Ruskin launches natural ventilation business
Ruskin Air Management has launched a new Natural Ventilation business. Called Airolution, this service will provide complete natural ventilation solutions for commercial buildings including system design, supply of equipment, controls, installation and commissioning.
The company, which has been manufacturing ventilation equipment in the UK for over 40 years and has factories in Kent and Shropshire, already supplies a complete range of products suitable for natural ventilation systems. Now it is adding the design expertise and logistics required to provide a complete service for the building engineering industry and its clients.
Airolution is different to anything currently available on the market because every component of the system is tested together to ensure the final system meets the design brief and aspirations of the building owner and operator. It is then delivered to site, installed, tested and commissioned before handing over to the building’s operating team.
This approach allows design engineers to verify performance claims before, during and after commissioning. The company also offers a ‘soft landings’ service to ensure calibration and fine tuning of the system are carried out to the building occupants’ satisfaction and that the necessary service and maintenance is in place.
The launch of the new service took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) reflecting the fact that natural ventilation can only be successful if it is delivered in a truly collaborative way with input from every profession in the building engineering supply chain from client to architect to design engineer and installer.
It was attended by representatives from various professional industry bodies including RIBA, CIBSE, BSRIA and the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES).
Ruskin has been developing Airolution for a number of years in response to growing demand from clients for buildings that provide a high standard of indoor air quality (IAQ) with low running costs and reduced emissions and fuel consumption. There are five distinct offerings based on type of building and user requirements: Aura; Mood; Spirit; Sense; and Status.
“Building ventilation systems should be able to meet the basic brief of reducing overheating and maintaining good IAQ all year round in every type of commercial building without increasing operating and capital costs – or driving up carbon emissions,” said Ruskin sales and marketing director David Fitzpatrick.
However, he pointed out that natural ventilation requires specialist skills and those charged with the design and installation must be fully trained and should ensure the ventilation is approached as an integral part of the whole building – not as an add-on.
“The record of natural ventilation in this country is patchy – to put it mildly,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “We believe this is largely because systems are provided by a range of suppliers and installed by a number of different trades people without the necessary co-ordination.
“The difference with Airolution is that Ruskin takes full responsibility for the system from initial design to commissioning, handover and ongoing operation. The control strategy is also crucial.”
He added that, by providing a complete solution, Ruskin can overcome the historic problem of ventilation designers not being involved early enough in the process to make sure it is appropriate for the building in question.
Ruskin managing director Kevin Munson added that Airolution represented a considerable investment for the company in both technical development and new staff recruitment, but one that would pay dividends.
“This has not been an easy or inexpensive undertaking for us,” he said. “However, there is strong evidence that naturally ventilated buildings have lower levels of airborne contaminants and are, therefore, better for occupant health and productivity.
“End clients should not have to make a choice between healthier indoor conditions or lower running costs. With properly designed and delivered natural ventilation they can have both,” added Mr Munson.