Breath of Fresh Air
With its superior technical expertise, Nuaire is helping to solve today's ventilation challenges, a task more important now than ever.
Established in 1966, Nuaire is a UK-based ventilation solutions provider, designing and manufacturing products for the domestic, commercial and industrial construction sectors. Based in South Wales, its factory covers 18,000m2, allowing the company to manufacture almost all of its products - from small bathroom fans to large air handling units – on site.
Earlier this year the company signalled confidence in its future growth by announcing the acquisition of its new manufacturing site. Adjacent to Nuaire’s current premises, the purchase will add new scale and capabilities, enabling the business to double its current manufacturing capacity.
Wayne Glover, Managing Director of Nuaire, says: “Although 2020 has been a tough year for our industry, we haven’t shied away from investment in new product development, our people, the latest technology and our manufacturing facilities. By taking a long-term approach to investment we have created a solid foundation on which to build our future.”
Doubling its capacity is a suitable celebration of Nuaire's 50th anniversary of its operations in Caerphilly, Wales - five decades of shaping the industry. Nuaire's ground-breaking products are supplied to over 40 countries around the world and used in a wide range of applications, from hotels and houses to oil rigs and food processing plants. Renowned for exceptional quality, it was the first fan manufacturer in the world to achieve the ISO9001 quality standard.
The company's growing market position is attributed to a large extent to its innovative focus, as well as to its highly skilled workers. Mr Glover, who has been with the company for 28 years, and has witnessed at first hand the development from a small company of 60 people to an internationally recognised market leader employing nearly 600 worldwide, says:
"Innovations, supported by our loyal workforce, have always pushed growth across both the commercial and residential range as well as our international range. We pride ourselves on bringing innovative products to the market, whether is in energy efficiency or indoor air quality."
From the many products that the company has launched over the decades, he mentions two that have profoundly influenced the industry. The first is Positive Input Ventilation, developed in the 1970s, that has since become an industry staple - a cost-effective, whole-house system that prevents condensation and black mould from damaging homes and the health of occupants. The second is the Nuaire range of packaged heat recovery units, the XBC, designed to save energy, improve indoor air quality and provide the lowest possible noise breakout, developed with a customer some 13 years ago.
"At that time, we were the only manufacturer of that product in the UK, now there are some 17 competitors. We have basically created the market," says Mr Glover, pointing out that the company continues to be open to accommodating individual customer's requirements and developing products that suit their specific applications.
Meeting The Challenge
Not surprisingly, the need for Nuaire's products has increased during the pandemic. The company has joined the battle against Covid-19, by donating and supplying its leading products to hospitals and emergency recovery treatment centres across the UK in order to improve air quality and aid recovery.
Starting with Neville Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, the British manufacturer supplied its energy-efficient ‘Dave’ extract and supply fan, taking just two days to complete the project - from the initial product request to its safe delivery at the hospital. Working alongside Blue Mountain Air Conditioning, Nuaire was recruited due to its five decades of experience and award-winning ventilation systems, helping to bring a trusted solution to the healthcare environment at this critical time.
The company is also assisting other hospital and field units across the country, including the Bluestone National Park Resort’s COVID-19 recovery centre in Pembrokeshire and Bay Studios Swansea where Nuaire has supplied the largest units they have ever built, the Goliath AHU, to help improve air quality and to create a healthy environment for recovery. It is also working alongside the Vale of Glamorgan, Hillington Hospital, NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, the WRU training facility in the Vale of Glamorgan and more to establish safer healthcare spaces for patients currently battling the virus.
The company has also produced and delivered 100,000 PPE masks for key workers. Mr Glover commented: “We fully understand how urgent the current health situation is which is why we also made the commitment to producing 100,000 PPE masks for those healthcare heroes on the front line. Our team is working around the clock to play our part in reducing the spread of the coronavirus and we are proud to do so. We have a team of experienced engineers, procurement and production staff who were all very quick to roll up their sleeves and get involved.
“Our hope is that by improving air quality and minimising additional health risks during treatment as well as creating vital supplies for the healthcare professionals treating them, it will help to speed up the recovery process for patients and ensure the safety of those working hard to end this battle.”
The pandemic has also intensified the company's focus on new product development. In February, Nuaire announced the launch of its patent applied for Haven Terminals, a product designed to reduce or prevent the risk of spreading airborne pathogens and other pollutants in shared spaces.
At the beginning of the pandemic, airborne transmission was not considered a primary cause of infection, however, there is emerging evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through poorly ventilated spaces. So, for people looking to return to the workplace as the pandemic continues and their employers, Nuaire’s Haven Terminals could provide the vital missing link in ensuring air quality is as good as it can be.
Commenting on the launch, Wayne Glover says: “The launch of Haven comes at just the right time for employers and their teams, with health being at the top of everyone’s agenda in the current climate. We believe that this unit addresses the shortfalls of common air ventilation practices and instead offers a straightforward method of ensuring that each occupant receives the correct amount of supply and extract ventilation for their general health, comfort, and wellbeing. Not only can this prove reassuring to employers and team members, but it can help to reduce workplace illnesses.”
Haven has an extract capability whereby particulates or contaminated air can be removed from the indoor space and discharged to the building exterior, ensuring a consistent and optimally ventilated environment within individual workspaces. Air filtration of all known grades including Carbon Absorption, Electrostatic, Coarse Particulate to HEPA, and more can be incorporated to offer additional peace of mind to the building owners and its occupants.
“The pandemic has served to further demonstrate the true importance of healthy indoor air quality. We wanted to create something that was easily configurable and simple to install, and we’ve done exactly that thanks to Haven’s dedicated components and features. We hope this product will become the standard for those looking to create healthy indoor spaces, or a ‘Safe Haven’ as we like to call them,” says Mr Glover.
Energy efficiency and environmental cleanliness are attributes that Nuaire not only delivers to its customers but also applies in its own operation. The company's state-of-the-art facilities operate with minimal impact on the environment, driven by ambitious targets to drive forward green manufacturing practices.
"If you sell energy-efficient products you have to practice what you preach," says Mr Glover. "Not only do we make sure that all of our energy comes from renewable resources, but we were the first UK company in our industry to achieve ISO 14001. We adjusted production machines to lower energy consumption and for the last 5 years, waste has not been moved to landfills but is fully recycled."
The company has a sustainable procurement policy in place to assess the environmental performance of all its suppliers and contractors, all of whom are encouraged to minimise negative environmental and social effects associated with the products and services they provide.
The continuing efforts for a better environment have been rewarded many times, such as the Go-Green environmental award at the Institute of Welsh Affairs Business Awards a few years ago and, last year, the BSI Kitemark for Excellence for its Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes. Nuaire was one of the first companies in the UK to achieve this certification as part of its on-going digital transformation strategy.
Characterised by complex multidisciplinary project teams, BIM is revolutionising the construction industry by allowing teams to collaborate much more easily to achieve significant efficiency and cost-saving benefits. By using 3D modelling to plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure, the BIM process means that everyone involved has a central, shared resource of data throughout a project. With the data staying with a project for the whole lifecycle of the building, from plan to final build to decommissioning and demolishing, errors are reduced, and cost control, improved safety, reduced waste and minimal environmental impact are all more easily achieved.
Achieving the BSI, BIM Objects Kitemark is part of Nuaire’s ongoing digital transformation strategy to provide quality products and customer service to domestic and commercial clients, including; architects, engineers and the construction industry.
“We are continuously innovating to provide our customers with best-in-class ventilation systems for their particular domestic or commercial need. The BSI Kitemark for our BIM Objects process in the construction sector means that our customers can have 100% confidence that what they see on screen will translate seamlessly into the physical product they want. We’re delighted to have achieved this certification as it gives existing and potential clients the reassurance that there are quality BIM certified providers in the market, like Nuaire, they can trust,” says Mr Glover.
Leading The Way
On the product side, the company won Air Movement Product of the Year at the prestigious H&V News Awards 2019, in recognition of its efforts in developing the innovative Noxmaster– a system combining a powerful carbon filter with PIV - a strategy invented over 45 years ago. And in 2020, for the second year running, Nuaire scooped the same award for its XBOXER Hybrid unit.
The XBOXER Hybrid range combines mechanical and natural ventilation technology. Coming from a mechanical background, Nuaire looked at the project from a different point of view from the natural ventilation manufacturers who dominate the hybrid ventilation market. As such, during development, several issues with the standard practice currently being used by hybrid units on the market were picked up and engineered out by the Nuaire team.
The Hybrid range leans on award-winning mechanical ventilation design paired with industry-leading natural ventilation techniques, resulting in the best unit of its class. Latest EC motor technology ensures lower SFPs, meaning a greener and much more energy-efficient offering.
Designed for classroom spaces, XBOXER Hybrid uses pure natural ventilation with mechanical assistance - achieving the best of both worlds. The unit utilities all the benefits of a natural system, together with the reassurance of Nuaire's market-leading mechanical expertise. This aids in achieving higher flow rates in hotter weather and tempered recirculation in colder weather.
Already winning several marketing awards this year for the campaign around the same product, this latest win sees Nuaire confirm its leading position in the natural ventilation market. A position that is going to be further boosted - over the past few months, the company invested more than £ 1 million in new technology, and plans further CAPEX investment equating to £2.7million in 2021.
With its extended capacity, the company will continue to lead the way in new air technology, setting the standard for clean air and energy-efficient ventilation solutions. "With the recent strategic investment, we hope our continued success will lead to increased job creation and new opportunities in the near future," concludes Wayne Glover.
Read the full article in Business Focus here.
"Innovations, supported by our loyal workforce, have always pushed growth across both the commercial and residential range as well as our international range."