If you want to test out some really BIG equipment, you'll need a really big testing center. And that's exactly what Big Ass Fans has. The company recently opened what could only be described as a big ass R&D center in Lexington, Ky., where it will evaluate industrial fans that range from 6 to 24 feet in diameter.
The 46,000-square-foot research and development lab is an engineer's dream, with facilities for air-velocity profile testing, fan assembly and component fatigue testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) mapping, and the evaluation of new fan prototypes. The testing space itself features 60-foot-high ceilings and can be reconfigured to simulate various applications.
It's also a showplace of green construction. The lab has earned the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. By following the LEED guidelines, Big Ass Fans designed a building that uses 35 percent less energy, uses 58 percent less water, and required 9 percent less building material than a conventional building of its type, the company says.
The company's own fans played a role in helping the manufacturer achieve the gold certification. They were used to meet LEED requirements for energy usage and performance, ventilation, thermal comfort, and materials utilization.