Air Handling Units
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updateEnvironmental Health officers are working with Planning Officers to support large retailers in their efforts to respond to COVID-19. Where deliveries need to be made outside of permitted hours we will liaise with any residents affected and work closely with these retailors to keep noise to a minimum and follow best practice for delivery management processes.
Increasingly, air handling plant is being installed in pubs, clubs, offices and medical treatment facilities in order to provide controlled heating and comfort conditions within these buildings. Ventilation parameters such as temperature, humidity, rate of air exchange, air filtration and distribution can all be controlled (even remotely by telemetry). By recirculating air flows and mixing in some fresh air these conditions can be achieved economically.
The interior room spaces can be isolated from external noise, dust and fumes.
The potential downside to this technology is that often the bulky and noisy plant and equipment such as fans, condensers and ductwork is installed outside buildings frequently on flat roofs at the rear. Therefore any residents overlooking this plant, which may operate into the evening or through the night could experience sleep disturbance due to low frequency or mid frequency drones/whines, clatter and possibly structure borne vibration.
These installations will usually be installed as part of major redevelopment and will be subject to planning control. Through this process the developer will most likely be required to make predictions of the noise emissions and stringent planning conditions are likely to be applied to prevent any undue disturbance to residents.
Once installed, air handling equipment needs to be properly serviced to ensure there is no increase in noise or vibration due to its deteriorating condition.
Modern air handling plant operates in conjunction with sealed systems for cooling unlike open cooling tower set ups. Therefore legionella are unlikely to thrive in such systems.
Ordinary extract ventilation e.g. from restaurant/cafe kitchens and mechanically ventilated toilets/lobbies may give rise to noise or odour complaints.
Please visit our pages on reporting noise or smells and odours if you have any complaints. Or if you intend to install any air handling plant or extract ventilation units and require further advice please contact us on 01424 451079.