Renovations of different kinds

Renovations for energy-savings

A renovation project for better energy-efficiency can consist of anything between applying sensors to an existing HVAC-solution to create a demand controlled indoor climate, and replacing parts or entire units for ventilation, heating and cooling. In general, the air handling unit (AHU) is the most energy-demanding unit in an HVAC-solution which is why a lot of effort is spent on ways to come to tems with its energy-consumption.

Some renovations can be carried out while people continue their daily activities inside the building. A bit larger renovation projects might need for the tenants to move out temporarily. In any case, adding functionalities, making upgrades and replacing units will often make a significant difference to both the energy-consumption and the indoor climate inside the building.

Digital renovations inside the building

The most basic digital renovation is to add in-room sensors which gather data of occupancy, levels of CO2 and/or humidity, temperature and else. The gathered information can either be used for manual adjustments of air flow, temperatures etc. Or, the data can, with the right technical conditions, be digitally analysed and communicated directly to an HVAC-solution which  automatically adjust its operation pattern to answer to the need inside the building. To only ensure a good indoor climate while people are inside the building, and not on a continuous basis, saves significant amounts of energy.

If a system for a demand controlled indoor climate, for instance Swegon WISE, is already in place, a digital renovation can be to upgrade the system. Modern interfaces, with new analytical methods, enhanced functionality and improved options for monitoring the indoor climate is what comes with this type of renovation. The result is an easier way to ensure a better indoor climate and a further energy-efficient HVAC operation.


Learn more about what a demand controlled indoor climate actually is

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Digital renovations on a plant level

There is also an opportunity to digitally renovate units on a plant level. To exemplify, the hand display of our Swegon GOLD air handling unit can be updated. Functionalities are then made available for older units which otherwise are standard only in todays’ brand-new AHUs. This update allows for continuous analysis of the indoor climate based on a greater number of paramteters, and service needs can be better planned with the vast amount of historic data available digitally.

However, aside from the digital upgrade, a refurbishment of our AHU is also possible in terms of tangible parts. An assesment of the air handling unit is made together with one of our technicians to define the scope of the refurbishment. However, it might be advised not to try to prolong the life of the AHU due to the extensive work needed or because the energy-requirements are too comprehensive. In that case, the recommendation can be to replace the entire air handler for a better result in regards to energy-efficiency and indoor environmental quality. 


Learn more in our reference case

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How can a new unit fit into an older building?

If the recommendation above is made, it is time to evaluate the many options of air handling units (AHU). Needless to say, long-term energy-efficiency is essential, not only for the sense of sustainability but also for economic reasons as the air handler will be in operation for many years to come.   

Two other aspects to consider are physical space and the value of the building. Attics in older buildings are sometimes missing the needed ceiling height to fit the required air handling capacity. A the same time, a renovation project with an intact floorplan and interior walls in place, may not allow for modern air handling unit to be placed in the existing fan room. Our Swegon GOLD L-concept is developed for situations where space is limited, the requirements for energy-effiency are tough and a good indoor climate is a must. See the film on the left for more information.


Learn more in our reference case, Katedralskolan in Linköping, Sweden

Energy-efficiency and air-to-air energy recovery

Nearly all air handling units of today feature a solution for air-to-air energy recovery, which significantly reduce the total energy-consumption of the unit. There are though several kinds of techniques and characteristics of energy exchangers and it is recommended to slosely compare both energy- and temperature-efficiency. 

Now, an air handling unit can be energy-efficient in its operation thanks to energy recovery and many other technical advancements, but the next level of energy-reduction is to make sure the AHU is operating either to meet the exact need inside the building, with Swegon WISE for instance, or in line with the use and the damand, read our expert's blog below.


Blog, how to increase energy-efficiency of your air handling unit?

Learn more about air-to-air energy recovery

Ventilation, heating and cooling in a system

Ventilation, heating and cooling can be handled with a correct chosen air handling unit but, from an energy point of view, a complementing heat pump or chiller can be useful for the days with greater heating or cooling loads. Heat pumps and chillers have followed the advancements in the HVAC industry and have improved notably in terms of energy-performance. A suggestion is to choose HVAC-units which are energy-efficient in their separate operation and which can be seamlessly connected to each other. Systems like Swegon SMART Link+ ensures continuous communication between the units which result in an optimal operation and further energy-savings.


Read more bout our optimisation systems

Considerations inside the room

HVAC-related units inside the room are usually no significant energy-consumers, but diffusers or climate modules that fail to answer to the need inside the room, might impose a greater energy-use than necessary. As an example, if an air flow causes a chilly daught it is likely that the people inside the room increase the temperature even though the room holds a temperature in line with set requirements. A nightmare in terms of energy-use.

Choosing suitable air diffusers and/or climate modules is the first step for a controlled energy-consumption, next is to make sure they are installed, adjusted and comissioned as intended. For long-term energy-efficiency, it is suggested to choose units which are flexible and easy to adapt to suit a new floor plan, new tenants or a changed utilisation pattern of the building.


See our guide about ventilation principles

Get familiar with our Swegon room units

Almost from square one

At the beginning of this renovation topic, it was described how a digital renovation can leave the building nearly "as is" but still manage to improve both energy-efficiency and the indoor climate. At the other end of the renovation spectra are the projects that might allow for new solutions. It is then suggested to consider the available room management systems which include products, components and accessories to allow for an indoor climate that can be adjusted to the need inside the room or building. When complete systems are developed as a whole they are not only optimised to deliver a good indoor climate, but also to deliver on energy-efficiency.

Swegon REACT and Swegon WISE are two examples of room management systems with slightly different characteristics but with the overall aim to minimise the energy-consumption and maximise the indoor environemental quality.


Blog, is demand controlled indoor climate a profitable investment?

Get familiar with our Swegon room management systems