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 HVAC Contractor Installs SimpleSox Fabric Ductwork to Heat Its Own Sheet Metal Shop
Batavia, Ill.--State Automatic Heating & Cooling can fabricate anything in its Batavia, Ill., sheet metal shop, but when it came time for heating the shop to improve employee air comfort and productivity, the owners chose fabric air distribution over a spiral metal duct system.
“It’s fabric over metal…literally, because the fabric duct hangs above the sheet metal production area,” quipped Jim Gates, president of the 81-year-old family-run business. “We didn’t have the time and didn’t want the expense of running metal duct, so when we heard about SimpleSox fabric duct, we jumped at the opportunity to finally heat the sheet metal area properly.
Previously, the area was heated from an un-ducted, 92-percent efficient, 2,000-cfm furnace that replaced a space unit heater in a 20-foot-high balcony space. Air distribution was drafty, uneven and didn’t adequately reach all portions of the 4,000-square-foot fabrication area, which is part of the company’s 5,800 square feet of fabrication, warehousing and offices. The project remained unfinished for three years because they didn’t want the expense and disruption of a journeyman union sheet metal worker and an assistant pulled off of other jobs in progress. The time constraint grew even worse amidst a perpetual backlog of business in the third and fourth quarters of 2010 from customers hustling to get their $1,500 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credits before the year-end deadline...
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New Modular/Field-Adjustable HVAC Fabric Duct Saves 40-80% in Labor Vs. Metal for Small Ventilation Projects
The newest product innovation in the ventilation industry—modular/fieldadjustable (M/FA) fabric duct/diffuser system—promises air distribution installation time reductions of 40 to 80-percent and 15 to 50-percent less material costs, depending on marketplace geography. The result is a significantly larger profit margin potential for the HVAC contractor and better bid price competitiveness for smaller projects. Besides price, M/FA fabric duct, which is constructed of a polyester woven fabric, is the simplest air distribution product on the market to design and install, and is available to a jobsite within 24 hours because it’s stocked. These features separate M/FA from conventional plan/spec fabric duct, which commands a sizeable share of air distribution in the open architectural ceiling project market today. Plan/spec fabric duct is custom-manufactured and designed for applications by consulting engineers in a process that typically takes weeks to complete. Applications are typically large projects such as gymnasiums, convention centers, big box retail, office buildings and other commercial buildings with open architecture ceilings.
Plan/spec fabric duct is decades old and is an integral part of many prestigious projects such as the David Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh; the 13,300-square-foot Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta; the $60 million, 110,000-square-foot Corona Park Pool & Ice Rink adjacent to Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, and also thousands of other applications in factories, warehouses, schools, and any other commercial building with an exposed architectural ceiling. Plan/spec fabric duct has always been a clear alternative to metal duct because of its lower installation costs and inherent dispersion performance designs, such as linear vents and porous fabrics that distribute a gentle, draft-less airflow that’s far superior to the antiquated technique of spiral metal duct and drafty registers every 10 feet...
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