The GEA Clarifair virtual smokers’ booth is highly convincing at event venues
28. April 2009 Protecting non-smokers without banning smokers
Smokers at seminars and meetings are not forced to do without their cigarettes at break times: neither at the main VDMA building in Frankfurt am Main, nor at Campus Kronberg (at Kronberg, in the Taunus area of Germany). At both event venues, the GEA Clarifair “smokers’ mushroom” by GEA Air Treatment (at Herne, Germany) has been installed to prevent spread of blue cigarette haze. Clarifair pulls in smoky air, filters it, and exhausts purified air from its top side. Its process removes pollutants and odours. In this way, it creates a smokers’ meeting point that non-smokers do not have to avoid. Healthy air without banning smoking.
The great efficiency of GEA Clarifair is based on a 3-stage filter principle: it pulls in the air from its surroundings, passes it through a sound attenuator, and moves it through the first stage of a pre-filter. In the second stage, the following electrostatic filter captures tiny smoke particles. The last stage, a unit with several kilograms of activated carbon, removes cigarette odour. As a result of the enormous air flow rate (up to 1,500 m³/h) and 100% capture of smoke (as certified by TÜV, the German Inspection Agencies) under the canopy of the unit, almost 2 m in diameter, tobacco smoke has no chance to propagate. A welcome additional benefit is the removal of such pollutants as fine dust and other odours from room air.
Technical non-smoker protection instead of banning
Dr. Hugo Blaum, President of the GEA Air Treatment Division, explains: “This filter principle, derived from industrial applications, is just as effective for tobacco smoke as, for example, for filtration of airborne paint and emulsion mist. Thanks to its excellent capture of smoke, our technical solution with Clarifair is therefore suitable for protection of non-smokers without imposition of a general smoking ban by building users.”
At the VDMA centre in Frankfurt am Main, the GEA Clarifair has been installed as a table model for standing smokers. The unit is located in the event hall, near the coffee bar, which makes it an informal communications point that does not exclude non-smokers and links tobacco enjoyment and conversation. The VDMA has signed a service agreement for its Clarifair, which includes regular cleaning of the filters and exchange of the activated carbon element. This assures reliable operation and uniformly great filtration effects over many years.
Benefits as well in dedicated smokers’ rooms
The GEA Clarifair also offers benefits in dedicated smokers’ rooms. Smokers enjoy their smoke breaks in better air, and employees and visitors who pass along the corridor in front of the smokers’ room are protected from harmful smoke and unpleasant odours. At Campus Kronberg, the GEA Clarifair exploits these advantages in a ceiling unit in the smokers’ room. In this room, the company OFB Projektentwicklung GmbH (Frankfurt am Main) and the local facility managers of HSG Zander GmbH had already tested various external solutions before GEA Clarifair. Until now, however, none of them were able to effectively curb tobacco smoke: smoke fumes and unpleasant odours still propagated through the door to the corridor – that is, before Clarifair. Now, however, there is good air in the corridor, thanks to the high air throughput of the GEA Clarifair and its almost 100% filter effect. Employees and guests can breathe easy, and smokers are pleased at the enhanced acceptance of their break room.
Additional solutions for rooms with smoking permission
In addition to its Clarifair virtual smokers’ booth, GEA also offers an additional smoke killer: the ATpicco room-air purifier. This flat unit is installed under a suspended ceiling. The heart of the unit consists of a 3-stage filter system that functions exactly the same as the Clarifair. With 1,800 m³/h of circulated air, it is capable for example of filtering the entire air in an approx. 30 m² room about every 3 minutes. Service hatches and sophisticated design of the unit make filter maintenance and other service work very easy in a unit that is installed out of view.
In smokers’ rooms, both the GEA ATpicco room-air purifier and the GEA Clarifair offer a major advantage over merely opening windows for ventilation: no room heat is lost. This opens up savings potentials. In addition, optional air-quality and motion sensors save power. These sensors switch off the units when the air quality is good enough, and when no smokers are present in the room for more than a few minutes.
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