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Nuaire has helped restore the iconic Willow tea rooms in Glasgow to their former glory with the addition of new XBC heat recovery units, as well as a new range of fans.

The historic building in which the tea rooms are housed, was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and officially opened its doors in 1903. 

In its entirety, from the architecture of the building to the furniture and cutlery, the building is recognised as one of the finest complete Art Nouveau schemes in the world. 

The tea rooms are a key visitor attraction in Glasgow and also feature a unique space for art, architecture and design with an extensive programme of exhibitions and events.Building services engineering, low carbon and sustainability consultancy Rybka, provided the mechanical and electrical services for this prestigious project. 

The main objectives were to provide a solution that met the current regulation requirements, provided occupancy comfort and did not appear intrusive to the exposed services spaces, such as the Education and Learning Suites; every detail was considered with respect and admiration for the site.

Nuaire’s multiple award winning XBC heat recovery units were selected by Rybka. These supply and extract systems deliver filtered fresh air into a building whilst extracting stale, stagnant air from the interior. Each unit has a heat recovery element that is capable of transferring the heat that would otherwise be lost into the incoming air flow. 

The XBC’s slim profile enabled Rybka to achieve the exposed services approach throughout each floor by ensuring that the correct performance and control measures could be achieved.  

As each room features multi-purpose spaces, such as Education Rooms and Exhibition Spaces, each ventilation unit was required to be energy efficient and controlled to suit the varied room uses and operational times. 

The noise levels were also key to meeting the required conditions for each room. Nuaire bolt-on attenuators provided reassurance that the break out noises from the unit and ventilation system would not affect the required levels in each zone.

In addition to the XBC units, a large number of Nuaire fans were installed, including Squif extract fans for the kitchen; AVT extract fans serving plant rooms, toilet blocks, powder room and service areas; OPUS local extract fans serving WC areas; and Ecosmart Boxer supply fans serving the kitchen.

Rybka was keen to use a single source supplier for ventilation, which made Nuaire an immediate front runner due to its extensive product range. The final decision to go with Nuaire on this project was based on a number of key factors, including the high efficiency and quality of the products, all of which are manufactured in the UK; the comfortable sound levels achieved; and the level of service supplied.