Raising awareness of new EN standards for thermal outputs from ceiling panels

Christian Schweyer, Technical & Sales Support forHeating and Cooling Ceiling Systems at Zehnder Group, discusses the new EN 14037-5 standard and why it’s vital that specifiers adhere to it. 

Our industry is constantly adapting to updates, tweaks and additions to regulations and standards which are re-visited regularly in order to keep up with changing factors and legislation.  In our business, we deal with equipment, technology and systems which have a direct link to the comfort and safety of people occupying and frequenting buildings, so it’s vital that any standard brought in is researched, understood and adhered to. 

Asides from the safety implications, standards also provide consistency and uniformity to an industry where many manufacturers are competing to deliver products and services to clients. Making sure we all test, measure and accurately present what we offer to the same criteria makes it easier and fairer for everybody involved. 

A revised  EN standard, EN 14037-5, was introduced last November, aiming to change how thermal output is measured for closed ceiling panels (also known as grids or lay-ins). Developed by the EMCP (European Manufacturers of Ceiling Panels) thermal output is measured in units of W/m². The standard was preceded by EN 14037-2, which was introduced in February 2003, which measures output as W/m.

With reference to EN 14037-5, the active surface is determined by calculating active length multiplied by active width. The active length takes into consideration the pipes and heat exchanger strip – whichever is longer. The active width is derived by multiplying the number of pipes by the spacing between each of the pipes. This differs from EN 14037-2, as for each panel there is a specific heat output in W/m, based on the dimensions of the ceiling panel.This new standard is important because thermal output data is publicised by manufacturers as a primary indicator of product performance and also influences buying decisions. However, it has become evident that this new standard is not always being honoured, and that sometimes, results from old standards being compared with those from the new, meaning that buying decisions are being made based on inaccurate comparisons.

It’s vital that specifiers should be aware of the new EN standard, as they, along with manufacturers, are responsible for adhering to it.  In turn, all manufacturers should comply to the new standard when making public claims about the thermal outputs of their ceiling panels, to ensure that specifiers are being presented with fair and accurate comparisons, enabling them to make decisions based on data which is up to date and aligned. Adopting the appropriate standard will ensure a building will achieve its thermal design conditions and as soon as everyone starts adhering to the new standard, specifiers will be in a much better position to assess the options in front of them and make the best informed choices to suit their needs.


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