The manufacturer of ATEX WORKWEAR clothing, ATS – Ammattityökalut Oy, founded in 1992, is a family-owned company specialised in the manufacture, import and wholesale of workwear clothing. The company also sells safety footwear, PPE, professional tools, leisure clothing and disposable overalls to both companies and communities.
In 2019, ATS – Ammattityökalut Oy built a new office and logistics building in Porvoo. The building’s heating system is based on ground source heat pump technology. When choosing the heating system components, ATS – Ammattityökalut Oy chose Itula’s panel products due to their energy efficiency and stable and clean indoor climate properties. After two years of use, it is safe to say that the company is now enjoying the benefits it set out to achieve when it chose the Itula panels.
According to Managing Director Jari Toivonen, the objective was to create office-like working conditions that would make it possible to work comfortably in a T-shirt in the building. With a ceiling height of 8.5 metres, the initial plan was to divide the building into blocks of different temperatures (cool, mild, warm), but this idea was scrapped when the ItuString+ system was introduced. Now the entire building enjoys a stable temperature of 18–21 °C: 18–20 °C on the bottom floor and 20–21 °C on the top floor, which is about three metres above the bottom floor.
Toivonen says that the radiant ceiling panels installed in the new building have eliminated the problems that affected the working conditions in the previous building.
“Our new hall has a ceiling height of 8.5 metres. The ceiling height of the old building was 7 metres, and the temperature at the top was 45 °C and at the bottom 18–20 °C. Now the temperature at the bottom is 18–20 °C and at the top 20–21 °C, so the change in temperature between the floors is almost non-existent. In the old building, working on the top floor was almost unbearable due to the hot air that rose to the top. We no longer have to deal with this problem,” Toivonen explains.
Itula’s ItuString+ radiant ceiling panel, which is manufactured in Finland, improves indoor climate conditions. Its key benefits include a comfortable and stable temperature, no draughts and silent operation. With no fans, the radiant ceiling panel system does not stir up airflow. As a result, there is no draught or dust, and other impurities are not carried in the air. Toivonen has also noticed that the system’s hygiene properties have had a significant impact on the business operations. In the old building, hot air was forced down with air-circulating fans, which caused dust to spread everywhere. In the new building, the dust problem is but a distant memory.
“Dust is an important factor. We process and print textiles and use forklifts, so we can’t avoid generating dust. In the old building, items stored 5 metres above the floor were covered in dust, but now there’s no dust at 7 metres above the floor. In other words, dust is no longer spread around the hall. The air is much cleaner now,” Toivonen says.
In addition to the top-notch working conditions, Toivonen has been positively surprised by the low energy consumption of the new building.
“You can’t underestimate how important it is to us that the building’s heating costs have dropped drastically; they are almost 50% lower than in the old building, even though the new building is twice the size of the old one. The floor area of this new building is 1600 square metres, but its maintenance costs are half those of the old, 800-square-metre building,” Toivonen says.
The long-lasting and maintenance-free ItuString+ system is a hassle-free heating system with low life cycle costs. According to Toivonen, the system is worry-free to use; since its installation, it has operated independently. Each room is equipped with its own thermostat, which allows those in the room to adjust the temperature to their liking.
The office space is heated and cooled with ItuGraf heating and cooling panels integrated into the suspended ceiling. ItuGraf Model A is nearly indistinguishable from the model A suspended ceiling panels. The suspended ceiling with integrated lighting, air conditioning and ItuGraf panels in the office space was constructed by Inlook Oy. Toivonen considers the solution, which is both impressive and subtle, a great success.
“I think the ceiling looks very nice. It has all the components in one place: the standard ceiling, lighting, air conditioning and heating,” Toivonen says.