Pete ‘Monty’ Monfort blows the cobwebs away as he tries out Blauberg’s two-day BPEC Domestic Ventilation Installer training course.
Gone are the days when tradesmen could be pigeon-holed into one set of very specific skills. The interaction of the various aspects of building regulations requires electricians to have a broad knowledge of all trades.
With the addition of Appendix 17 to BS 7671 requiring electricians to consider energy consumption, the topic of heat recovery in domestic properties is an important one. So, I was excited to attend this course – despite wondering what could possibly fill two days of training!
Blauberg sent me their training manual well in advance of the course, with clear joining instructions. This was incredibly useful; it allowed me to cover the course content in my own time – and yes, there is a lot to cover!
The course was held at Blauberg’s specialist training centre in Leicester, which was easy to find, had ample parking and was close to several suitable hotels.
Blauberg has a fantastic teaching venue. It’s clean and modern, with examples of all the key ventilation systems. There are cutaways that allow trainees to see exactly how the equipment works, as well as fully operational type 4 MVHR for practical training.
The instructor, Rob Holton, was clearly passionate and very knowledgeable on the topic of ventilation. His relaxed and humorous approach meant he was able to handle a mix of expertise presented by our group, which consisted of four tradesmen, an electrician, a builder, a gas engineer and a heating specialist. The mix of trades made for some very interesting discussions!
The course covered installation, inspection, testing and commissioning of Domestic Ventilation Systems for both new and existing buildings. Also, the issue of supply ventilation was really driven home. I had never previously appreciated how, since modern homes are so air tight, the installation of a fan can be rendered useless. There needs to be proper consideration for airflow into a property, as it is akin to sucking air through a straw from a sealed box.
After lunch on the second day, we sat a multiple choice examination. It was closed-book, which made it quite challenging! Following the exam, we undertook a full commission and test of a MVHR system. It was straightforward but it required significant patience. The process was made easier by utilising a laptop display to make all the adjustments to the mechanical ventilation system.
Overall, I found the course exceptional, and would absolutely recommend it to other sparks. I came away with a long list of improvements to phase into my own contracting work, and there’s no doubt my students at Arena Training Centre will learn from my experiences too.