• Shops, Supermarkets & Retail Parks

Whether it's a new build or refurbishment of an existing building, large or small, there is a diversity of buildings ranging from shopping malls-purpose built centres incorporating many individual shop units, sometimes with leisure or other facilities such as food courts, retail parks, warehouse type developments consisting of several retail units, to high street stores and small shops.

Each application presents particular and growing challenges, with safe, comfortable, attractive environments required for customers and staff, as well as energy efficiency, sustainability and air tightness widely expected.

Despite the diversity in use of retail premises the principals of ventilation will apply to any particular size and type of building.

Minimum fresh air should be provided to satisfy occupancy levels based on the individual retailers requirements, whilst removing airborne contaminants, in particular body odours, heat generated, dusts and bacteria which may well present health risks to customers and staff. Airborne contaminants should principally be extracted at high levels, with draught-free air replacement at a low or medium level.

With smaller stores and local shops, there may be no outlet at the rear of the building, although this is overcome by extracting at high levels at one side of the front of the premises and intaking at the other side of the shop.

Larger shops and supermarkets can develop relatively straightforward arrangements where extract units are positioned at high levels, either wall or roof mounted, whilst supplementary fresh replacement air is achieved by open doors as well as intake units.

Larger stores and supermarkets are often the final point where a larger variety of food is sold to consumers. These buildings tend to be designed to ensure that the layout can support an efficient workflow. The size of the food preparation and storage area must be sufficient to meet needs of the supermarket by taking into consideration all the areas within the supermarkets design, such as bakeries, where, as food preparation takes place must be well ventilated.

The removal of heat from the building, which arises from lighting, equipment, solar and occupancy gains, is an important aspect to the ventilation system. The temperature within the building will of course vary according to the season, and the requirements of the retailer.

The upper temperature limit may be permitted to rise in summer to prevent an unacceptable temperature differential between the retail space and the circulation space outside; dependent upon whether this is outside or a covered shopping mall. Heat gains will be a function of the retail building and the specific application, but will often be characterised by one or more of the following factors:

  • Transient occupancy with high peak value
  • High solar gains local to areas of glazed shop fronts, covered shopping malls
  • High lighting gains for display purposes, which can also lead to the discolouration and drying out of stock
  • Localised equipment loads, for e.g. hot food counters, restaurants

The heat gains and warm air generated can create high levels of condensation within the building. Condensation should be extracted into the atmosphere from the building, with replacement air from the atmosphere at a low level.

Smoke extract systems for retail premises, in particular, shopping malls, may be installed as a separate stand alone system, which act as additional safety ventilation systems, or be incorporated into the general ventilation systems which serve the retail development. There are a number of considerations when determining the smoke extract system design, each with a different purpose:

  • Life safety systems - designed to maintain tenable conditions on escape routes and other occupied areas
  • Fire fighting access I property protection - systems designed to increase visibility for, and reduce heat exposure to, trained fire fighters. This allows earlier and less hazardous attack on the fire. Such systems will help to reduce property damage by increasing fire brigade effectiveness.
  • Smoke purging - systems designed to enable smoke to be cleared from a building after a fire has been brought under control.

Elta Fans provide an extensive range of ventilation products for general and smoke extract applications for shopping malls, retail parks, high street stores and smaller shops, so for more information, please look at examples of typical products that could be used, or alternatively, please contact us to discuss your specific application requirement.