On January 9, HPM’s Bethan Grylls visited Airflow Developments’ new Air Academy at its head office in High Wycombe. Here is her report of the day’s events.
The facility has been designed to showcase the benefits of effective ventilation systems in both domestic and commercial properties, the technology behind Airflow’s product portfolio, and to help educate and train attendees on best practice installation methods. It aims to demonstrate the importance of specifying the correct system when it comes to indoor air quality.
Alan Siggins, managing director, said: “We are proud to open the doors to our new comprehensive and market leading Air Academy. We have made a significant investment to create a facility that not only champions the importance of ventilation for health and wellbeing; but one that helps us to provide first class training and education on how to comply with legislation and best practice procedures when it comes specification and installation.”
The facility itself is an interesting concept. Not only does it enable visitors to view the company’s product range first hand, but with a fully operational ventilation system with a heat recovery unit in place, it also allows them to experience the products in a facility that is actively using them.
Alan said: “Our aim was not to preach this stuff, but to put it into practice.”
The DUPLEXVENT commercial Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery units, which are regulated by advanced sensor technology, demonstrate the difference in air quality outside the building – with a controlled environment inside.
Through means of real time indicators that were shown on a screen in the academy, Bethan was able to see how the difference between the outdoor and indoor air differed. Measurements of environmental elements such as, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide were highlighted. Airflow plans to have this linked on a live feed to the website at a later date.
The room did really feel very light and airy, and compared to the winter chill outdoors, HPM’s assistant editor remained a very comfortable temperature throughout the day.
During the press talk, however, Alan emphasised that this was still something Airflow was adjusting. The hope is to achieve the ‘perfect’ ambient temperate and working environment.
Alan explained: “There’s no air con units here, and so it was a case of what would happen if heat recovery units could find the right ambient temperature at all times, and we think we’ve achieved it.”
He explained that both personal wellbeing and workplace productivity can be improved with better indoor air, and it by experiencing the quality of air inside the academy, it was easy to see why.
“Well-being and wellness is definitely the way forward in what we’re trying to achieve.”
The modern facility will also display the latest in cooling technology, which can be applied to ventilation systems with heat recovery as well as how to obtain and convert free energy from the earth into warm air.
There was a focus on energy efficiency, and HPM was told how Airflow was using several methods such as solar PV panels, film across the windows to prevent overheating caused from sunlight, cavity wall insulation, and ground source heat pumps within the building design, to create a showroom and conference facility that has minimal negative environmental impact.
The company is also putting significant focus on its online marketing tools, such as Twitter.
John F. Kelly, marketing manager, explained that by using modern, slang terminology and abbreviations, for example, ‘sick’ and ‘thru’, along with ‘emojis’, within their tweets, they are aiming to capture the attention of younger installers.
A reward scheme has also been set up, where contractors can collect points through buying fans. As they build these points up, they can get more rewards. As part of this scheme, they’ll enter a draw to win a Ford Custom Transit van.
With all of its product launches, ‘trendy’ online campaigns, rewards schemes and its academy, it seems that Airflow Developments is set to have an exciting 2017.