The First Direct Arena in the heart of Leeds is a world-class entertainment venue that hosts live music, comedy, entertainment shows plus conferences, exhibitions and sporting events. The visitor experience is of paramount importance, yet due to high foot traffic and large entrance doors, the building is subject to rapid tunnelling of air, cold air ingress and conditioned air loss.
Air curtain specialist Reznor worked with Leeds-based M&E contractor Rotary Services Group to deliver a cost-effective, energy-efficient solution that effectively seals the building, making the environment more comfortable for staff and visitors while also contributing to lower running costs.
22 air curtains from Reznor’s AC series, which deliver a powerful down-flow of air at a rate of 11m/second, have resolved the issue. Connected to the Arena’s main BMS system for improved temperature control, the high-performance units are powered by a 24kW coil fed from the main low pressure hot water (LPHW) heating system.
Reznor air curtains provide an effective solution for buildings where the entrance doors are in constant use. Creating an air barrier to combat cold air ingress and prevent conditioned air from escaping, the AC units have helped to reduce the Arena’s energy costs because the main HVAC system does not have to work extra hard to try and make up the heat losses.
The high-capacity AC2000HW24 model fits doors up to 2m wide and 4m high. With a semi-circular profile that conceals the inlet grille, the AC unit was ideal for this application because the air curtains could be mounted close to the doors for a better seal. Rotary Services Group worked with the project’s steelwork contractor to mount the air curtains in such a way that the wiring would be hidden.
Blythe Davies, Project Manager at Rotary Services Group, said: “The swift manufacturing timeframe and short lead time to unit supply really impressed us and made working with Reznor a real pleasure.
“We were able to hang the air curtains on special bolts, which the steelwork contractor welded in place above the doors, so there was no need for any brackets. This, together with Reznor’s ability to offer special paint finishes, meant we could deliver a really professional and unobtrusive installation.”
The outer casing on the AC unit comes in white or metallic silver as standard but, to ensure the air curtains would not detract from the overall design of the entrance to First Direct Arena, a customised finish was commissioned. Reznor powder coated the units in Basalt Grey to blend in with their surroundings.