14 January 2021

Brunel University London: A smart approach to ventilation

By Elta Fans

14 January 2021

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Guest blog: Marcus Sawkins, Co-Founder and Managing Director of GFMS Services Limited

The link between good indoor air quality (IAQ) and the ability to concentrate is well established, which makes ventilation a really important part of any educational building. This is very much true of universities, and Brunel University London is a prime example of that.

It prides itself on its first-class facilities, and the Hamilton Centre is the centrepiece of a bustling campus. When we were tasked with delivering a ventilation solution suited to the demands of the centre – which contains restaurants, bars, function rooms, and a student union – we knew that a low-energy but high-performance system was required.

Not so smart

One of the main problems we faced on this project was the existing ventilation system, which had been drastically over-specified. Directly responsible for ventilating a popular pizza bar, the contra-rotating roof fan that was in place was extremely energy hungry.

Of course, you want to get the best performance ventilation that you can, but this has to be balanced with energy usage. This is important from a sustainability point of view, with high CO2 emissions a side-effect of over-specification, but also in preventing running costs from spiralling out of control.

Working it out

The best way to guarantee performance without crippling energy bills is to go for a fan that incorporates an EC motor, which made Elta Fans’ Revolution SLC EC long-cased axial fan the perfect candidate. Having an EC motor helps to reduce energy bills, plus it’s quick and easy to install, which is vital given the less-than-straightforward location we were working in.

Another strength of the Revolution SLC EC is its intuitive control system, a feature that is often-overlooked but very important in improving efficiency. The previous fan was hampered by complicated controls, meaning the guys in the pizza bar were usually too busy to operate it at all. The reduced electrical voltage of the Revolution SLC EC meant a simple dial control system could be put into the kitchen, allowing operators to easily manage the ventilation output during the day.

Final marks

University building work is always time-pressured, whether it’s during term-time or the holidays. Added to this equation is a need to minimise emissions and running costs, but still provide the level of ventilation needed for high IAQ.

There aren’t many products on the market that tick all of those boxes, but thankfully we already enjoyed a good relationship with Elta Fans, and we knew that the Revolution SLC EC would fit the bill. The off-the-shelf low lead time made our job even easier, and has made sure the Hamilton Centre at Brunel University London can benefit from good IAQ.

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