Airwaves: Edition 1 - Published February 2024

Airwaves is an exciting industry collaboration from Universal Fans X Fanco.

A membership publication for Universal Fans industry partners, this unique resource is released quarterly, and showcases real-life projects demonstrating innovative approaches to air movement in residential and commercial spaces, cutting edge technology and inspirational design.

Our team are hard at work behind the scenes collating and curating the best of the best from within Australia and around the globe. Direct to your inbox, airwaves connects your business with the information you need to stay informed and stay ahead in your industry.

Project Showcase.

Aging in Place: A Small Home with a Big Heart

Downsizing and finding new ways to live and thrive are some of the greatest challenges faced by members of our ageing population. We all deserve to age with dignity and support, but social isolation and loneliness are very real concerns for some.

This delightfully understated residential project – lovingly dubbed, Auntie’s Hut – is one family’s response to the age-old dilemma: how to provide the best support and care for our loved ones in their later years.

Auntie’s Hut presented the family with an opportunity to think outside the square, building a tiny home in their garden to house their treasured family member, and giving her the best of both worlds: connection with family and support, balanced with privacy and independent living.


The project

Universal Fans and Fanco are proud to be involved with this thoughtful initiative. Architects, 4305 Design, were asked to create a compact home featuring indoor-outdoor living, easy access, and carefully considered interior comforts to keep ‘Auntie’ happy and healthy. This aesthetically pleasing addition to the family’s property succeeds in delivering affordable, energy-efficient, low-impact housing in keeping with local council requirements.

Healthful living for all ages is supported by good ventilation, and light and airy design capturing cross breezes to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the day and night. As we age, consistent temperatures are all the more important and Fanco was happy to help out.

For this project, Universal Fans and Fanco provided fans and ventilation products to support ‘Auntie’s’ year-round comfort, and to suit her modest budget for ongoing energy costs.


How did we achieve this?


The sleek, stylish lines of the Fanco Horizon DC model complement the contemporary interior design sensibilities. This model delivers high airflow with minimal power usage, providing comfort and offering energy efficiency, ideal for budget-conscious living.


Temperature control and air quality were important design concerns for Auntie’s Hut. And a heat recovery ventilation unit was the perfect automated solution.

A pair of Wi-Fi Habitat Expert units supply freshly filtered air to the living spaces. These units extract stale air, keep condensation to a minimum, and improve overall air quality within the home.

To reduce energy costs, this smart system uses warm air from the extraction process to heat incoming (colder) air from outside, minimising heat loss. The Wi-Fi Habitat Expert units also reduce humid air and condensation build-up in the bathroom while maintaining comfort within the living zones.

Importantly, this cosy, sealed system operates efficiently with the windows and doors closed, and Auntie snug and safe inside, perfect for a family member with limited mobility.


The last word

With careful thought and plenty of goodwill, a small home with a big heart can provide a safe haven for vulnerable family members. A place to cherish and to live a full and meaningful life, close to the ones she loves best. Smart technology, clever design and the right products made this vision a reality.

Fanco – dedicated to the creation of sustainable, human-focused spaces for all ages – is here to bring your next project to life.

 An eye on the future.

It’s no secret the world is drowning in single-use plastic linked with unsustainable practices across industry and business globally. Each year, Australia alone produces an estimated one-million tonnes of plastic with up to 50% of that being plastics used for just moments. Plastics which stay on the planet for hundreds of years.


Lessening our impact and cleaning up is serious business.

Times are changing. Our clients – and our team – are dedicated to reducing their global footprint and to doing business in more sustainable and thoughtful ways.

Universal Fans and Fanco are committed to leaving the planet a better place by being smart in our day-to-day business operations and taking decisive strides towards a more sustainable future.

Our latest initiative is a bold move towards totally recyclable packaging. Across our entire product range. No shortcuts. No compromises. We want it done. And we want it done now.

An Australian industry first for fans and ventilation suppliers, this transformation began in late 2022 and is almost complete. Every day, we work towards a leaner, greener future which promises a better life for our children and grandchildren.

We can all make better choices about the products we buy (and supply) and the way we do business. We believe recyclable packaging is an important part of the sustainability puzzle.


Changing Things Up

So, what does this look like for us? And for you, our valued clients?

Fans and ventilation products need careful packaging to make sure they arrive on site in pristine condition. Previously, this was achieved by using moulded Styrofoam and old-school, ‘dirty’ plastics.

Leading the way at an industry level, Fanco has turned to cleaner, greener recyclable cardboard to provide the same supportive packaging and care for our products. We have made the smart shift to folded cardboard and egg crate supports. And we’re in the process of phasing out those little plastic bags – which hold the important bits, like screws and fasteners – in favour of biodegradable and paper alternatives.

We’re on target to complete our full transformation to sustainable packaging in the near future with 80% of our change-over already finalised.

Same protection for your products. Packaged with the same care and attention. But better for the planet. And better for your business.

Single-use Plastics and Government Legislation

There’s no doubt, single-use plastics are on the way out. More Australian families and businesses are seeking sustainable options when purchasing goods and services.

The most notable improvements to-date have been across hospitality and food service, driven by changes in state legislation  and public demand for sustainable alternatives. 


It’s high time all industries tackled this important issue.

We note there are limited proposals at federal and state levels moving towards a ban on expanded polystyrene by mid-2025 with Western Australia taking these brave first steps alone. Industry-leaders, Universal Fans and Fanco urge governments at all levels to get behind an Australia-wide packaging revolution.

We’re ready to see future legislative change drive improvements in all types of packaging in the manufacturing and construction sectors. But here at Universal Fans and Fanco, we’re giving every piece of our packaging a sustainability makeover. Right now.

And we believe if we change, others will follow.

A World of Design.

Sharing the airwaves love around, each edition, we’ll shine the spotlight on a design project deserving your attention. Projects making big moves. Gaining respect globally. Leading the way in innovation and sustainability.

This month, our team’s pick is Frost Terrace (USA).


Affordable. Sustainable. Future-proof.

Nestled in inner-city Cambridge, Massachusetts, Frost Terrace is a unique residential development from Bruner/Cott Architects.

Much like Australia’s major cities, Cambridge is a bustling metropolis struggling with rising living costs and a growing demand for affordable housing. With homes increasingly out of reach for lower-income residents, Frost Terrace provides an elegant response to the local housing crisis.


What we love about this project

Home to Harvard and MIT – Cambridge is known for both history and innovation.

This clever project preserves the region’s architectural heritage, while reflecting the city’s forward-thinking attitude, and a commitment to sustainable design.

This high-quality residential project blends a cluster of three traditional historic homes with new, more expansive architectural forms to create affordable accommodation for the long-term. Its convenient inner-city location offers comfort, amenity, and apartment access to 40 low- and middle-income families.


Sustainability and Lifestyle

Sustainability is more than a catch phrase at Frost Terrace. This project tackles sustainability and housing affordability from a long-term perspective.

Sustainable design principles underpin the initial construction and flow through the life of the project. Importantly, the on-going viability and positive living environment for residents is key. 


Where the project shines

Sustainable design and construction

    • Preserving original buildings; re-using existing building materials
    • Incorporating natural materials and finishes
    • Keeping build costs low to achieve affordable rent levels

Smart energy-efficient living

    • Creating well-insulated building structures (both old and new)
    • Installing energy recovery ventilation (ERV) and electric heat pump systems
    • Swapping on-site car parks for public transport (free subway passes and access to Hubway bike-share stations for residents)

Social and financial sustainability

    • Rent calculation based on residents’ income
    • Apartments reserved for households earning 30 – 50% of the local median income
    • Government rent subsidy connecting low-income residents with privately-owned, purpose-built accommodation.