Gekås was founded in a basement in Ullared in 1963. Today, it is Sweden’s most visited attraction and is considered the largest department store in the world. Shopping, accommodation, food and events combine to create an extraordinary experience. The destination is inordinately popular and attracts guests from near and far. With five million visitors annually and 1,900 employees, demands on ventilation are naturally high in order to create a good indoor climate all year round.
The relationship between IV Produkt and Gekås began almost 30 years ago. HVAC consultant Nils Perlhagen has designed over 100 units for Gekås. Nils explains that it was in the late 1980s that Gekås realised the enormous benefits to be reaped by investing in its indoor climate, and therefore ventilation equipment.
"Investments were made in improved air handling units combined with comfort cooling, making it possible for the store to maintain an even indoor temperature all year round", says Nils.
"The units installed at Gekås are over-dimensioned to ensure a good indoor climate and to be as energy-efficient as possible", continues Nils.
As early as the 1990s, Gekås realised the importance of its indoor climate. Nils Perlhagen is seen here in a plant room with then building and property manager Tommy Johansson.
The average visitor spends 4.5 hours in the store and Gekås places a great deal of emphasis on always delivering a well-ventilated, comfortable indoor climate on even the hottest summer days. This benefits customers and also helps staff to maintain the highest levels of service.
"Previously, all units ran on full power all day; however, for the past seven years all units have been fitted with frequency control, so that we can control the speed of fans", says Magnus Larsson, property technical manager at Gekås.
"Even older units have been updated for speed control and to measure carbon dioxide and temperature with multiple sensors", continues Magnus.
"We now work entirely with demand controlled ventilation in our premises, so that we can adapt to the number of visitors in the store. This has allowed us to optimise operating costs and extend the working life of units, as they are not working at maximum flow around the clock. This has been an extensive project that we have greatly profited from", says Magnus.
Gekås purchased its first unit from IV Produkt in the 1990s, the KPVI reversible heat pump. They now have over 100 units in fan rooms covering a total of 10,000 m2.
"We continue to purchase units from IV Produkt because they offer a reliability that we value highly. We are now larger and have in the region of 110 units, so we are dependent on everything working. IV Produkt’s service and control system support has demonstrated a high level of competence and availability; a collaboration that has worked very well over the years", eulogises Magnus.
For many years, Nils Perlhagen and Magnus Larsson have been involved in project managing Gekås’ large collection of IV Produkt ventilation units, which now numbers over 100.
"For example, the IV Produkt service department was on site in only two hours to replace a broken fan. It is vital that we have a partner that can meet our needs and our high demands on ventilation", says Magnus.
The latest units delivered to Gekås from IV Produkt are fitted with the integrated EcoCooler cooling unit.
"Integrated cooling means shorter construction times and easier installation of the unit on our part, which is another crucial factor in choosing IV Produkt as a supplier", says Magnus.
"I’m sure we all remember last summer. We had a long period of outdoor temperatures in excess of 30 degrees but were still able to have a temperature of 23 degrees inside the store thanks to well-designed units", concludes Magnus.