Caerphilly-based Nuaire, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of energy efficient ventilation systems, has won two awards for innovation and creativity in manufacturing at the Made in Wales Awards 2012.
At a glitzy award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Huw Edwards at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff, Nuaire scooped the Manufacturing Innovation Award and the Creative Design Award in recognition for its efforts to redevelop its residential portfolio to match increasingly strict housing regulations.
The awards, held annually by the Wales Business Insider, celebrate the best in manufacturing, design and product development in Wales while showcasing the highest calibre of the sector. Winners were chosen by a panel of ten industrialists and experts, who examined more than 75 entries across nine categories.
The judges were particularly impressed with Nuaire’s new range of quieter and more energy-efficient mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems for homes, and commented that the product range demonstrated “good forward planning” and “innovation driven by strategic thinking.”
Mark Huxtable, managing director at Nuaire, said: “As stricter regulations are applied to new-build homes there has been a move away from traditional ‘extractor fans’ in bathroom and kitchens to more energy efficient methods of ventilation, such as ‘Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery’ (MVHR).
“To continue to keep our range as up-to-date and innovative as possible, while making sure that we addressed the challenges faced by our target market’s increasingly strict regulations, we worked closely with key housebuilders, contractors, installers and homeowners to determine the requirements for our products.”
The finished result was Nuaire’s range of high efficiency, low power and low noise heat recovery systems, suitable for small homes with one or two wet rooms to those with seven wet rooms. These products combine supply and extract in one unit, taking the heat from the moisture-laden and stale air removed from a house and using it to pre-heat fresh air coming in from outside. This process recovers more than 90% of heat that would otherwise have been expelled with conventional units. The new range is also very compact, leaving more storage space in a home, and extremely quiet, unlike many bathroom fans.
Nuaire has also created a special software package which allows a customer to send in a blueprint of a property for the Design Team to draw up a plan of the house showing the most suitable MVHR product as well as a full bill of materials, including all the ducting and ancillary components.
Mark added: “The growth in sales we’ve experienced as a result of our new MVHR range has been fantastic. Our engineering and manufacturing staff have pushed the boundaries of the industry by reaching the high performance of the European style units in a much smaller space, which is ideal for the UK market.
“By maintaining our awareness of the challenges that are presented by the latest residential housing regulations, we have been able to achieve the smallest, quietest and most cost effective ventilation solution without compromising on air quality and speed. These awards are excellent recognition for the forward-thinking and design innovation by our staff and we’re very proud to have achieved these accolades.”
Speaking at the event, Huw Edwards praised the 220 people present from Welsh industry, he said: "You’d have to have a long memory to recall the days when Cardiff, Swansea and Flintshire were hazy with smoke, and pit hooters echoed through the Valleys. Manufacturing isn't so 'in your face' these days. We still create products in Wales. These products are used and enjoyed around the world. They also contribute a lot to UK exports, employ hundreds of thousands of people, and keep suppliers and local economies busy."