2003 Actuators and AOV Windows – Why Only Tested Products Should Be Installed Together – EN12101-2

Natural smoke ventilators such as opening windows or top-of-stair vents should always be manufactured in accordance with EN 12101-2 2003. This standard requires the complete unit to meet the specified test requirements. When we say ‘the complete unit’, we mean the actual opening sash of the window and the actuator (the mechanism that opens the window). It has long been a general practice of the industry to fit a tested actuator to a non-tested window and accept this as compliance, which is a worrying trend.

For a natural smoke ventilator to be certified to EN 12101-2 2003, each of the following criteria must be tested:

  • Determination of free area
  • Reliability test
  • Opening under load
  • Low ambient temperature test
  • Wind load test
  • Heat exposure test

Some of the above test criteria will vary greatly dependant on the configuration of the opening window; For example, the actuator may be able to open a distance of 900mm, but if this is installed to a window of 1M high x 2M wide instead of a window of 1M x 1M, then the forces for wind-load and potential snow -oad will be much greater on the larger window, which would more than likely effect the operating criteria of this vent.

The industry is slowly waking up to the fact that the complete unit must be certified as a whole, but nonetheless there are contractors who will fit an actuator to a non-tested window system,. Indeed, in some cases we have seen this practice adopted and the installing contractor present this to the client at commissioning stage as a variation that the contractor wishes to be signed off by the developer, even though the first time that they would have been aware of this is after they have (incorrectly) installed the equipment.

At LYFE. we do not manufacture these vents but we do supply certified units as part of our packaged systems, and we will only supply fully compliant and certified units to EN12101-2 2003, where such equipment exists.

It’s by leading the way with the supply of fully-compliant products that means we can deliver on our commitment of greater life protection at all times.