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Old 07.05.2021, 10:05
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New apartment ventilation - building code

Hi guys,

I live in a new building, 4 stories high, commissioned a few years back in canton Zug. Our apartment is on the 3rd and there are two ventilation issues:

- range hood is only recirculating (no exhaust piping, simply blows the hot air onto the ceiling), while the kitchen is an open space with the dining and living area. At the same time, the neighbors apartments below have proper ventilation pipework in the same spot, the cooking smoke goes to an exhaust.
Is this a violation of building code, is it possible the builders "forgot" to hook it up?

- The only visible ventilation outlets are the fans in the bathroom and laundry room ... and somehow whenever the neighbor next to or below me cook something the smell ends up in my hallway.

I am pretty sure something is fundamentally wrong with this setup, maybe not by design but by implementation. The agency is generally not helpful with queries. I would bring this issue up would be great to reference some construction standards.

Cheers!
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Old 07.05.2021, 10:46
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

I guess it is this one:
https://www.sia.ch/de/dienstleistung...gen-revidiert/
you have to buy it, we don't have it in (our architecture office) as ventilation is always part of separate plans.
Just a few thoughts:
- recirculating hood is a valid product, people decide for it for esthetic or technical reasons

- how is your recirculating hood connected with the cooking smells of your neighbor? I don't understand your train of thoughts, sorry
- an air draft in hallway/staircase can cause that air will move out of the apartment
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Old 07.05.2021, 10:48
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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I am pretty sure something is fundamentally wrong with this setup, maybe not by design but by implementation. The agency is generally not helpful with queries. I would bring this issue up would be great to reference some construction standards.

Cheers!
If it's a rental - ask the landlord if he can send you a pdf of your floor of the building plans - specifcally the plan which shows services.

You'll be able then to see whether it's by design or an error.
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Old 07.05.2021, 11:48
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

Thank you very much!

From a practical perspective, as the range is mounted against a wall, the recirculation model only has drawbacks:
- the exhaust on top create a difference in pressure around it, so the cooking vapors are also drawn around the hood and into the open space - it fails to completely remove or filter the hot air. Maybe there are models engineered smarter specifically for recirculation, with diffusers, etc ... All the apartments have the same V-zug model, but the pipe goes into a wall duct for the neighbors, whereas ours simply blows up.
- The filters work to an extent, but I still find myself scrubbing fatty dust of the ceiling and cabinet tops every week.

If the range would be on a kitchen island with pipework remaining visible, fair enough - there are aesthetic considerations.
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Old 07.05.2021, 13:23
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

Sometimes there is a setting on the inside of the fan (depends on the model) which needs to be switched to the correct position to function correctly to match the ventilation situation. So if your model is available with both options, this is worth checking.

I have had both types of systems and it does help with the recirculating type to open a window.

As you rent I would contact the manager / owner and have them look at it. It does seem a bit odd to me for the builder to opt for different ventilation systems for the kitchens. Are you sure your kitchen exhaust isn't meant to go outside? Perhaps the layout/location of your kitchen didn't allow for this.

You might also want to check if any other units like yours, if there are any, have the same issue.
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Last edited by Mrs. Doolittle; 07.05.2021 at 13:44.
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Old 07.05.2021, 13:25
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

Do you own or rent?

Tom
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Old 07.05.2021, 13:47
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

If your bathroom extractor ventilation is on all the time it will need to draw in air from somewhere and this can draw in smells from other apartments. I have mine closed most of the time otherwise it draws in cigarette smoke either from the stairwell or from the ventilation outlet on the roof which is next to the bathroom window. Swiss building standards don't seem to be up to much.
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Old 07.05.2021, 16:04
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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.....Swiss building standards don't seem to be up to much.
Not again this building standard take into account average situation and they concentrate most on safety. Luckily they don't care for every whim of every single snowflake, otherwise already long process will be 5x longer and housing prohibitively expensive.
In general, Swiss are slightly traditional, and they do not jump into unknown, similar is with their building code, but they (the code) is still quite solid.
If I paraphrase:"Buildings are not bad, you are too poor." I have a favorite story, how a group of engineers were simulating heating for a private house of a very reach man here in Switzerland. That guy didn't want to have any feeling of air draft when sitting in front of huge, two floor high windows. Team spend few weeks and small computer farm, but they managed to find the right distribution of heating bodies.
btw, for your cigarette smoke: just find another source for air to come in.
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Old 07.05.2021, 16:18
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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Not again this building standard take into account average situation and they concentrate most on safety. Luckily they don't care for every whim of every single snowflake, otherwise already long process will be 5x longer and housing prohibitively expensive.
In general, Swiss are slightly traditional, and they do not jump into unknown, similar is with their building code, but they (the code) is still quite solid.

In my (limited) experience, there's nothing wrong with the standards but sometimes the implementation leaves a bit to be desired.

When paying a small fortune to have a place built, I don't expect to have to explain to the architect why he is wrong, nor do I feel I should explain to the builders where they have screwed up - especially when they deny there are any problems.
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Old 07.05.2021, 16:53
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

I am renting, with an agency terrible at communication. :-)
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Old 07.05.2021, 17:00
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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In my (limited) experience, there's nothing wrong with the standards but sometimes the implementation leaves a bit to be desired.

When paying a small fortune to have a place built, I don't expect to have to explain to the architect why he is wrong, nor do I feel I should explain to the builders where they have screwed up - especially when they deny there are any problems.
Architects know diddly shit about a building's engineering and they couldn't care less. For them, like a fashion designer, it's all about esthetics.
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Old 07.05.2021, 17:37
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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Architects know diddly shit about a building's engineering and they couldn't care less. For them, like a fashion designer, it's all about esthetics.
eh boring, at least call us "too gay to be builders" or "too stupid to be engineers"
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Old 07.05.2021, 18:37
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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Architects know diddly shit about a building's engineering and they couldn't care less. For them, like a fashion designer, it's all about esthetics.
While that might be true of some architects it certainly isn't true for them all. Be careful when making such sweeping generalisations.

#1 son (an architect in Geneva) made a point of doing extra studies to understand exactly how a building is put together, what is required to make it function as a living/work space, and perhaps most importantly, how to ensure it will not fall down!
It's the reason he's highly regarded by his work colleagues, and respected by the trades he has contact with; he knows what he's asking of them.
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Old 07.05.2021, 21:38
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

If your house is built to minergie or similar standards and has household ventilation then this is why the fan in the kitchen is recirculating. Kitchen hob extractor fans are extremely powerful and eject lots of lovely warm air outside along with your cooking smells. Your recirculating fan should be directed to exit the fumes near/close to a household ventilation extractor (usually in the ceiling) which will then take your fumes, and the hot air holding them, through a heat exchanger before ejecting them outside.

Yes it is less efficient in terms of smell extraction than a venting to the exterior, but generally works fine and additionally saves you money by not extracting your heated interior air straight to the outside.

Edit just read other flats in your block have a extracting ventilation unit in the kitchen ceiling and yours does not - that would be a mistake then!

Last edited by ecb; 07.05.2021 at 21:49.
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Old 07.05.2021, 22:20
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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.... that would be a mistake then!
I would like to write: "it can be also on purpose" but i am afraid robBob will get a heart attack.
Because, some people (or even worse, their architects) don't want to have a fuglly monstrous air "extractor" in their kitchen/living room and they go for some minimalistic over-designed thing, because of "aesthetic" reasons that doesn't move air into the shafts. You know, like in "form doesn't follow function"

Some people don't cook, some people cook fish, tripe and sauerkraut, some smoke, some burn candles, some shower and some don't. The problem is, people are usually not according to the building code and their ideas even less.


btw, for Minergie standard there is more than one option for kitchen hood:
- Circulating air extractor.
- Combination of extractor hood with ventilation.
- Exhaust air extractor with replacement air flow through a monitored or automatic window.
- Exhaust air extractor with post-flow of substitute air via special outside air outlets.


The mystery of strange kitchen hood (of OP) can be only solved with a helpful apartment owner.
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Old 08.05.2021, 07:08
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

Minergie is for the birds. Marketing hype.
Best ventilation method is still opening a window.
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Old 08.05.2021, 13:06
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

Somewhere on the Internet there is an online shop for Swiss apartment building plans. Almost all architects purchase their plans from that same shop. That is the reason why at a certain time period all buildings have the same cloned look. Perhaps you can purchase the plans for your building from there.
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Old 08.05.2021, 15:05
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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Somewhere on the Internet there is an online shop for Swiss apartment building plans. Almost all architects purchase their plans from that same shop. That is the reason why at a certain time period all buildings have the same cloned look. Perhaps you can purchase the plans for your building from there.
Behold the moment when the conspiracy theorist (?or are they just intellectual terrorists?) entered the field of architecture. I will keep your statement for architectural horror bed time story.


There are many free and paid sources of building plans. Big part of personal development of any architect is to study them, analyse what is good and what is not. Similar to any other human activity, we learn from people before, whether it is about eating a plant or sending a rocket to the Mars.



As it seems some of you don't know that, in many Swiss cantons you don't need an architect to build a house.
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Old 08.05.2021, 15:50
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

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Behold the moment when the conspiracy theorist (?or are they just intellectual terrorists?) entered the field of architecture. I will keep your statement for architectural horror bed time story.
It was quite funny though.
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Old 08.05.2021, 22:56
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Re: New apartment ventilation - building code

…if is new apartment block, then somewhere you should have vent boost switch which will take your air flow from 60l/min to 120l/min...also if you cooking a lot change every 6 months at least, the two charcoal filters on hood, will help keep grease out of ceiling...
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