviations from the technical drawings… as we all know sometimes details can change out on site to suit client preferences.


We believe that all optimal Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems start with an effective and compliant design.

Ecotest Limited MVHR Ventilation Design
Ecotest Limited MVHR Ventilation Design 2
Ecotest Limited MVHR Ventilation Design 3
Ecotest Limited MVHR Ventilation Design 3

Following our instruction it was time for our designers to work their magic!

Using a combination of the technical drawings and the on site survey findings the ventilation flow rates were calculated and a preliminary design was drafted.

Following the completion of the draft another on site meeting was scheduled where we reviewed the preliminary design with the contractor and completed a floor walk to identify if any amendments were required to the design.

This was a worthwhile review, because a couple of amendments to duct runs were indeed required. An alteration to the detail of the WC ceiling and the orientation of the first floor wardrobe/en-suite had been requested by the client. We also chose to amend the routing of the atmospheric ducts in order to be considerate of other plant installations within the plant room. However, it is best practice to install your MVHR ducting before other utilities and trades, because replicating the design is critical to the performance of the system. In most cases wiring and plumbing is much more flexible!

After completing the necessary amendments, we approved the design and generated an accurate bill of material (BOM). An accurate BOM is essential to ensure the on site installers have everything they need to accurately replicate the system design and minimise waste.


Delivering the bill of material to site in line with an agreed schedule.

Ecotest pride ourselves on making life easy out on site, we personally deliver in line with the construction schedule and give you what is needed at the right time.

What do we mean by this?

We know that logistics, deliveries and storage can be a nightmare on site. Components can be lost, damaged or worse stolen!

So to make the clients life easier, we break down the system at our premises after receiving deliveries from the manufacturer into appropriate kit sets. Allowing us to deliver what you need and when you need it.

Here you can see the first fix kit set for the project, ready for installation and importantly protected from dust contamination. The eagle eyed may notice that we have held the MVHR unit back at this stage, but utilised a template to assist with installation until the unit was required on site.

On this project our preferred subcontractor completed the installation. However, in the case of other projects that would be a self-installation this is when we would host our ‘toolbox talk’ with the installer to ensure they are fully prepared to complete a compliant installation.

Ecotest 1st Fix Kit Set Protecting Against Dust

First Fix Installation

The devils in the detail… or rather… the design and install!

Next its all about matching the quality and integrity of the design with the install! The ducting and overall system installation must reflect the design. This is incredibly important and we can’t stress how necessary it is to ensure that when it comes to commissioning the system, it is possible to achieve the flow rates at each terminal.

Ideally ventilation ducting should be the first utility to be installed, to mitigate the chances of obstructions from other trades. We’re not sure that Plumbers and Electricians will thank us for this, however, they can be more flexible with their routing than we can! Although, that’s not to say that necessary changes or improvements can’t happen on site, but in cases where slight changes are required, they must be highlighted, reviewed by the designer, approved as an amendment to the design – before they are installed!

When installing the first fix it is really important that the installation engineer is a competent person and they follow best practices. To support installation Ecotest provide the necessary guides and on site instruction required to ensure a compliant install.

During the installation process we are available to answer questions and provide support to the installer if they require it.

Following the completion of the first fix install an Ecotest representative will visit site to sign off the installation against the design. As part of this visit it’s important that the installation engineer is present in case any remedial works are required to the install. All being well there will be no or very little remedial actions to be taken.

The Ecotest representative will then issue our ‘First Fix Sign Off Report’ to the relevant involved parties such as the client, contractor and installation engineer. We do this to document the installation at this point in time, before it is encapsulated within the building fabric.

What’s next for the project and in our process?

Next up will be second fix, then commissioning and final handover. We‘ll make sure to post updates as the project progresses.

Published On: June 30th, 2023Comments Off on Delivering the Design from Concept to First Fix (MVHR)Categories: Ventilation Solutions