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Wienerberger Building Material Solutions

Why the Middle East is ‘Hot’ for Renson

By: Frank Goudman

Could you please share the journey of Renson with our readers?

Established in 1909, Renson is a Belgian family business that produces ventilation, outdoor living and sun protection solutions. The goal of the company is to create healthy spaces. In order to achieve that, Renson focuses on smart, innovative solutions and concepts. Renson’s story in the Middle-East started 8 years ago in 2013.

At first, the main focus was on outdoor living and solar shading for the residential market. Steadily, our brand gained visibility and we quickly went from the residential market to the high-rise buildings and hotel sector; not only were they interested in our sun protection solutions, but our ventilation solutions also grabbed their attention.

In the last couple of years, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are amongst people’s favourite holiday destinations alongside the hub of global business and the importance of the Gulf region grew exponentially. This leads to a change in demands for the people who stay in these hotels. The clients are demanding more in terms of comfort, the arrival of the COVID19 pandemic has increased awareness of ventilation being essential for limiting the spreads of contagious air particles has grown beyond limits. AC systems are everywhere in the Middle East region, but there is one big disadvantage.

Panorama, Bratislava, Slovakia

Aircon systems recirculate used air. So, if a person with the coronavirus sneezes or coughs, the AC spreads the contagious aerosols around the room. However, if you combine air conditioning with ventilation, you are ‘flushing’ space with healthy outside air, then the risk of spreading is up to 10 times lower than without ventilation. Of course, that didn’t go unnoticed in the hotel, where open a window is not an option, high-rise and commercial buildings market. We have met a lot of new, potential customers who came to us because they know that we offer the tools to create indoor living spaces in a natural way, that are both comfortable and healthy to live in.

Fixscreen® 100EVO on windows at Black Forest Apartments, Shanghai, China

What are the products you offer? List some of the benefits of your products?

I have already mentioned Renson’s outdoor living and sun protection products, but here I would like to focus on our window vents and performance louvres. Renson has over 50 years of expertise in this field. The company’s specialisation is to develop innovative, technical louvres for all kinds of applications. For the airport in Abu Dhabi for instance we developed sand-trap louvres (468 SA). Those louvres provided the building with healthy air, but at the same time avoid sand being blown inside.

Besides performance louvres, we also offer technical window vents. For high-rise buildings, we have the InvisiVent Comfort, which is a landmark product in terms of flow rate, acoustic comfort, and energy consummation. The InvisiVent allows you to ventilate a building in a controlled way.

Another window vent that I would like to mention is the FireCatch. Since the Torch Tower and the Address Hotel fire outbreak in Downtown Dubai, fire safety has become a big issue in UAE. With the Renson FireCatch window vent, we offer the best of both worlds in terms of health and safety. FireCatch guarantees a maximum supply of fresh and healthy air and assures a fire resistance of 58 minutes. This window vent prevents the fire from spreading to other rooms. With almost an hour, people have enough time to flee the scene, and firefighters can take control of the fire.

Renson
25th South Residence, Mumbai, India

Those technical louvres and the know-how to create them is unique for Renson. Our customers know if they have an issue, that they can come to talk to us. If the solution is not part of our broad louvres range, we can go for a custom design for them. The quality standard is guaranteed by the fact that all our products are BSRIA certified.

Name some of the recent projects globally in which your products have been used. Please provide the details.

We have started in the outdoor living and sun protection market, we did projects, like the Retreat Palm, the IOI One and Only on the Palm Jumeirah, the Etihad Museum, Blue Water Islands, as well as countless residential realisations on The Palm, Al Barari, Arabian Ranches, etc.

Concerning the ventilation business, I have already mentioned the Abu Dhabi Airport project, for which we have developed customised sand-trap louvres. Another landmark project worth mentioning is the Plot 16 project in Moscow. This is a 300m high residential high-rise building, in which we installed THL100V louvres, to supply healthy air. From the outside, the louvres are practically invisible. In order to accomplish that, we have developed a special, customised perforated window profile.

Panorama City in Bratislava (SK) is another project that I am proud of. Together with the University of Bratislava, we developed a customised window vent (the T100V and AK80). The option to be able to close the ventilation channel from the inside was based on a sliding grille that was reduplicated to ensure it closes well regardless of whether there is under-or over-pressure. This adequate closure was necessary due to the significant height at which the window ventilation is located. The façade caps protect the window vent from incoming water.

Renson
Firecatch

Right now, in Mumbai, India, we are installing our window ventilation in the 25th South Residence, which is also a high-rise building with high-end apartments.

Could you please tell our readers about your manufacturing facility and capacity? What standards and regulations do you follow?

We have a high-quality production standard. That is why we keep the manufacturing of our products in Belgium. In this way, we can keep thorough quality control, which results in high quality products. Certain product lines such as performances louvres, our sun-protection screens the Fixscreen are available for local assembly based on the known Renson quality. In this way, we can win in terms of logistics and service. For instance, the Renson Fixscreen is now being assembled in Dubai in cooperation with our partner Sater.

What are the major challenges and opportunities for your business in the Middle East?

Renson
One and Only, Dubai, UAE

As I mentioned before in this interview, and I know that it may sound absurd at first glance, but COVID-19 has truly expanded the possibilities of our ventilation products in the Middle East. It has truly brought new awareness towards the need for ventilation. We expect that this will grow even further.

Another hot topic in the region is saving energy. Our ventilation and sun protection solutions combine both. We create healthy environments, but without losing sight of the energy aspect.

By using combined natural techniques, such as ventilation and external sun protection, not only do we cut down on energy consumption, we take it one step further by actually avoiding overheating. We work in the same vein as our ancestors used to do with the use of wind towers and “Mashrabiya”. Renson advocates natural techniques to avoid overheating. Air-conditioning should only be used to eliminate excess heat. This focus on natural solutions plays a central role in our corporate philosophy.

What are your company’s plans for the near future? Do you have any expansion plans?

Right now, we have a growing number of local sales partners in Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia, and for two years, we have a sales representative, who is located in Dubai. That is my colleague Mrs. Jamila Bouhsine. If the market evolves in the way we expect, then a regional office is one of the possibilities. We are very curious about what the Middle East has in store for us. It is a very promising market, and we are convinced that a lot of opportunities are coming in our direction.

Frank Goudman

Export Sales Director

Frank Goudman is a Belgian engineer in civil building graduating in 1988. Ever since he has been active in the aluminium industry. In the first years of his career, he was R&D manager for Reynaers Aluminium and as Export Director for Reynaers Aluminum, he has been developing new export markets in CE Europe, Middle East, Asia & Oceania since 1994. His first partners in the Middle East date back to 2003. Since 2012 Frank Goudman has been Export Sales Director at Renson, a Belgian family-owned company with 110 years’ experience in natural ventilation, sun protection, and outdoor living. For Renson, Frank Goudman is again developing the export markets. In a conversation with Window & Façade Magazine, Frank Goudman talked about his journey in the industry, the offerings and achievements of their company, etc. Here are the excerpts…

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