New EN standards for thermal outputs from ceiling panels: what do we need to know?

A revised EN standard, EN 14037-5, was introduced last November with the aim of changing how thermal output is measured for closed ceiling panels (also known as grids or lay-ins).  This standard is important because thermal output data is publicised by manufacturers as a primary indicator of product performance and also influences buying decisions. However, it has become evident that this new standard is not always being honoured, and sometimes results from old standards are being compared with those from the new, meaning that buying decisions are being made based on inaccurate comparisons.

The new standard, which was developed by the EMCP (European Manufacturers of Ceiling Panels), measures thermal output in units of W/m². The previous standard, EN 14037-2 (introduced in February 2003) measures output as W/m.

With EN 14037-5, the active surface is determined by calculating active length multiplied by active width. The active length takes into consideration the pipes and heat exchanger strip, whichever is longer. The active width is derived by multiplying the number of pipes by the spacing between each of the pipes. This differs from EN 14037-2, as for each panel there is a specific heat output in W/m, based on the dimensions of the ceiling panel.

It is vital that specifiers are aware of the new EN standard, as they – along with manufacturers – are responsible for adhering to it. In turn, all manufacturers should comply with the new standard when making public claims about the thermal outputs of their ceiling panels to ensure that specifiers are presented with fair and accurate comparisons, enabling them to make decisions based on data which is up to date and aligned. Adopting the new standard will help ensure a building achieves its thermal design conditions.


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