When tasked with creating a solution to prevent heat loss and unpleasant conditions for a number of retail premises, STC Member Wirth Research created AirDoor – a free-standing structure that sits within the door of retail units to improve interior comfort while also maximising the building’s energy efficiency.
Looking to create an edge over conventional electric heated air curtains, Wirth Research collaborated with fellow STC member Partner Electronics to create an innovative, integrated control system. Using three sensors, the system generates a targeted plume of air using variable speed fans to counteract weather-related infiltration, such as wind and rain. The team at Partner Electronics also supported with around twenty-five of the early installs.
Judges were fulsome in their praise for the winner AirDoor. They said the company had reinvented the over-door air curtain, and addressed challenges in a sector where innovation to reduce energy consumption and heat loss is ‘long overdue’Awarding Body – CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2023
Alongside allowing for an energy efficient ‘open door policy’, AirDoor also reduces expenditure on heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC), improves overall control of a store environment and keeps out airborne particles, such as dust, exhaust fumes and insects.
What’s more, a series of energy monitoring trials have demonstrated impressive savings following installation, including up to a 31% reduction in annual gas use for a mid-sized supermarket and up to 54% reduction in cold-weather electricity use for a boutique retail store.
Designed and manufactured in the UK, the project won ‘Product/Innovation of the Year (Thermal Comfort)’ at the CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2023.
Thank you to STC Member, Prova, for providing the content for this case study.