St Neots Table Tennis Case Study
St Neots Regional Table Tennis Club is one of the largest purpose-built table tennis venues in the United Kingdom. Originally built in 1976, it has since been refurbished and modernised with support from Sport England and Table Tennis England, most recently with significant investment in new playing equipment and building upgrades.
The club caters for table tennis players of all ages and ability levels and aims to do so in a friendly and accessible environment. As one of the premier table tennis clubs in England, it has a capacity of up to 36 players at any one time, with up to 9 tennis tables and several highly trained coaches.
St Neots Table Tennis Club was looking to install a new ventilation and heating system in the playing area to improve air circulation and maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the colder seasons. They asked Prihoda UK to design fabric diffusers that would connect to fan units supplied by Stax Asociates and distribute the air through the playing hall.
The table tennis hall is essentially a large open space containing a range of table tennis tables and related equipment. The hall is 25 metres long and has a pitched roof with exposed rafters. With a pitched roof like this one, there is a risk that the heated air will rise and pool at the highest point. This risk would need to be considered at the design stage. Additionally, keeping draughts away from the playing area was very important, as air currents can interfere with table tennis games.
Prihoda’s solution is a tailor-made round fabric duct installed centrally across the length of the table tennis hall. The duct is attached to the exposed rafters, avoiding the lighting supports located directly below. Two rows of 30mm fabric nozzles, sonic welded onto the duct, deliver the conditioned air into the hall. The nozzles are set up at an angle to spread the air out and cover the entire hall without creating air currents in the middle of the hall. Why nozzles and not laser-cut perforations? Because they give plenty of throw to the supply air, ensuring it reaches the occupied zone even when it’s warm and buoyant. And with the duct mounted at the highest point, the hotter air can’t pool just below roof level, creating a much more efficient air distribution.
With the new fabric duct in place, St Neots Table Tennis Club can now offer a much more comfortable environment for club members, staff and visitors. It’s easier to control air temperatures thanks to the efficient air distribution created with the fabric nozzles. The conditioned air reaches the occupied zone without interfering with the table tennis games or causing noticeable air currents and draught.
The fabric duct looks sporty and aesthetic in this modern dark grey non-permeable textile material with tensioners to keep the duct nice and taut all the way through.
Players can now enjoy a more pleasant environment where they can hone their skills and have fun.