A holistic view of sustainability: Creating trust and reliability

Why certified performance and hygienic design are key pillars of the Systemair Green Ventilation label for air handling units (AHUs).

What is Green Ventilation, and why does it matter?

Sustainability has never been more relevant than it is today. The urgent need for proactive climate action in the face of the undeniable effects of global warming can no longer be ignored. It has also been the driving force for Systemair's decision to redefine the Green Ventilation concept within our Group. The Green Ventilation label reflects the company's highest internal standards and aims to guide customers towards the most sustainable products within the Group's portfolio based on clear and tangible benchmarks.

In simpler terms, Juan Manuel Fernández, Product Manager, Systemair, describes the Green Ventilation mark, how it relates to Systemair's Air Handling Units (AHUs), as 'the cross-section where good IAQ meets proper energy consumption'. "Everyone agrees that good indoor air quality is key to a healthy and productive life," says Fernández.

"Systemair also firmly believes that every quality product must have rigorous testing procedures to ensure optimal performance and lower energy consumption. This is why the Green Ventilation mark is where healthy indoor air and maximum energy efficiency meet."

Juan Manuel Fernández
Product Manager,
Systemair Sweden

Fernández explains that the global AHU teams identified an integrated control system and high energy recovery as essential for meeting Green Ventilation requirements. Thus, a high Eurovent energy rating and the use of the most efficient fan and heat recovery technology are mandatory for AHU products with a Green Ventilation label. "Additionally, we believe all units should be designed with hygiene in mind, without the need for customers to request it," he says. "That, combined with our rigorous testing and compliance measures at Systemair, is what makes Green Ventilation an important initiative for the environment and close to my heart."

Breaking down the benchmark

For Fernández, the value of units offering Eurovent Certified Performance with A+ energy class is clear among those who prioritise having a long-term perspective on projects, performance, and the planet, because it considers the overall impact of a product throughout its operation. The decision to include the Eurovent Certification, thus, supports the Green Ventilation label’s aim to make it easy to make a sustainable choice.

"When it comes to any kind of project, you need to see whether this building will survive to meet future demands, so you need to have a holistic view over the product's life cycle and operation," he says. "Prioritising products with low energy consumption allows you to meet future regulations and sustainability requirements, which are set to become more stringent in the coming years. It will also provide a better return on investment ensuring that paying slightly more for a better solution will even out during the 20-year average lifespan of the AHU, potentially even leading to more savings as energy prices continue to rise steadily."

The value of certification and independent audits

Eurovent Certified products with A+ energy class represent units that meet the most stringent technical benchmarks, as only a small portion of products in the market can fulfil the requirements at this level. It is also a vital touchstone as an independent body certifies the performance data through audits of the selection software and manufacturing process and real-unit tests in accredited, third-party laboratories. This ensures that the high performance asserted is not merely a result of self-declaration.

"It's human nature to want an external regulator to provide transparency and ensure the trustworthiness of the data, and we at Systemair support that, which is why we believe in the importance of independent bodies such as Eurovent," says Fernández.

He adds that Eurovent's growing presence worldwide underlines the programme's value, with significant features such as the winter and summer labels. "No matter where you are in the world, the label remains relevant, allowing you to measure and compare products easily, and being empowered to compare easily allows people to appreciate these solutions as a long-term investment."

Eurovent Certified products with A and A+ energy classes also meet the EU taxonomy requirements, a new mandatory framework that measures how "green" a company is. "It's really about meeting people's future needs today," Fernández says. "We need to keep our indoor climate healthy while striving to reduce the impact on the earth, and that is only possible by using products with the best energy classes."

Striving to make hygienic solutions a norm, rather than a luxury

Hygienic features are the second critical benchmark for AHUs with the Green Ventilation label. Traditionally, the HVAC industry's concept of 'hygiene' refers to units that are certified for use in critical healthcare applications such as clean rooms and hospital operating theatres.

"At Systemair, we believe that the term ‘hygienic’ needs to be a standard requirement for all applications, given the important role these types of equipment play in occupant health and wellbeing," Fernández says.

AHUs with the Green Ventilation label are '#HygienicByDesign' as they use plastic casing components that are ISO 846 compliant, meaning they are less vulnerable to contamination and are naturally hygienic. This concept also refers to cleanability because the inner parts of AHUs are designed to be easily accessible so that operators can clean and maintain the unit's interior thoroughly.

Globally recognised hygienic standards

Underscoring the value of third-party verification once again, Fernández highlights that these elements are also compliant with and carry two globally recognised certification standards: Eurovent's Hygienic Air Handling Unit (HAHU) certification and VDI 6022-1. "These certifications serve as a stamp of approval from notable independent parties that these components meet their strict hygienic standards. We need to trust the third party, and Eurovent HAHU certification and VDI all have clear and stringent demands that are met and verified with an extensive follow-up and enforcement mechanism."

All together, these features represent the pillars of Systemair’s Green Ventilation mark for air handling units, a testament to the Group’s commitment to championing a holistic view of sustainability, supported by trust and reliability.