Brunel Construction Centre, Huddersfield, part of Kirklees College, specialises in construction-based courses such as plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery. Kirklees College’s woodwork department inherited an impressive array of industrial machinery from the previous tenants, and has since invested heavily, installing new woodworking equipment including spindle moulders, planers, and a state-of-the-art five-head moulder.

To further improve the facility, Extraction Solutions was invited to survey the workshop, with the intention of replacing its aging extraction unit with a new, energy-efficient, ATEX-compliant installation. The existing system was installed before the ATEX regulations came into law in 2003, and the duct system has since been heavily modified, resulting in low efficiency and reduced dust capture.

“After a discussion with Daniel and Peter from Kirklees College, it was clear that only a percentage of the machines would operate at any one time, with students intermittently using machines throughout their projects,” explains ESL’s design engineer, James Parkes.

“By correctly sizing the duct system it enables us to use dampers to select between two or more machines, which has the added benefit of reducing the plant size. We coupled the fan with a smart inverter which constantly optimises the fan speed depending on the required duty.” 

During normal operation this could save the college over 7kW per hour, greatly reducing running costs and offering flexibility throughout the system.

Extraction Solutions aimed to keep the system as simple as possible to prevent any potential disruption to students’ education, and opted to install a modern NFPZ3000 3HJ filter unit complete with reverse air regeneration fans for cleaning the patented antistatic superbags.

This type of filter delivers extracted waste directly into bins, which is then collected by local farmers and equestrians for use as animal bedding.

Both filter and fan comply with current ATEX regulations, with the filter utilising explosion relief doors to safely vent any flame or pressure wave. The fan includes both temperature and vibration sensing to reduce any potential risk by shutting down the fan before it reaches the ignition temperature.

Kirklees College spared no expense in protecting students, opting to include a CARZ isolation backflap, which is an ATEX recommendation always offered by ESL. This device prevents pressure and flame travelling back upstream through the ductwork into the workshop, protecting students and staff in the unlikely event of an explosion in the filter.

Integrating the new system into the workshop came with certain challenges. With a ceiling height of only a few metres and 20 machines to connect, the main duct routes needed to be designed without being overbearing or intrusive.


“This had to be undertaken carefully as not to create an oppressive appearance in the workshop – we opted to split down main ducts to serve only a few machines each. Our excellent team of installation engineers ensured that ducts were installed as close to the ceiling as possible,” says James.

Daniel Bedford, head of estates and facilities for Kirklees College, comments: “Extraction Solutions recently completed the installation of a replacement wood extraction plant at our Brunel Construction Centre in Huddersfield. From start to finish, the project was designed, installed and commissioned seamlessly, to budget and on programme. The system was value for money, with the tender being the lowest of the three prices returned.

“The design of the new dust extraction plant has created additional space externally, whilst the operating noise levels and energy consumption are significantly lower than the previous dust extraction plant.

“The Extraction Solutions team, both on-site and in the initial stages of the project, were professional and informative. I would recommend Extraction Solutions for similar projects.”

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