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The refurb kit revolution

John Lindblom


Knowing what we know about buildings and the building industry, we realise that there are numerous sustainability choices a real estate owner has to make. Windows, lighting, water-usage, ventilation and so much more have to be considered from an operational carbon perspective, and now also from the angle of embodied carbon emissions. We believe that we ease some of the real estate owners’ burden by introducing a refurb kit for our air handling units. Let us, John Lindblom and Anders Jakobsson, describe how in this blog post. 

For a long time, our industry’s primary focus has been on reducing operational carbon emissions of various building related technology. Energy efficiency has therefore been the topic on everyone’s lips when discussing sustainability. In an ongoing transformation of the industry, there is an increased focus on embodied carbon in order to consider a product’s carbon dioxide emissions during its entire lifecycle.

Increased focus on embodied carbon

Going back to the property owner, embodied carbon grows in importance and might be considered easy to tackle when constructing new buildings. However, many need to remodel and renovate existing properties, mainly for energy efficiency reasons, but when doing so, they find it more and more critical to also consider embodied carbon. As an example, elevators are often renovated to save the shaft, a majority of the original parts and to only exchange what is needed from a safety perspective. This favours not only operational excellence but also the environment.

Now, think about the elevator example and apply the example to an air handling unit. The casing, hinges, handles, filter frames and other hardware retains its functionality significantly longer than components and electronics that experience frequent wear. To only replace the parts that have been worn out, would reduce the resource consumption considerably compared to replacing an entire unit. The product’s life cycle would then be extended and the environmental impact significantly reduced. This is what we had in mind when we developed a refurb kit for our GOLD air handling units. 

Swegon, RE:3 and the refurb kit

As we are entwined with the building industry, we have to acknowledge the importance of embodied carbon too, to stay relevant among our customers. Intensive work has therefore been made and we launched our RE:3 concept a year ago. RE:3 gathers RE:duce, RE:use and RE:vitalise, where the latter is focusing on giving a product a longer life by replacing old components and update functionality by making relevant refurbishments This is where our refurb kit for GOLD comes in!

The refurb kit was introduced to the market just over a year ago and consists of a set of components that are used in our modern range of air handling units and which are installed together with the latest technology. Meaning that an existing unit gets an extended lifespan of almost as many years as it has already been in operation, and the performance will be similar to a completely new air handling unit.

Why a refurb kit?

The obvious reasons for a refurb kit have already been mentioned – lifespan, functionality, energy efficiency and reduced embodied carbon emissions. Another benefit is space. Older buildings are usually built with smaller fan rooms and with little to no space to either get an old air handling unit out, or a new one in. Even if it in some cases is possible to replace an entire unit, usually duct connections and ductwork must be re-done, often a difficult task in older buildings which cause substantial downtime.

A refurb kit in itself is somewhat reforming the industry, but the fact that the sets of components in our refurb kits are adapted to each model and each unit’s needs, is groundbreaking. It is also unique that the refurb kit is packaged as a complete set which simplifies assembly. The physical impact on the building is minimal to none, and the downtime is notably shortened. Original components and qualified installation also ensure maintained CE-marking and product safety.

From assessment to a unit as good as new

The process starts with a technician making an assessment of the existing unit to make sure an upgrade is appropriate and to determine if any components, in addition to what the refurb kit offers, are needed. The kit is ordered based on the above and installed by the same technician.

The GOLD unit is updated with the control system and functionality of today. This includes management of operating logs, energy monitoring, temperature control and much more. The real estate owner will also benefit from the improved BMS communication, access to future upgrades and other cloud connectivity. Further, the unit is updated with a new handheld terminal with a modern user-friendly interface. In addition, the complete fan inserts may be changed to modern fans with EC motors, these improve the fan efficiency by up to 30%, which generally leads to a reduced energy consumption.

So, when choosing the refurb kit for our GOLD air handling units, real estate owners prolong the life of their products and readably contribute to the continuing sustainability efforts in the industry. The refurb kit is an environmentally responsible alternative, or perhaps even more than that, we would say that the unit basically is as good as new with a refurb kit.