If you manage a factory or warehouse, you will know that there are many challenges to balancing staff safety and comfort with ever increasing productivity targets. Overheating, air quality, humidity and noise levels can all combine to create a thoroughly taxing working environment for even the most experienced staff members on your team. Having effective climate control and ventilation systems in place to deal with these problems can drastically improve the quality and safety of your workforce on a day-to-day basis.
Colt’s team of experts pioneered factory and warehouse climate control in the early 1930’s with the specific aim of improving employee well-being in these building types. Since then, our expertise and experience has been proved time and time again, with some of the world’s largest manufacturing and distribution businesses trusting our integrated solutions to improve their businesses’ reputations with both their staff and clients.
One such company is Royal Mail – specifically, their Parcelforce distribution centres. The distribution centres had a very particular problem to solve. How do you maintain a healthy working environment in a warehouse-type building that can have up to 150 vans all entering, exiting and emitting exhaust emissions at any one time?
When looking at the standard prescriptive solutions in Approved Document F for exhaust emissions, the main focus is on the air change rate. In the case of Parcelforce’s sorting centres that would have meant six air changes per hour.
However, the problem with this was that this rate does not take into account the variations in the levels of diesel exhaust in the air at different times. There would be peaks at the times vans drive in or out, but levels would go down when they were stationary while loading or unloading the parcels – or indeed when the building was empty between rounds of deliveries and collections.
The Colt solution was to develop a system that achieves cross flow ventilation via natural inlet air and mechanical extract with a combination of axial fans and natural ventilators. These are intuitively triggered by CO detectors when emissions levels reach a pre-determined level. This means that mechanical extraction fans only operate when needed, significantly cutting operating costs.
As manufacturers and suppliers of smoke control ventilation as well, Colt also incorporated smoke control ventilation into the overall system design, meaning added safety for staff and easier management for the building operator.
This outside-of-the-box approach ensures a healthy working environment every day. It is also extremely cost effective and is significantly cheaper than the prescriptive solutions would have been.
However, this solution was only possible due to Colt’s early involvement with Royal Mail, which enabled us to support the M&E consultant from initial design through to approval with building control. Royal Mail were able to tell us when and how the van movements occurred with specifics in terms of roadways and bay layouts, which allowed us to tailor the design and produce these great results.
This solution was repeated over several buildings, all completed simultaneously, allowing Royal Mail to achieve continuity over the design and management of installed systems.
Nationwide coverage and climate control systems to make any building type safer and more comfortable.
In the Parcelforce example above, Colt’s wide range of products work together seamlessly to provide optimum working conditions.
Colt has many more climate control systems that can be used either individually or alongside one another to tackle almost any climate control situation that you may need. To view all the different types of climate control systems we have, click here.
To get in touch with our nationwide team of experts and arrange a free, no obligation building survey, contact us.