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Key Factors to Consider When Producing BREEAM Compliant Air Handling Units In line with Sustainability Goals

At Axair, we’ve been working with air handling unit manufacturers, installers, and contractors for over 30 years who strive to provide high-quality, reliable, and energy-efficient products that meet the specific needs of their customers. Below are some of the key factors that high quality OEM’s and contractors focus on when designing and producing their finished units.


Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a top priority for air handling unit manufacturers. They focus heavily on helping to reduce operating costs and improve environmental sustainability for their end user customers. Manufacturers may use advanced technologies and materials to improve energy efficiency, such as variable speed drives, energy efficient plug fans, heat recovery systems, and high-efficiency filters.



Air handling units must be reliable and durable, as they are often used in critical applications such as hospitals, data centers, and industrial facilities. Manufacturers choose high-quality materials and components, as well as advanced testing and quality control processes, to ensure that their units are reliable and long-lasting.



Air handling unit manufacturers often need to customise their units to meet specific customer requirements, such as airflow rates, pressure levels, and filtration needs. Manufacturers may offer a range of options and accessories, as well as custom design services, to meet these requirements. This leads them to require the support of their suppliers, who should have their backs on ensuring all components meet the end of objective, whether lead times, energy efficiency or improved airflow rates.


Ease of Maintenance

Air handling units require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Manufacturers may design their units to be easy to access and service, with features such as tool-free access panels and quick-release latches. Air handling units that are free of the floor allow maintenance engineers a quick and easy hygiene clean, preventing dust build up and future access.


Regulatory Compliance

Air handling unit manufacturers must comply with a range of regulatory requirements, including energy efficiency standards, safety regulations, and environmental laws. Manufacturers may work closely with regulatory agencies and industry groups to stay up-to-date on the latest requirements and ensure compliance.


Why are Fans Critical in Air Handling Units?

So, what about the fan, how does this become one of the most fundamental components sourced by the air handling unit manufacturer? Well, the fan is a critical component of all air handling units, whether a single fan unit, or a multiple fan array with nine fans in parallel. The industrial fans are responsible for pulling air from outside and moving it through the unit to distribute it through ductwork to the building or space being served.


The fan creates the pressure difference needed to push or pull air through the AHU, and the amount of air moved by the fan determines the AHU's capacity to heat, cool, humidify, dehumidify, and filter the air. Belt driven or forward curved centrifugal fans were, and still are, common in old and existing AHU’s but EC backward curved fans, plug fans are now the most popular choice for new or retrofitted air handling units.

Let’s breakdown the factors that influence fan selection in air handling units, to help us determine how critical the plug fan is in the design and build of the ventilation unit.



The fan creates the necessary airflow to move air through the AHU, ensuring that the air is properly conditioned and distributed throughout the building. The fan can be used to adjust the airflow rate based on the building's needs.



The fan creates the necessary pressure difference to push or pull air through the AHU and through the ductwork, ensuring that air is properly distributed to the various spaces being served.



The fan is often used to draw air through filters, removing airborne contaminants and improving indoor air quality.


Energy Efficiency

The fan can be a significant contributor to the energy consumption of an AHU. Manufacturers can design fans with high-efficiency motors, blades, and impellers, reducing the amount of energy needed to move air through the AHU and improving overall energy efficiency.



The fan can generate significant noise if incorrectly integrated, ran at an incorrect speed or when it is operating outside of its operating duty, which can be a concern in applications such as hospitals, schools, and office buildings.Fan manufacturers design fans with low-noise blades and impellers, as well as vibration dampening features, to reduce turbulence, downstream wind and noise levels.


Multiple Fan Arrays for New & Existing AHU’s.

 If you’re looking for assistance with fan selection to replace existing belt driven fans in an AHU, our multiple fan array is a great option for improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 and carbon emissions, improving overall plant efficiency and ensures all existing belt driven fans are removed with ease. Learn more about reducing carbon emissions with AHU fan upgrades here.


Alternatively for new air handling unit manufacture is fabricated housings, our wide range of EC plug fans in ranges E, B, G, W & I offer a full comprehensive range covering low, medium and high pressure application requirements with an equally impressive airflow range. Our pricing and lead times have being more competitive than other suppliers over the past few years and we’re proud to have worked with some highly prestigious OEMs over the last 30 years.


Minimising Environmental Impact with BREEAM

Buildings consume energy and resources at an alarming rate. BREEAM compliant air handling units make a significant contribution to healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings. BREEAM compliance is a UK recognised symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organisations and individuals paving the way for market transformation.


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a voluntary scheme but many UK local authorities and universities have incorporated the building certification scheme into their planning process as a mandatory requirements for sustainable building management. It is used to measure the environmental performance of new and existing buildings and is now considered best practice in achieving sustainability.

BREEAM awards credits for different environmental features which are combined to achieve an overall score. BREEAM compliant buildings are certified on a five-point scale of pass, good, very good, excellent and outstanding.


BREEAM is widely recognised both in the UK and internationally. It was launched in 1990 and is revised every 3-4 years to reflect developments in technology.

For more information on Key Factors to Consider When Producing BREEAM Compliant Air Handling Units In line with Sustainability Goals talk to Axair Fans UK Ltd

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