Vent-Axia provides ventilation to floating home

Leading British manufacturer, Vent-Axia, is delighted to have supplied ventilation to a ‘Floating Home’ in Chichester, West Sussex. Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Sentinel Kinetic BH Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit is providing energy efficient and effective ventilation to this innovative and exciting project, which promises to offer a new way of living.

With a housing shortage in the UK and an increase in building on flood plains, or land at risk of flooding, the Floating Home offers an exciting housebuilding solution. Inspired by canal living and designed by Baca Architects, the ‘Chichester’ prototype model was built by Floating Homes Limited and is not a houseboat but a house that floats. Situated on a residential mooring on a disused canal which runs alongside Chichester Marina in West Sussex, the Floating Home was built in two separate parts, the floating foundations and the modular superstructure and then assembled on the canal. The whole build took four months to complete and fit out, including installation of Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic BH MVHR Unit and other building services.

Essentially the home was built in the same way as one on land but the foundations float. However, given the close proximity to water there was potential for more humidity than a land-based home, as well as the potential for reflections of the sun to enhance solar gain. Both these factors were considerations when specifying the Sentinel Kinetic BH MHVR unit.

The pioneering Sentinel Kinetic BH MVHR Unit is designed specifically for new build and low-permeability properties. A whole-house, multi-room ducted solution, this MVHR system combines supply and extract ventilation in one unit. Warm, moist air is extracted from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting and passed through the heat exchanger before being exhausted to the outside. Fresh incoming air is filtered and then preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers an average of 90% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted. With comfort key for occupants the system also features a ‘summer bypass’, for passive cooling when conditions allow and an integral humidity sensor for intelligent air quality control, both which were vital in the Floating Home.

Built Environment Technology Ltd designed and commissioned the ventilation system for the project. Richard Porteous, Senior Projects Manager at Built Environment Technology Ltd explains: “Due to the very low permeability of the home’s envelope mechanical ventilation was essential. The Sentinel Kinetic BH MVHR Unit had the right eco-credentials for the project, plus it is very compact and features an integral humidity sensor and summer bypass, which were important for the Floating Home.”

 “Having lived in and visited houseboats that did not have MVHR it was clear that this technology was essential for the air quality and sustainability of our floating homes. We also specified Vent-Axia for its reputation, Vent-Axia has been at the forefront of ventilation for over 80 years, and is a British manufacturer of high repute. Of course they fit the Floating Homes ethos!,” explains Mark Junak from Floating Homes.

 Recognised in SAP PCDB, this lightweight and very compact MVHR unit is simple to install with a horizontal duct option for space-saving installations. It can be mounted vertically in a roof space or on a suitable wall and it has been specifically manufactured to fit in a standard 600m Kitchen cabinet, if necessary.  Ducting can be attached to the unit horizontally, vertically or both and, with left and right-handed versions available, the installation options are almost limitless.

An integrated digital controller provides simple and accurate commissioning as well as important end-user information such as filter-maintenance reminders and the summer bypass trigger temperature. If the unit is not immediately accessible, a remotely-wired version of the digital controller can also be positioned anywhere within 15m of the Unit, for easy viewing. The integral humidity sensor increases airflow in proportion to relative humidity levels, thus saving energy and ensuring that air quality is consistently high and the Sentinel Kinetic BH MVHR unit can also interact with a number of external sensors, including PIR movement, CO2 and ambient temperature.

For further information on the Sentinel Kinetic BH MVHR Unit and all other products and services offered by Vent-Axia, telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit

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