Saint-Gobain’s aereNmore improves indoor climate in Byens Skole

aereNmore, a startup-like company owned and developed by Saint-Gobain, is a front-runner in Denmark having integrated fresh air, good acoustics and dynamic lighting in a single “indoor climate package” solution for renovations and new build – ie. planning, counseling, contracting with craftsmen etc. Specialized on advice on well-being, comfort and indoor climate, their business model is first being tested in Denmark, before expanding to other countries in the region. The target group is mainly schools, institutions and other learning environments, where poor indoor climate causes reduced learning and well-being issues for both students and teachers. Office buildings are also within the target, as a good indoor climate has a major impact on employee well-being, health and efficiency.

“Municipal builders can have big challenges in getting designed a room with good indoor climate during the construction phase. The focus is often primarily on energy efficiency and it shuns the need for an optimal indoor climate and end-users’ well-being. That’s why, as the first in Denmark, we have taken the step towards a comprehensive and sustainable indoor climate solution with advice, contract and performance measurements,” explains Mats-Arne Olsson, Managing Director of aereNmore.

Former Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Gyproc in Denmark, Mats-Arne Olsson used to sell plasterboard for acoustic ceilings. An acoustic plasterboard is designed with a lot of small holes, aiming at absorbing and dampening the sound. Some of his employees got the idea of using the holes the opposite way to blow fresh air into the room, thus distributing clean and fresh air – so-called diffuse ventilation and premises to aereNmore. The method was tested by the Saint-Gobain R&D team in collaboration with DTU, and proved extremely effective thanks to its use of the entire ceiling as a supply air duct. Meters placed into the room constantly measure the CO2 level. As soon as it gets too high, more air will enter the room.

In addition to fresh air and good acoustics, dynamic and intelligent lighting is also integrated into the aereNmore indoor climate solution. The lamps are automatically set to spread sunlight-like lighting on days when enough daylight is not available in the room.

Back in February 2018, aereNmore signed its first contract with Byens Skole, a school in the Copenhagen area. Chosen for their complete indoor climate offer and their ability to offer quality support, aereNmore was able to design a product system meeting the school’s requirements. Installed over the summer break, this first commercial project has now been handed over and already shows tangible results. The installation schedule was met and all the business process parameters have been successfully tested. The installed system also meets the defined functional parameters on air (CO2-level), light (lux), and sound (reverberation time).

The building owner has expressed his satisfaction with both the process and the end result. Now that the school year has started, the system can be tested live by teachers and students. First interviews with those end-users also show great satisfaction with the renovation and the improved indoor climate. In the pre-project phase, aereNmore had conducted surveys among the end-users in the school to understand better the challenges they were facing before the renovation and the level of indoor comfort they would ideally like to achieve.

“We had set up indoor climate meters prior to the renovation. We could see that the CO2 concentration was already high in the morning and accelerated rapidly to daily peaks of 2000 ppm, which is twice the upper limit recommended by the authorities. Now that the renovation is done, we feel a very clear improvement. We are investigating what it really means for the children’s cognitive abilities, but it is already obvious that there is a greater calm in the classrooms and that comfort is overall much better. With aereNmore’s diffuse and intelligent ventilation, the children have clean air, no matter where they are in the building, and no matter how many children are gathered in one place. Acoustics is good. The light panels are also a great feature, functioning as skylight windows with pleasant and sufficient light regardless of the season and the weather outside,” says Morten May, School Director at Byens Skole.

Indoor climate in the school will be monitored and maintained over the next three years, where aereNmore has an agreement with the school to be able to use it as a reference project. This cooperation should improve possibilities to raise interest for this new concept for indoor climate and construction process efficiency.

In line with aereNmore’s concept of measuring the effect of the new indoor climate system, a scientific study has now been initiated in collaboration with DTU to measure how different effects of light and air affect the cognitive skills of the students at Byens Skole.

“A study from DTU shows that 91% of the classrooms in Denmark have a higher CO2 level than recommended by the authorities. And even in newly renovated buildings, the indoor climate is often poor. This is a problem because there is a clear correlation between the children’s learning and level of CO2 concentration in a room,” emphasizes Mats-Arne Olsson.

This first project has shown tangible results and seems to confirm aereNmore’s ambitions that the Danish market is ready for this brand new contract and consulting process. It has attracted a lot of interest in the industry, not the least because general contractors avoid additional costs and delays when handling with different subcontractors. aereNmore stands for the entire process, from design to installation, and maintains contact with all the subcontractors. The overall solution of sound, light and air in a single contract is also a sustainable solution, both from a social, economic and environmental point of view.

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