Ventilation Innovation

American Aldes

As many of us know, well-sealed and insulated buildings ensure greater control of heating and air-conditioning systems, offering efficiency while controlling costs. Yet while efficient, these spaces have a propensity to trap odors, chemicals and humidity in the home which contributes to poor indoor air quality if not properly ventilated.
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In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” This, coupled with the fact that North Americans spend “approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,” means that staying inside – whether at work or at home – exposes us to more polluted air than we face outdoors.

American Aldes is an innovative ventilation solutions provider that understands the complexities associated with marrying efficient building design with the health of a building and its occupants. Indeed, ventilation has a critical role to play in the overall function of a building and the health and wellbeing of its occupants. To this day, millions of the company’s products have been installed in commercial and residential projects across the United States.

With so much at stake, American Aldes takes its role very seriously. Much more than a trusted and reputable manufacturer of ventilation products and systems for homes, multi-family dwellings, hospitality, education and other commercial projects, the company creates healthy, synergistic environments. By taking an all-inclusive view of ventilation systems in residential and commercial buildings, American Aldes ensures there is the appropriate level of ventilation in the right rooms at the right times.

Healthy buildings, healthy people
President John Harrell drew a parallel between a house and a healthy human body. He explained, “It has lungs, it has arteries, it has a heart; electricity is its nervous system. If one of them is not working efficiently, none of it does, so we look at a building sort of the same way when considering the impact of ventilation efficiency. We have to take a holistic approach to what the impacts to a building are, and what the air renewal and ventilation is, and then the role they play in impacting the total consumption of the building. Everything works together.”

This year, American Aldes will celebrate 35 years of innovation and success in improving efficiency and performance of ventilation systems. Air renewal and ventilation costs over 40 percent of the total utility load on a building and given this statistic, the company’s solutions are more valuable than ever before.

“While we have always been recognized as an engineered solutions provider with an emphasis on building energy efficiency, it should be recognized that healthy living for a better life is in our global DNA. We always consider the impact of what we do,” explained Harrell, who has been with the company 19 years and still has a passion for what he does.

Harrell reflected on his time with American Aldes. “When I joined the company, no one even knew what indoor air quality was. To be honest, it wasn’t really spoken about in the market, but the whispers were there. I really felt we were on the ground floor at that time, and just now we are starting to see a real evolution in the marketplace.”

Part of Aldes Group, which has a long history as a family-owned company, American Aldes draws many advantages from its parent company’s global resources. Since its founding in 1925, it has earned fifteen patents for its ventilation innovations that have provided momentum for these market developments. In 1985, Aldes provided the first residential Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) ever installed in the United States. Four years later, its Constant Airflow Regulator (CAR) was named one of the HVAC Product News’ Top New Products of the year.

Key projects
The American Aldes CAR is a modulating device that automatically regulates airflows in duct systems to constant levels. The CAR’ s passive control element responds to duct pressure caused by thermal stack effect, building pressure, and dust-clogged filters. Requiring no electric or pneumatic sensors or controls, the Aldes CAR, with a 20-year life span, will regulate airflow in supply, return, or exhaust duct systems. Known as “The Simple Solution” the CAR needs no maintenance to operate (when used in normal conditions). The CAR also provides a low-cost solution to balancing forced air systems for heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation systems, while eliminating the need for on-site balancing.

Aldes also offers a full series of exhaust and supply register assemblies known as CERs and CSRs that include grilles and optional fire dampers. Aldes’ CSR (Constant Supply Register), like the previously touted CAR, can also compensate for changes in duct pressure caused by thermal stack effect, eliminating the need for on-site balancing. This makes the CSRs the perfect product for use in high-rise buildings like hotels. Major players, such as New York’s Plaza Hotel and numerous Marriott and Hilton Hotels across the country, use Aldes CSRs to automatically and economically regulate airflow within their buildings.

Another American Aldes development is the highly innovative and well-received Zone Register Terminal known as the ZRT. With its unique patent, the ZRT is used for on-demand ventilation of central fan systems, thanks to its flexible design and capacity to produce dynamic control to central ventilation systems. ZRTs regulate ventilation without individual fans and provide a unique combination of control offerings without the need for expensive pneumatic, electronic or DDC control systems. Unmatched in their application to exhaust humidity and odor in bathrooms and laundry rooms, ZRTs provide on-demand boost airflow, and when paired with an optional airflow regulator like Aldes’ CSR, they help to maintain healthy indoor air quality in the building.

In 2008, American Aldes combined its ZRTs with its Ventergy® series fans and Heat or Energy Recovery Ventilators (HRV/ ERV) to create the VentZone® System. Many consider the American Aldes Vent Zone System to be the most advanced zoned central exhaust ventilation kits available today. This system combines an Energy Star rated Ventilator and ZRTs to provide powerful yet silent zone-controlled exhaust ventilation from bathrooms that are in use.

VentZone kits reduce the load that other central ventilation systems put on heating and cooling systems because they do not ventilate all the bathrooms at the same time – only the one in use. This on -demand ventilation feature is one reason why some consider the Vent Zone System to be a revolutionary system for homes to both increase energy efficiency and improve the quality of the home’s indoor air.

In 2013, 2014, and 2015, American Aldes won the AHR Innovation Award in Ventilation, first for its ZRT-2 Zone Register Terminal, then its VentZone® System and its ZRT-PDIL. The ZRT-PDIL is regarded for its ability to provide unique parallel damper operation, which helps to reduce costs without sacrificing performance. This product has been used in numerous high-profile high-rise projects, such as the 220 Central Park South building in New York City’s Midtown.

Business owners know that every dollar counts when running a business, and reducing operating costs is one of the best ways to improve the bottom line. That’s what prompted American Aldes to develop its Commercial Heat & Energy Recovery Ventilators (HRV/ERV) as effective ways of recovering energy and reducing the load on a building’s heating and cooling systems. These units recover up to 70 percent of the energy exhausted by traditional ventilation systems. American Aldes manufactures HRVs and ERVs for small and large commercial applications including multifamily buildings, schools, senior living facilities, hotels, and medical and government buildings.

To serve the hotel and condo markets, Aldes’ Light Commercial HRVs/ERVs offer a range of energy recovery ventilators that can fit between floors and serve one hotel or condo unit at a time. This provides greater comfort for guests and reduces the possibility of cross contamination. Some HRVs/ERVs come with a unique economizer feature that allows for free cooling during some parts of the year – another American Aldes invention and the only models of their kind on the market today.

As part of its long-standing reputation for breakthroughs, in 1997 American Aldes invented the first filtered Blending Ventilation on System (BVS). The quiet Blending Ventilation System was designed to be used in homes near airports that are subject to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) noise mitigation programs. Dwellings that are treated for noise in accordance with the FAA’s noise mitigation programs are generally tightly built structures. This increases the need for good ventilation systems. American Aldes BVS Systems fit this need perfectly. A highly flexible system, the BVS can be installed horizontally – between ceiling joists, or in a dropped ceiling – suspended or vertically, offering a multitude of options for locations in a dwelling. Available in kits, the American Aldes BVS comes complete with all required components to simplify the installation.

Leading the way in innovation
“The more success we have, the more products are being specified, the more competition exists, the more commoditization occurs – but we know that with our model of being very technically solutions-driven, we will always continue to innovate to stay ahead of the curve,” said Harrell.

Rather than adhering to regulated minimum standards, American Aldes is always looking for ways to move the needle. As Harrell noted, “We are always looking ahead toward the next major change in air quality or energy efficiency standards instead of focusing only on current market needs,” which imparts the company with a broad view of trends and techniques on a global scale.

American Aldes stands behind its products, which are built to last. Products come with multi-year warranties and are available through independent manufacturer representatives, wholesalers and HVAC distributors across the U.S., as well as via an e-commerce platform that brings the company’s world-class solutions to a global market.

Quality is rigorously controlled at all levels of American Aldes’ operations: in design, testing and certification. As a solutions provider, the focus is never on price but value – to make products and design systems that work optimally in terms of efficiency and sustainability.

“The company has remained steadfast to its mission of providing sustainable products in the ventilation, indoor air quality and energy conservation markets,” Harrell said. “Our biggest link to sustainability is through our commitment toward improving indoor environmental quality (IEQ) through efficient air renewal technology.”

Through its commitment to the advancement of industry best practices and its desire to surpass the regulated minimum expectations laid out in building codes and related legislation, American Aldes has become a model for innovation and success. The company makes it its mission to connect healthy living to clean air in residential, commercial, and institutional building environments.

“There is an acceleration in interest and awareness in finding healthy living solutions. I can envision what’s going to happen in the next ten years in the marketplace concerning environmental quality in all aspects of our lives as human beings relating to air and water,” said Harrell. American Aldes is well positioned to have a positive impact on these solutions.

Under the Sea

Marine construction – a combination of harsh environment and special considerations. North America has plenty of coastline and the demand for construction in the marine environment isn’t going away any time soon. Yet we don’t often consider or even think about what goes into the design and construction of the structures that bridge our waterways, line our shores and allow the docking of our largest cargo ships.

September 25, 2018, 8:02 AM EDT