Simple Data and Greener Fans, Pledges New ISO and BSI Fans Chairman

Supporting simple test data and wider adoption of fan standards will be the focus for Tony Breen, Nuaire Test Manager, as he takes up the role of ISO and BSI Fan Committees Chairman.

The ISO and BSI committees are the international and British standards organisations that issue standards on fan products. This affects anyone who buys, makes or uses ventilation equipment that includes a fan. Mr Breen, a long-standing technical employee of ventilation manufacturer Nuaire, has just begun a three-year post as chairman.

Creating a “level playing field” for fan manufacturers and fan buyers by creating simple, standardised test data are of particular interest to Mr Breen, who believes wider adoption of ISO standards around the world will benefit the marketplace.

He said: “During my term, I hope to see increased membership of ISO/TC 117 and further improve the cooperation between the CEN and ISO fan committees so that they can share common standards. This will benefit manufacturers who would only work to one set of rules and produce data to one common standard. A better understanding of product data would allow the building industry to make more informed decisions when buying fans.”

Mr Breen described feeling “honoured” to be following in the footsteps of Fläkt Woods technical director Dr Bill Cory, the former chair of the BSI and ISO fan committees. “Dr Cory has been a major influence in the fan world for the last 30 years”, he said.

According to data from the ISO technical committee for fans, ISO/TC 117, the energy usage by fans has been calculated as nearly 20 per cent of worldwide demand, driving a need to produce more environmentally-friendly fans in the future.  ISO has worked with its 160 member countries to improve energy-performance through a new grading system for fans between 125 watts and 500 megawatts, giving these consumers the same clarity that has been enjoyed by homeowners buying domestic white goods.

Mr Breen explained: “This new Standard has given some much-needed clarity to the marketplace and has helped fan manufacturers to focus on a common set of goals that, ultimately, will benefit the environment. The wider these standards are adopted, the more environmental benefits we can expect to see.”

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Nuaire Recognised for Creative Manufacturing and Innovation With Double Win

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."

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Nuaire Staff Support Fashion For Food

On Friday 11th December staff from across the council, and supporting companies, dressed down in exchange for donations to local food banks.‘Fashion for food’ is an annual appeal co-ordinated by the council’s Caerphilly Homes team, who are responsible for housing in the county borough. 

A number of suppliers and contractors also donated to the appeal including Robert Price Builders’ Merchants, Contract Services, Mi-Space, Spotless Recruitment, Keepmoat, Wavin, Redring, Seren, Spirotech, Nuaire, Worcester, Marley, F & P, Wholesale, Crabtree, AKW, Pegler, 3D, Nicobond,. Rangemaster, Quinn, Carrara & Matta, LED Robus and Rixonway. The companies are all currently working with the council on delivery of its £200 million Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) improvement programme.

All donations were distributed equally to four food banks in the county borough: in Blackwood, Caerphilly, New Tredegar and Risca.

Last month the Trussell Trust reported that their food banks had given more emergency supplies to people in the first six months of financial year 2015/16 than in the same period last year.  The number of people relying on food banks is likely to increase significantly over winter, as people low incomes have to decide between eating and heating.

Cllr David Poole, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, said “With the steady rise in the number of people accessing food banks in recent years, the council’s annual ‘Fashion for Food’ appeal is more important than ever.  Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for families on low incomes and local food banks provide a lifeline for many. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our suppliers and contractors who donated considerably to the appeal.”

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£2.2 million investment to double manufacturing capacity for Nuaire

Nuaire, the market leader in the design and manufacture of commercial and domestic energy efficient ventilation systems, has signalled confidence in its future growth by making its largest ever investment in its manufacturing plant.

With grant assistance from the Welsh Government, Nuaire has invested in a £2.2 million sheet metal processing system to replace its ageing machines. The new plant will more than double the company's existing capacity and boast a range of new features to transform its manufacturing systems.

 Nuaire annually processes 75,000 sheets of metal for use in its ventilation products, including galvanised, mild steel, aluzinc and plastic coated steel, totalling 2,200 tonnes. Output has increased by 28% in the last 18 months and this additional capacity will support the company's continuing growth initiatives in all markets.

 The two new punching machines have an integrated automatic handling line that is linked to a state of the art storage and retrieval system. The complete facility allows the storage and retrieval of raw sheet metal blanks, delivery to the automatic punching machines, and return to the store of punched components before folding, or delivery of the components direct to the operator for immediate use.

 Commenting on the investment, Nuaire's manufacturing director, Alun Jones, said:

 "This investment will transform our manufacturing systems here at Nuaire. The new machinery will bring greater capacity, higher flexibility and lower costs, which, when combined, will allow us to offer further improvements in delivery performance and quality both to our existing and new customers.

 "Quick delivery of accurately punched and folded sheet metal panels is essential in delivering the high levels of quality and on-time delivery that our customers have come to expect from Nuaire. Our entire manufacturing operation is focussed on achieving industry leading levels of on-time delivery performance, and exceptionally high levels of product reliability to support our trusted brand.

 "By making such a significant investment at a time of such economic uncertainty, we are demonstrating our confidence in future growth while also ensuring our new processes have a positive effect on the environment."

 Minister for Business, Edwina Hart commented:

"I am delighted that through our Single Investment Fund we have been able to play a part in helping this truly innovative business expand its manufacturing plant. The Welsh Government recognises the strategic importance of Nuaire and its vital contribution to the regional economy.

 "Nuaire is a great example of a confident Welsh business that is investing in its future now, despite the challenging economic conditions, and I wish them every success."

 As a responsible manufacturer, Nuaire considers the environmental impact of every major change programme and this project will deliver enormous benefits in this area. The automatic segregation of scrap materials to reduce contamination and the more efficient use of each sheet will deliver lower scrap rates and higher scrap purity.

 The new machines also use servo-electric technology rather than the hydraulic system used on previous machines, which means that energy is only consumed when actually processing components. Machine electricity consumption will fall from 760,000kWh/year to 55,000kWh/year, a reduction of over 90%.

 The proposed machines integrate fully with Nuaire's manufacturing and CADCAM Systems, and include automatic dynamic nesting, which will considerably improve material utilisation. The extended storage will allow a wider range of raw material blank sizes to be stocked increasing efficiency from 85% to 90% and resulting in a reduction in scrap rates.

 The new machines support an extended tool range constantly available on the machines. This feature gives the flexibility to further optimise the performance by selecting more complex single hit tools to produce frequently required profiles rather than multiple hits to achieve the same result. New features available for consideration include: threaded holes, hinges, louvered ventilation slots, inter-locking tags and strengthening ribs - all features of great interest to Nuaire's design team.

 Nuaire manufactures a wide range of ventilation and associated control equipment from its site in Caerphilly. The company, which was established in 1963, employs 400 people involved in the design, manufacture, sales and distribution of industry leading products serving residential, commercial and industrial customers in UK and international markets.

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Apprentice Wins Quality Award for Nuaire

An apprentice at ventilation system market leader Nuaire has gained a prestigious quality award for his work in introducing a robust quality and efficiency improvement programme at the Nuaire group’s Welsh headquarters.

Usmaan Nasir, who works full-time for Nuaire, won the Welsh Chartered Quality Institute’s top award for putting the programme in place for the company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Mr Nasir took on the task after one of Nuaire’s regular product reviews brought a renewed realisation that product quality had to be retained to maintain the company’s reputation yet manage the cost of quality. Department restructuring and the introduction of management training provided a framework to establish effective leadership and resulted in a workforce dedicated to quality and supportive of continuous improvements in products and processes.

His approach, which he implemented using 5S and Kaizen methods, also addressed training and resourcing issues, ensuring these were in place before changing the processes themselves, leaving a workforce properly prepared to embrace the change in culture, and avoiding the usual extended period of confusion and disruption. Establishing training facilities in the workplace also meant staff could be updated and reskilled in a familiar environment, reducing the capacity for conflict between the managers’ perception of processes and the practical necessities apparent to the production people.

Mr Nasir, who studied for a Higher Certificate in Quality Management at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales), a course recommended to him by his employer Nuaire, says that, importantly, the managers did not expect to see “an immediate regeneration” of processes. Instead, they accepted that a piecemeal approach would be less disruptive, more flexible, would bring better buy in from staff people, and made it easier to balance the costs of the change against improved productivity and quality.

And while Mr Nasir adds that the benefits have not been easy to quantify, they are clearly apparent in the improved workflow,   and better motivation at all levels at Nuaire’s Caerphilly headquarters. “Implementing effective improvement initiatives can be far more difficult and expensive than textbooks and training courses generally indicate,” says Mr Nasir. “While numbers can be put on the cost of rework and other failure incidents, it is not so easy to put a price on a company’s reputation for technical excellence and reliability of supply in a globally competitive sector.”

Mr Nasir says that many academic references state improvement initiatives more often result in failure than success, with common problems such as poor communication, leadership and process knowledge.  Nuaire however, renowned for its expertise, commitment to innovation and outstanding quality, had found a way to succeed by using sound management rather than textbook process to eliminate such obstacles.

Though the changes have currently only been implemented in production,  Nuaire has plans to address other office functions such as design and administration using a similar, progressive style, he adds.

Steve Flood, QSHE Manager at Nuaire said: “The knowledge and experience Usmaan has gained has positively influenced the Quality culture within Nuaire through the implementation of various quality tools and techniques learnt through his studies with the professional academy at the University of Glamorgan”.

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New microsite allows online selection of AHUs

UK market leader in the innovation, development and manufacture of ventilation solutions, Nuaire, has launched a new microsite to promote its extensive portfolio of air handling units (AHUs) and allow customers to select them directly using state-of-the-art online software.

The new site - nuaire.co.uk/boxerahu - includes the "Airecad" software selection tool which allows customers to select simple AHUs themselves instantly.

Nuaire has a long and successful history in ventilation and heat recovery. The South Wales-based company has been developing and manufacturing AHUs since 1996. Every unit in the Nuaire range meets the requirements laid down by the classification in the CEN standard and is manufactured and tested at its UK factory which has been certified for its quality control (ISO 9001) and environmental policy (ISO 14001).

As well as giving customers the opportunity to order their AHU online, the new site also allows Nuaire customers to apply for CPD seminars, factory tours or request a technical assistance call-back from a Nuaire estimator.

As an added incentive, the company has launched a competition for customers who register to use the Airecad software to enter a prize draw to win an iPad.

On the microsite customers can find information on Nuaire's design, selection and technical support capabilities as well as wider details of its unrivalled air handling product portfolio, which ranges from smaller heat recovery units from 0.075m3/s (75l/s) to 5m3/s, up to larger AHUs capable of ventilating up to 20m3/s.

Caroline Radcliffe, Nuaire's commercial product manager, said the launch of the new microsite marked an exciting milestone for the company.

"At Nuaire we have been manufacturing market-leading AHUs for over fifteen years and have one of the widest product ranges in the industry and we are proud to launch a stand-alone microsite where our customers can find all the information they need on our AHUs.

"By adding the Airecad software to the site, we have also made it possible for our customers to select and order simple AHUs directly from us at any time of day, an important and innovative development which will make the purchasing process much simpler for those customers with straightforward AHU requirements."

For further information on Nuaire's extensive range of ventilation products, visit nuaire.co.uk/boxerahu or call 02920 858463.

 

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Nuaire’s James makes a splash in Kier Living Charity Paddle Board Race

(James Mullane hands sponsorship cheque to Kier Living's Louise Harris)

Always up for a sporting challenge, James Mullane from Nuaire has gone the extra mile to show his support for valued customers, Kier Living, by taking part in their 13 mile stand up paddle board race in aid of the Welsh Velindre Cancer Care charity.

This summer, the Kier Group has organised an ambitious company-wide charity event to raise money for worthy causes and make a point about sustainable living. The ‘500 Miles’ challenge links up all of its UK sites and offices in a green relay using non-motorised forms of transport. The race concluded this week for the Kier Living team in charge of the high profile Cardiff Pointe development in the capital’s bay area.  

The Kier Living team made a watery contribution in the form of a team of Stand Up Paddle boarders, sponsored by a host of suppliers including ventilation manufacturer, Nuaire.  In bright sunshine and favourable paddling conditions, the team of 11 Kier Living staff, including project managers, site managers, quantity surveyors, commercial, development  and design managers, donned board shorts and mounted their 10ft paddle boards in the River Taff and began the gruelling 13 mile course up and down the River Taff to the River Ely via Cardiff Bay.

Nuaire Residential Sales Manager, James has worked closely with the Kier Living design team, helping them source low-energy ventilation systems for luxury apartments and larger homes at the Cardiff Pointe development.  Upon hearing of the unusual charity event, James was keen to donate sponsorship money to support a worthy cause, and was keener still to take part.

He commented: “I’ve taken part in a few charity challenges over the years but this one was definitely the hardest by far.  Racing 13 miles on paddle board in 26oC heat is hard work. We had a really good team of people from Kier Living so that made it somewhat easier; however towards the final couple of miles I must admit that I was glad to see the finish line. I know several people with various types of cancer so I know how worthwhile charitable events like this can be.”

See James and the team live from training!

Kier Living Design Coordinator, Louise Harris said: “The 13 mile race required real stamina and strength, and the many hours of training put in by the team really paid off. The weather was perfect and the whole team united to pull each other through five hours in the sizzling heat.  James’ contribution was paramount to our successful completion of the race. He was a strong team member and helped set a good pace for the team, ensuring we didn’t rush or lag behind. The task was definitely not for the faint-hearted and, even with less training than the others, James was fantastic and proved to be a superb team member.”

“The aim of the challenge was to raise as much money as possible for Velindre Cancer Centre and the £400 donation from Nuaire gave us a great boost to achieve our fundraising goal. To date we have raised over £2290 with donations still pouring in.”

Kier Living 500 Mile Challenge flag

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause the Kier Living ‘just giving’ page is still open for business. http://www.justgiving.com/Louise-Harris17

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Nuaire Celebrates International Marketing Win

Nuaire has scooped a top prize at the prestigious B2B Marketing Awards. Now in its 11th year, the awards ceremony took place in London on 19th November, with Nuaire winning Best Product Launch Campaign with the B2B product launch campaign of DAVE, in conjunction with creative agency Lesniak Swann.

Nuaire and Lesniak Swann worked together to develop an integrated product launch campaign to promote their new DAVE range of single extract fans, creating a huge amount of interest in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning industry. The launch campaign was a great success, generating over £2.4 million in quotes in the first 12 weeks.

The B2B Marketing awards are the largest and most prestigious B2B marketing awards in the world. Launched in 2005, the Awards have since grown to become the must-attend event in the B2B marketing calendar. The Awards are designed to recognise excellence in B2B marketing and celebrate the success of the industry.

Winners of the B2B Marketing Awards reflect organisations from across the business community and include the most innovative, creative and forward-thinking B2B brands and agencies in the world. Previous winners include Google, Fujitsu, Microsoft UK, Barclays, HP, Canon, Lloyds TSB, Unilever, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Michelin, TalkTalk and Carillion.  Nuaire was up against major brands such as LV, BT and Nissan, so can be extremely proud of winning such a high profile award.

The B2B Awards https://old.b2bmarketing.net/awards/winners are judged by an independent panel of top-industry marketers and celebrate the most innovative, creative and forward-thinking marketing of the year.

Examples of the award-winning campaign can be found at http://www.lesniakswann.com/work/DAVE-product-launch-for-nuaire.html

Andy Mudie, Marketing Director at Nuaire Group, commented: “Lesniak Swann came up with the strong initial concept of ‘releasing Dave’, to generate interest in a very traditional market.  Nuaire worked with them through all the different stages of the campaign from brief, through the teaser phase, to the ultimate reveal and then post-launch.  Working together allowed us to do all sales and marketing activity – when we gave them ideas they didn’t just fulfil the brief, they were able to develop the creative as the campaign progressed and breathe life into all the elements of the campaign.”

Alex Swann, Director at Lesniak Swann, commented: “The B2B Marketing Awards feature work from all over the world - we’re really thrilled to win this award. The whole team who worked on the Nuaire launch really pushed the boundaries of B2B marketing, with a creative, innovative campaign. The industry Nuaire operate in has a history of very traditional marketing - so thanks to Nuaire for taking the bold decision to go with a more creative approach!”

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Double Innovation Award for Nuaire’s XBC Range

(National Sales Manager Commercial, Rob Erwood, and Commercial Product Manager Caroline Radcliffe collect their award from event organiser Jay Stacy and guest speaker.)

Nuaire’s XBOXER XBC heat recovery range for Schools and Offices is now a multi-award winner, having secured its second high profile win for innovation at the Education Estates Awards 2014.

The two-day exhibition, conference, dinner and awards took place in Manchester on 11th and 12th November.  Attracting guest speakers from leading consultancies, industry bodies and education establishments, the event was an opportunity for the sector to debate the best ways of creating learning environments that inspire and empower pupils and students, including providing the best possible indoor air quality.

With its long history of designing ventilation products specifically for schools and universities, Nuaire was keen to be part of Education Estates, and put forward its XBOXER XBC heat recovery range to compete in the Product Innovation category.  The XBC Range answers the school building industry’s need for enhanced heat recovery ventilation that meets the latest changes in building regulation and stringent noise requirements and, crucially, reduces energy consumption for the end user.

Nuaire Product Manager, Caroline Radcliffe explained: “The XBOXER XBC is our market-leading commercial heat recovery range that is smaller, quieter, easier to install and more energy-efficient than anything available on the market.

“Since the start of 2014, the XBC range has won the coveted CIBSE ‘Energy-Saving Product of the Year, and been shortlisted for the National Business Awards Innovation category. We are absolutely delighted to end the year by winning the Education Estates Product Innovation Award 2014, in the company of many of the most influential building consultancies and sector influencers in the country.”

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TOP MARKS FOR AIR QUALITY - Nuaire reports on the latest ventilation needs in Britain's schools

Education policy, high profile government initiatives and increased media attention have forced the issue of good indoor air quality in schools to the foreground in recent years. Our awareness of the spaces occupied by children has never been greater as our concerns about air-born pollutants, CO2 levels, temperature and noise are focused on the classroom.

Whether an existing school is being refurbished or a brand new school is being built, the importance of creating a healthy and comfortable learning environment for pupils, teachers and staff cannot be underestimated.

However, compared to most other types of buildings, schools, universities and academies are extreme environments which service high and sporadic occupancy levels and house many competing activities and functions, from classrooms, halls and canteens to commercial kitchens, laboratories, offices and even accommodation.

The government Building Bulletin 101 guidelines provide building designers with a blueprint for ventilation in schools, issuing stringent requirements for the acceptable level of carbon dioxide, required air changes per second per person, and optimum temperatures, whilst also stipulating a reduction in carbon emissions and energy usage in the ventilation design for new schools and refurbished schools.  At the same time, research into the impacts of inadequate ventilation on pupil performance and learning outcomes has put pressure on school designers and local education authorities, shining an even brighter spotlight on the importance of ventilation.

In several studies, researchers at Exeter University (Coley and Greeves 2004) have revealed that many schools are still not meeting recommended ventilation rates. Using standardised, computerised tests of cognitive function, they demonstrated that the attention of school children was significantly slower when the level of CO2 in classrooms is high, with pupils likely to be less attentive and concentrate less well on what the teacher is saying, which over time can lead to lower learning achievements.

Research backs up the need to not only provide adequate ventilation in schools – for the UK a background fresh air supply rate of 3 litres per second per pupil with the capacity to supply 8 litres per second per pupil when required – but to ensure that CO2 levels should never exceed 1000ppm, however long a space is occupied.  

There are several ventilation strategies that could be employed to meet these requirements, but as with all public funded building initiatives, external forces are at play. With the UK population predicted to rise by 4.9 million to 67.2 million by 2020, a chief concern for those who design and maintain schools is how their buildings and facilities will cope with extra capacity against a backdrop of increasing budget cuts and ever stricter environmental targets.  Schools are being asked to serve more for much less.

The situation is exacerbated when the current economic climate drives costs savings at such a rate that contractors are looking for any way possible to trim build costs and claw back profits on tight bids to keep their margins.  Even today schools, classrooms and buildings are often redesigned after initial planning forcing contractors and consultants to meet the specification as effectively as they can.

This autumn, the government announced news of £2.5bn of contracts on new school buildings with plans to replace 261 primary and secondary schools it has deemed to be in the worst condition as part of a five-year programme.  The bad news for architects and designers is that these new schools will be 15% smaller than those built under the previous government, in a bid to cut costs by 30% and save up to £6m per school compared to schools built under the Building Schools for the Future project.  

The size of classrooms, staffrooms, sports and art facilities are expected to be maintained, and the need for simple maintenance and energy-efficiency will be essential.  This no-frills approach will put strain on the available space for ventilation and ductwork, and may encourage some schools to take shortcuts in their ventilation strategies in order to save on installation, running costs and space.

Advances in technology

So with the need to do more for less, how do we actually achieve it? For ventilation there are many strategies that can be employed in schools from natural ventilation through to localised control and heat recovery.  A crucial issue is to ensure that the final building design is achieved with no gap between concept and realisation.  All too often people forget that the IT room requires additional cooling; the chemistry labs require certain fume extract and that many rooms won’t have openable windows.

The move towards 'Heat Recovery'

Every person in a classroom can be expected to give off 0.1kw of total heat while inactive, rising to 0.4kw with athletic activity.  A typical classroom will have heat output from lighting, projectors, computers, and central heating.  Combined with their high capacity and mixed functions, schools are well-suited to heat recovery ventilation where the additional heat from facilities and bodies is utilised to temper the incoming fresh air

Another consideration is that an average school child can lose up to 2 pints of sweat per day, with ½ pint of this moisture present in the air. This, plus other contaminants must be removed to maintain good indoor air quality. Heat recovery ventilation will dissipate the heat from the building’s occupants and will balance the heat loads with heat losses. More importantly, it is designed to provide the fresh air required for good indoor air quality. In the summer, the use of night time purge facilities can offset the need for mechanical cooling.  Similarly, energy savings can be found in the winter months when the heat recovery system will turn the fans on in the early hours of the morning, before the pupils and teachers arrive, starting the warming process.  Where typical supply and extract systems are now under regulation to have lower specific fan powers with a drive towards a true reduction in energy costs, there needs to be consideration for how the heating is designed and making sure this heat is not wasted.

Many companies have designed heat recovery ventilation for UK schools during the BSF programmes.  It quickly became clear that as much as designers and builders were looking to standardise products and solutions, each school presents a difference in shape, size, load requirements and, more importantly, budget, so often a standardised design is a goal rather than a reality.

Nuaire developed the XB55 heat recovery system as a solution to this common problem.  The system   is specifically designed for a 30 seater classroom, which has been the most common format seen during the BSF developments.  It features a mixing box which, rather than taking the cold air from outside which would take more energy to heat, utilises the warmer air already inside the building which it  filters, recirculates and warms using a heating coil.  As soon as the CO2 levels rise, the mixing box shuts off and fresh air from outside is brought in. Offered as a standardised build, this is an ideal solution for repeat format designs.

A properly designed heat recovery system will benefit pupils and teachers by creating the optimum working environment. When it comes to reducing energy and saving money, however, the real technology lies in the use of intelligent controls.  Effective controls and control systems are key to obtaining the lowest levels of energy use in a ventilation system. 

A move towards Demand Control

Schools may have a building management system, such as TrendTM controlled via BACnetTM, and may integrate all elements of the design. In these cases manufacturers not only need to provide ventilation products but also BMS compatible solutions.  Nuaire saw the trend in these control systems many years ago and have offered Ecosmart TM controls as standard.

Ecosmart controls embody the concept of energy saving, intelligent, fully integrated fan controls, managed by a range of easily selectable enabling sensors, controlling sensors and signalling devices.  It offers a flexible Demand Controlled ventilation control system, with full BMS interface.

Nuaire also offer TRENDTM and BACnetTM compatible solutions for fans, heat recovery units and AHUs and as schools designers and builders continue to consider both initial build costs and whole life and running costs, manufacturers need to be able to offer more.  Another key consideration that cannot be overlooked when considering ventilation in schools is that of noise.  With strict criteria for noise in schools outlined in BB93 each manufacturer needs to ensure that the system will meet noise criteria. Often manufacturers provide noise data for fans and heat recovery units while silencers and ducting are purchased from other suppliers.  It is vital that the noise requirements are met and that component choices are compatible, installation is correctly carried out and detailed commissioning is undertaken to prove that the design works as a system.

Acoustic guidelines for ventilation have been tightened up in recent years to reflect the general recognition that poor acoustic conditions in the classroom are detrimental to learning and teaching.  It’s a common misconception that natural ventilation is always a self-contained low-noise solution, but in reality many natural ventilation systems require at least partial assistance from mechanical ventilation, and are particularly vulnerable to external noise sources.

As a manufacturer, Nuaire have addressed this issue by providing matched, close coupled inline attenuation and have optimised the acoustic treatment of the equipment enclosures so noise levels can be guaranteed to meet consultant and customer specifications. 

What is clear is that with many options for ventilation strategies, the emphasis is not only on compliance with air change, co2 levels and temperature control, but now also on noise, ease of control and running costs.  Building or refurbishing a school is a long-term commitment so the emphasis in the future has to be on the client understanding the true running costs of the ventilation systems installed rather than the initial build and installation costs. On-demand ventilation offers far greater financial savings in the long-term, critical for shrinking school budgets.  Choosing a bespoke ventilation solution with controls is a sound financial investment for the future of energy-efficient and sustainable schools rather than settling for cheaper up-front alternatives.

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