No more blue haze in the smokers’ room of the German insurance company RheinLand-Versicherung
04. February 2008 GEA Clarifair assures smoke-free air at the workplace
The virtual smokers’ booth Clarifair by GEA is highly beneficial in areas occupied simultaneously by smokers and non-smokers – but not only there. When installed directly in smokers’ rooms, Clarifair offers valuable benefits: smokers can enjoy their cigarette breaks there in better air that has been cleaned of odours and pollutants. Smokers’ clothes no longer absorb tobacco smell, and Clarifair prevents blue cigarette haze from passing from the break room to the corridor when smokers enter or leave. These were convincing features indeed that, among others, led to the decision by the insurance company RheinLand-Versicherungsgruppe to install the GEA Clarifair in its smokers’ room.
In the administration complex of the German insurance group RheinLand-Versicherungsgruppe, in Neuss, Germany, smoking has not been allowed since 1 January 2008 – with the exception of in the smokers’ room. The company, however, was not content to ban its smokers to some kind of dreary refuge. As a result, it furnished a room 30 m² in size, in which furniture and oil paintings were intended to make the cigarette break as pleasant as possible for its employees. The next step in the solution, however, was to prevent cigarette smoke from entering the corridor. “With employees constantly entering and leaving this room, there was no guarantee that smoke would not leave through the door and propagate elsewhere,” explains Thorsten Hubatsch, the officer responsible for Work Safety and Building Management at the insurance group. Merely opening the windows to ventilate the room offered no solution, since this would waste precious heating energy in winter. And smoke leaving the room could disturb employees in neighbouring rooms when they ventilated their offices at the same time.
RheinLand-Versicherung therefore sought a technical solution that would ensure pure air in and around the smokers’ room. The company decided for the offer by GEA Happel Klimatechnik GmbH, of Herne, Germany: the GEA Clarifair. The Clarifair is a virtual smokers’ booth that functions effectively without walls. It pulls in up to 1,500 m³ of air per hour and purifies this air in recirculated-air mode. The unit operates on the basis of a triple-stage filter system. A pre-filter captures coarse particles, and an electrostatic filter separates the microscopic smoke particles. The final stage, an activated-carbon filter, removes odours. Thanks to its extremely great air throughput, and to its complete capture of smoke as attested by the German Technical Inspection Agencies (TÜV), blue haze has no chance of propagating.
With this profile of characteristics, the Clarifair satisfied Thorsten Hubatsch’s expectations: “We were looking for an open configuration that effectively operates and that would enable a pleasant atmosphere for our employees for their cigarette breaks in the smokers’ room. We decided for the ceiling-mounted version of the Clarifair, since its appearance was especially discreet from the optical standpoint – which meant preserving impression made by the generous dimensions of the room.”
In its capture zone, the GEA Clarifair removes the smoke of up to 12 persons, and purifies the air in its vicinity. In addition, the version at RheinLand-Versicherung is set to continue running for a brief period after the last persons have left its zone. One positive side effect of the good air provided by Clarifair: the smokers’ room requires less frequent renovation than would otherwise be necessary.
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