The Story of VILPE IO: How Did We Design It?
When ventilation using exterior wall-mounted exhausts and air intakes was allowed in 2018, it was clear VILPE was going to launch a product of this type. However, because VILPE’s product selection did not have a similar product at the time, the product development process had to start from the beginning.
“At first we considered which features the product needed and what was important for customers. Easy installation, technical functionality and excellent design quickly emerged as the most important features. For an HVAC designer, rain rejection is also particularly important, as well as the ability to prevent exhaust air from flowing into the apartment along with intake air”, explains VILPE’s product development director Veli-Pekka Lahti.
One product to fit different buildings
The variability of modern buildings made the product development team focus on flexibility. The goal was to have one product which could easily be installed in as many buildings as possible.
“We first proposed a reduction piece which would allow the product to be used with different air flows depending on the apartment size. We then asked ourselves why it was necessary to have different products for left- and right-sided intake and exhaust air solutions. Wouldn’t it be best if one product could fit both directions?”, Lahti recalls.
Design which keeps the wall clean
Design was another key aspect which the product development team focused on. This is especially important for wall-mounted products, as the product has an aesthetic effect on the building facade. Another issue to be solved was dust and dirt accumulation on the ventilation terminal, which could eventually flow downwards and make the façade dirty.
“In the end, the solution was simple: the lower edge of the product was designed in a way that led the dust and dirt to flow straight to the ground instead of flowing down the wall”, Lahti explains.
Certified product reassures HVAC designers
The product development team’s job was not over when the product was launched: the next step was certification. Because these wall-mounted intake and exhaust air solutions had not been used before, there were no existing certificates to guarantee the product’s functionality. This is why Eurofins Expert Services introduced a new product certificate, which VILPE IO was the first product to receive.
“The certificate requires, among other things, an excellent level of rain rejection. Another important criterion is that exhaust air does not flow into the building along with intake air. We succeeded very well with these two features”, Lahti states.