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Gilberts rolls out discreet way to address fit-out needs

It is almost inevitable when moving into an existing commercial or industrial space, a degree of remodelling will be needed for it to deliver the tenant’s needs. For Hardide Coatings, the problems involved adequate ventilation for its chemical processes whilst maintaining a discreet façade that blended in with the surrounding buildings.

Hardide turned to building services innovators to support its need. Purely Air Tech Ltd, air conditioning and ventilation contractor, was commissioned to deliver the answer, in turn utilising bespoke engineering expertise from Gilberts Blackpool. 

A global innovator in composite coatings to extend the life of critical metal components in aggressive environments, Hardide Coatings’ processes exhaust a lot of air from the building, so a significant opening was needed to replace the exhausted air. To avoid making new penetrations through the façade, Purely proposed utilising an existing roller shutter door, infilling the opening with a louvre screen to optimise plant ventilation inside in a way that retained the door so it could be reinstated if/when the tenant vacated the premises. 

However, the door’s prominent location to the front of the business alongside Hardide Coatings’ processes’ demand on extraction meant quality and security were paramount.

Gilberts’ solution was to design and manufacture a bespoke high performance screen using its WHK75 louvre system and support steelwork with an additional security mesh mounted independently inside. 

Under European Standard EN13030 for weather louvre performance WH louvre is proven to be 99.5% effective in screening/exhaust applications and 99% effective even with face velocities of up to 1m/sec, validating its Class A weather resistance rating. WHK75 provides a good 50% free ventilation area.

Andrew Purrott, Purely Air Tech’s Technical Director, commented: “Hardide uses a number of extract systems and needed a cost-effective way to provide ‘makeup’ air into the facility. A plant louvre was the obvious solution; its location to avoid visual intrusion on the exterior whilst maintaining the security integrity of the building was harder to resolve. Gilberts has a known reputation for manufacturing quality, and I felt comfortable Gilberts’ team could devise, design and manufacture a louvre to our criteria.”

Ian Eggleton, Hardide Coatings Engineering Manager added: “We are pleased with the solution and the installation. It still looks like a roller shutter door and is not obtrusive. It delivers the air we need to ensure the extract systems work efficiently within the main factory area.”

Gilberts’ range of kitform and factory-assembled standard architectural, weather protection and acoustic louvres are just part of its range of solutions that have established it as the UK’s no 1 independent commercial air movement supplier. Gilberts’ louvres have been installed in locations as diverse as Wimbledon no 1 Court, National Composites Centre, Blackpool FC, Papworth Hospital and Museum of London (formerly Smithfield Market). Family owned, the company has a 60+ year heritage of innovation, operating from a 95,000 sq ft facility in the Northern Powerhouse of Lancashire. 

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