Our programme of research delivers a major portfolio of reports and practical guides

Part F 2010 – where to start: an introduction for house builders and designers (NF37)


The 2010 edition of Approved Document F sets out the various strategies that should ensure good ventilation, taking into account the level of airtightness.

This publication is an introductory guide to help designers and housebuilders to comply with Part F 2010. It explains the key terminology, gives a broad understanding of the changes introduced in Part F 2010 and provides worked examples of solutions for a range of common house and apartment types. The guide also sets out requirements for installation and commissioning.

Summary of content

This guide is intended to help house builders and designers understand what the October 2010 changes to Approved Document F (Ventilation) (ADF) mean.  The latest ADF has been updated to take account of the recent increase in the as-built airtightness of buildings.  With Approved Document L1A (ADL1A) 2010 of the building regulations pushing for even lower levels of air permeability, it is important that correct provision is made to allow for controlled ventilation of our living spaces.  The changes have also placed a responsibility on the house builder to ensure that mechanical ventilation systems are installed correctly, and where they can be, they are tested and commissioned, and sufficient information on their operation and maintenance is given to occupiers.

As in the previous versions of ADF, its focus is the provision of ventilation for providing fresh air for health and well being, control of odour, airborne pollutants and excess humidity.  It does not cover the additional ventilation which may be required to control overheating in homes, this is addressed in ADL1A of the Building Regulations.

This guide gives examples of some typical homes, outlining a combination of measures needed to comply with ADF 2010.  The intention is to give a broad understanding of the approaches available for complying with the revised regulations and the practical changes this will entail.

The examples used are based on typical homes on typical developments, from information gathered by NHBC about the homes being built today.  The examples are similar to those used in the Part L 2010 – where to start guide with the addition of a single aspect apartment which has its own specific requirements for compliance.

This is only a general guide and there is no obligation to adopt any of the specific solutions detailed. You should always check with the Building Control Body (BCB) that your proposals comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations. You will also need to comply with Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide (DVCG) 2010, NHBC Standards and planning requirements etc.