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Commercial buildings

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Fully expanding since the 50’s, the commercial market has little by little overtaken the agricultural and industrial markets. Nowadays France is ranked second worldwide regarding service exportation. The commercial market includes offices, hotels, business, public rooms and professional kitchens.

Common issues and constraints

Smoke exhaust constraint

In a commercial building, two of the major issues are the evacuation of users and an easy access to firemen in the event of fire.

Energetic efficiency

Energetic efficiency is measured through the criteria of the RT 2012, UBat or the HQE standards. It sets the energetic threshold of low consumption buildings, thus limiting the heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting costs.

Comfort and sanitary quality

It is necessary to compromise between hygiene and comfort in order to respect the legal rate of air renewal without bothering the occupants of the room.


In order to ensure proper working conditions to the people who are in the premises all day long, it is important that the noise level generated by the functioning of neighboring machines doesn’t bother them.

Several application areas


An office ventilation mainly answers issues of:

  • Hygiene
  • Comfort
  • Energetic costs

Shops, supermarkets, Commercial agencies

The notions of thermal comfort and architectural integration are part of the selling process.

Public rooms: Schools, public buildings, Universities, Airport, Pools, Stations

Public rooms are specifically regulated buildings for which fire safety is the main issue.


The main issue with kitchens comes from hygiene, hygro-thermal comfort and acoustic control.



Sanitary ventilation techniques

There are many sanitary ventilation strategies depending on the size of premises, their exposure to pollutant and the number of people working in it. We can distinguish 3 kind of ventilations : natural, double flow and adjustable airflow.

Smoke exhaust

Smoke exhaust processes follow the same setting regardless of the commercial building: low fresh air intake sometimes coupled with an extraction.

Energy savings

The RT 2012 brought innovations regarding energy consumption reductions, such as the heat exchanger or the reduction of pressure loss induced by the ventilation equipments.


Acoustic solutions are set in accordance with the kind of noise emitted, be it related to environment, dimension or equipment.

Download file


Neighboring noise, 2006-1099 decree of 31 august 2006

This decree describes the regulations that commercial buildings’ equipments are subject to when they are near an inhabited area. The maximum values for emerging sounds are 5dBA by day and 3dBA by night to which is added a corrective in db(A) that depends on the cumulated span of apparition.


Noise on the work place:

These decrees set the minimum security and health prescription regarding workers exposures to loud noises.


Daily noise exposure

Peak point

Level of application






2003/10/CE Directive


2006-892 decree

of 19 july 2006

2003/10/CE Directive


2006-892 decree

of 19 july 2006

Exposure limit values

87 dB(A)

87 dB(A)

200 Pa

140 dB(C)

Superior exposure values inducing measures

85 dB(A)

85 dB(A)

140 Pa

137 dB(C)

Inferior exposure values inducing measures

80 dB(A)

80 dB(A)

112 Pa

135 dB(C)



2003/10/CE Directive



2006-892 decree of 19 July 2006



Acoustic regulation in schools imposed by the NRA, concerning construction license dated after 1st January 1996.

Acoustic pressure levels generated by the building’s equipments that cannot be exceeded in premises:


  Equipments functioning





Libraries, Information and documentation centers, medical premises, rest rooms


33 dB (A)


38 dB (A)


Teaching premises, musical classrooms ; calm workshops, administration, dining room, general-purpose room


38 dB (A)


43 dB (A)




Insulation to equipments’ noises

For equipments’ noises, the required performances correspond to the maximum noise level that must not be exceeded in a reception premises (standardized acoustic pressure level):

  • Ventilation equipments (Set up at minimum airflow ) : 30 dB(A)
  • Sound proofing to outside noises: the front walls must attenuate outdoor noises by at least 30 db(A)


Thermal regulation

RT 2012

It describes the French objectives regarding the environment, by establishing energetic efficiency standards for buildings, through the integration of new ventilation systems, a valuation of the certification, an assessment of the energy consumption and a control of the quality of the installations.


Air flow regulation

Article 64.1 of the department sanitary regulation

Extract :

Premises designation

in m3/h per occupant (air at 2kg/m²)

Fresh air flow
Premises banning smoking

Teaching premises : classes, study rooms, laboratories (with the exception of those with specific pollution), kindergarten, primary schools and middle schools

Other establishment 18
Workshops 18
Accomodation facilities, collective rooms (or less than 3 people) dormitory, cells, restrooms 18
Meeting premises, such as meeting rooms, performances halls, cultural rooms, homes 18
Selling premises such as shops and supermarkets 22
Dining premises such as cafés, bars, restaurants, school dining halls,dining rooms 22
Premises used for sports :  
Per sportsman in a poolsportif dans une piscine 22
Per sportsman in other premises 25
Per spectactor 18


Art.64 of the sanitary department regulation

For premises where human presence is episodic (deposit, archives, circulations, entry halls...) and for premises where the layout doesn’t enables to be ventilated through adjacent premises, the nominal fresh airflow to induce is 0.1 liter per seconds and per m² or 0.36m3h/local


NF EN 13779 July 2007

This standard applies to the making of ventilation and air conditioning systems for non residential buildings subject to human occupation, except for applications such as industrial process. It also describes the minimum airflow in sanitary ventilation set at 18m3/h.


Fire safety

 14th February 2000 decree Article 28

It specifies the setting places for different types of ventilation (comfort or air exhaust) as well as the location of the fresh air intakes.



European regulation:

Technical instruction 246, modified by the 22 March 2004 decree concerning smoke exhaust processes in public rooms

It states that in a public room, stairways and common circulation areas must be cleared of smoke first and foremost.



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