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Viva Helps Wakefield’s Housing Go Green
Posted by: Richard Firth on: 9 February 2021
The government’s commitment to outlaw gas heating in new-build homes from 2025 is already having an impact on councils and housing associations across the country, with heat pumps in particular playing a big part in the delivery of low carbon alternatives to gas.
As heat pumps include F Gases, engineers must be F Gas Certified in order to install these appliances safely and within the law.
We’ve recently trained a handful of gas engineers from WDH (Wakefield and District Housing), a social housing landlord and homebuilder responsible for a large number of properties in its area.
A small proportion of WDH’s properties are already fitted with ground or air source heat pumps and, with government legislation in mind, its likely this number will increase dramatically over the next five years.
WDH was founded in 2006 with the purchase of 30,000 properties from Wakefield Council. As well as bringing these homes up to standard, they’ve also invested substantially in building or buying 1,500 new homes, some of which fall under the Affordable Housing Programme.
The company is one of the largest employers in the Wakefield area, with over 1,400 people on its payroll.
F Gas Certification is a legal requirement for refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) engineers working with Fluorinated Gases. To maintain certification, F Gas qualifications need to be renewed every three years.
WDH’s Gas Operations Manager, Gary Jones, who manages a team of 70 gas engineers, called for volunteers to take the F Gas training and was overwhelmed with the response. He chose four candidates to complete the course and has been very pleased with the results.
“When I rang and spoke to Richard Firth at Viva Training Academy, I was impressed by his professionalism and the guys who took the week-long course felt the training was delivered very effectively,” said Gary.
“In the short-term, these guys will buddy up with others in the team to share their knowledge, but I’m keen to sign more installers up to complete the F Gas qualification over the months to come.”
“The domestic heating landscape is changing and it’s important that we train our staff for the future.”
The F gas course we offer at Viva Training Academy is a certified qualification from LCL Awards and covers F Gas Categories 1-4. Over five days we tackle both theory and practical elements relating to the installation, maintenance and decommissioning of equipment.
The course focuses on the safe-working practices, refrigerant recovery and the checking and prevention of F Gas leakage, touching upon the cause and effect of global warming and importance of the new F Gas regulations. On completion of the qualification, certification can be sought by one of the F gas certification bodies.
Richard Firth, director of Viva Training Academy believes the course is second to none in preparing a new generation of engineers to handle the latest technologies:
“The move towards renewable technologies is exciting and gas installers are well-placed to upskill into this area. Safety is key, however, and as F Gases are potentially hazardous they need to be handled with care, particularly as some of the newer, more environmentally friendly versions of these refrigerants are highly flammable.
“We are proud to deliver the LCL Awards F Gas qualification, which covers all the main F Gases and is currently the only higher Level 3 qualification available in the UK.
“It’s great to be working with WDH, helping its installers contribute to greener housing in Wakefield.”