Increasing air quality, enhancing aesthetics keys to wedding venue success

When Andy Rittberger and his wife decided to convert their 70-year-old barn that once housed 500 hogs and 100 cattle into The Scale House, an 840 sq. m. wedding venue in Zanesville, Ohio, USA, they learned early on that cooling the old structure was a challenge. After trying several unsuccessful attempts, the couple learned about FabricAir solution which became their lifechanger and comfort giver.

Built in 1950 with local farm lumber, the barn conversion began in 2012, and the first wedding was hosted two years later. Rittberger recalls that air conditioning in the huge space was a daunting challenge from the beginning. For the first few years, he tried large fans and even rented a 12-ton AC unit, which still was insufficient to cool the space that quickly heated up in warmer weather.

He eventually found a 25-ton unit that had never been used. He recalls that “having no clue what exactly I was going to do with it, I bought it.” He had it installed shortly before Covid shut down operations in 2020.

His plan was to “dump” air into his facility. That’s when a friend suggested he reach out to FabricAir. In addition to providing much-needed cooler air, Rittberger says it was also important to maintain the charming aesthetics.

Brad Bonnville, Teritory Manager at FabricAir, recalls the first time he visited the venue. “I remember thinking what a beautiful space for fabric ducting and how improving the overall air quality in this type setting is exactly what FabricAir is set up to do,” he said. “Our approach addressed the air quality needs while adding to the overall aesthetics.”

This FabricAir solution includes a 26-meter header with five 25-meter branches of Combi 20 fabric with 360 hoops and OriFlow airflow model dispersion supported by Type 1 suspension. Rittberger selected a repeatable wood grain pattern for the fabric that complements the natural beauty of the space.

“Our catering staff went from sweating over the hot food prep area to high fiving as they were cool standing in the same area,” he said. “We actually had some guests complaining of being too cool.” Regarding the pattern, Rittberger says some guests have asked him how he managed to get a log suspended from his ceiling.

“The first time we used it, I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea it was going to be that good,” Rittberger said.

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