From 2025, the UK is looking to introduce regulations that will drastically improve the efficiency of new homes, claiming up to 80% fewer carbon emissions over that of what we currently mandate. This will be done largely by improving insulative properties with higher quality insulation, triple glazed airtight windows and underfloor heating. This all sounds great, but it also poses a problem—if air can't get in, air can't get out. Current homes are, comparatively, fairly drafty, and naturally allow air in and out, which means we've never had to deal with this issue before.
What's the solution?
There are two main aims:
1. Gas boilers in new homes would be banned, with heat pumps becoming the standard (this doesn't mean you have to get rid of your current boiler; it's only if you're building a new home)
2. MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) systems would become obligatory
We're going to focus on no.2, as that's really what this blog is about. MVHR systems provide fresh, filtered air into a home. The air is extracted externally and cycled through a heat exchanger to prevent cold air being circulated into a warm home and vice versa. In most homes at the moment this isn't necessary, but if/when these regulations come into effect, it'll need to be in place to prevent you breathing in cleaning products, fumes from cooking and obviously your own CO₂.
How does this relate to Posi-Joists?
MVHR systems require a complex system of pipes and tubes to be routed through the flooring and walls of homes to access external points of fresh air. Yes, this could most likely be fitted to an already existing property with solid joists, but the labour costs would be substantial considering the amount of holes you'd have to drill through the timber to route all those pipes. Therefore, Posi-Joists with their open-webbed design work out as the more cost-effective solution. Not only does this allow you to have a MVHR system fitted at a later date with reduced labour costs, but if you're building a new home, makes a lot of sense to do at the same time before you start sticking floorboards and carpets down. Below is an example of how the system routes easily through the open design of the joists.
What should you do?
If you're building a home whilst reading this, the chances are you've already considered the above and (we hope) opted for some lovely posi-joists from us. But, if you're not quite at that stage yet and perhaps in the 'thinking stage', this blog should convince you that the marginally increased upfront cost of an engineered joist is worth it in the long run and will future-proof your investment.