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Technical meeting on room-sealed fireplaces

Connecting fireplaces to balanced flue chimneys is a hot topic in the industry. The aim of the EFA technical meeting, which was hosted by Raab in Luckenau near Zeitz in eastern Germany on 3 July 2018, was to discuss possible solutions and avoid common problems. The ‘room-sealed’ element of these solutions was a key aspect in the discussion.

The event panel was made up of industry experts. Professor Dr-Ing. Jens Bolsius from the Dresden University of Applied Sciences presented the latest from the world of research. Other technical experts on the panel included Michael Erlhof and Markus Schlichter, both from the Bundesverband des Schornsteinfegerhandwerks (Federal Association of Chimney Sweepers), and Dirk Rolle from the Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik (German Institute of Building Technology). The important field of software-based chimney calculation was represented by Matthias Greiner from Hottgenroth Software. Dennis Droll from the Rhein-Ruhr Feuerstätten Prüfstelle (Rhine-Ruhr Fireplaces Inspection Authority) represented the views of inspection authorities.

Dr Heinrich Göddeke, Managing Director of EFA and a recognised expert on chimney and combustion technology, moderated the discussion, which was at time divisive. The most important result achieved was the drafting of a joint statement on this topic, providing legal and technical clarification on the current situation. The association is working with participants to draft an up-to-date revision of the model ordinance on heating and firing.

Another key topic was the use of fireplaces in front of highly insulated walls. There is currently still some ambiguity on this issue, but that should be resolved with the revisions to the Model Administration Framework: Technical Building Regulations (MVV TB). The meeting participants prompted a revision of the way the regulations are formulated. Briefings were also given on the imminent passing of the Building Energy Act, on the compulsory measurement of fireplaces in accordance with the Sweeping and Inspection Ordinance currently being developed (KÜO), and on the discussion regarding amendments to the Federal Control of Pollution Act (BImSchV).

Participants in the audience responded positively to the EFA technical meeting. In particular, attendees appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues and to access the latest information about industry-relevant changes experienced by the association’s members. The subjects discussed at the meeting are bound to come up again at the European Fireplaces Association’s autumn conference, which takes place in Graz, Austria, on 7–8 November. As was the case at the technical meeting, non-members are welcome to attend the autumn conference.

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