Dublin based ventilation specialists Fantech have reported a significant growth in supplying equipment to Ireland’s healthcare premises in response to the Irish government’s commitment to developing primary healthcare facilities.
Ireland has taken a very deliberate move towards relieving the pressures on its hospitals, particularly its A&E departments, by adopting a policy where primary care is very much the focus. Health centres provide a wide range of primary care and community services in towns and villages throughout the country. As Ireland’s Department of Health states – “The development of a highperformance health system will require, among many other things, that the overall volume and range of health and personal social services available be greatly expanded over the coming years.” This has seen the construction of numerous new healthcare facilities and Fantech has been involved in ensuring effective ventilation in many of them. Indoor air quality The nature of primary care recognises the importance of addressing health and well-being at the earliest possible point, including, wherever possible, taking preventative measures.
An important part of this equation, although often completely ignored, is the quality of the air that we breathe. Public health campaigns regularly focus on the health implications of what we eat and drink, particularly given the current pre-occupation with the health issues relating to obesity. However, when you consider that on average we consume 1.5kg of food a day and 2.4 kg of liquid but some 17kg of air, it helps put the importance of air quality into perspective. This is being recognised by health professionals and while attempts are being made to reduce outdoor pollution, addressing indoor air quality is also vital, even more so when you realise that in Europe we spend an estimated 90% of our lives indoors. Fantech offers a wide range of different ventilation products and has become an expert in meeting the needs of primary healthcare facilities. It is important to match the components of the ventilation system with the specific requirements of the building.
For example, one building may have many smaller individual rooms – a doctor’s surgery being a good example – therefore requiring a series of smaller domestic fans, while another building may have much larger rooms where a larger heat recovery system could be used, not only ensuring good indoor air quality but also providing greater efficiency in the heating and cooling of the building. Project Examples Loughtree Primary CareCroi House Health Centre Located in Galway in West Ireland, Croi House is an innovative Heart Health Centre which promotes cardiovascular health and wellbeing. The two-storey, 14,000 square foot building includes medical assessment rooms, conference and lecture facilities, meeting rooms and a cardiovascular gym. Air Design supplied 13 Komfovent HRUs – 4 RECU models and 9 REGO models – to recover the heat energy from the extracted air and transfer it to fresh air as it enters the building utilising a counter-flow heat exchanger between the inbound and outbound air flow. The units provide fresh air and improved climate control, with interface controllers to optimise energy savings by reducing the heating (or cooling) requirements and air quality sensors to monitor and adjust the air flow depending on the level of contaminants. Kingscourt Primary Care Kingscourt is one of several purpose-built primary care centres in the North East HSE Region.
The HSE occupies the entire top floor of the two-storey building, whilst local GPs, nurses and visiting health professionals practice using the ground floor where the Dunaree Pharmacy is also located. The centre also houses a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and reception staff.
The Komfovent HRUs supplied for the Kingscourt site were bespoke units – horizontal models designed with a low height in order to fit within the building’s false ceiling. This project illustrates Fantech’s design and manufacturing capability. In addition to the standard product range, if an application requires it, Fantech have the technical expertise and manufacturing facilities to produce units to meet very specific criteria. Alongside their work in primary care, Fantech is also very active in other areas of the healthcare market. Recent projects include the provision of ventilation for St Lomans Psychiatric Hospital and Waterford Regional Hospital .