“I help architects to better understand our gas fireplaces and the interactions between them and the building materials they’re selecting,” says Richard Miller, Architectural Advisory Lead for Escea.
“This allows me to offer them the widest range of solutions in their buildings, including medium- and high-density builds.” Escea’s world-leading engineering, testing and R&D has helped to create a suite of unique and technologically advanced products, Richard says, and enabled them to become the predominant gas fireplace supplier for Australasian homes.
Richard oversees a team of 5 Architectural Advisors, all of whom work closely with architects and designers to provide CPD-accredited content and presentations featuring Escea’s product range. “We meet architects and designers in their offices and on-site to discuss specific projects and we work out the specifications for them. We also support them remotely by reviewing plans and installation details to ensure that they’ve met all our specifications and that their implementation plan is going to be safe and long-lasting.”
What makes Escea products especially attractive, Richard says, is their ease-of-installation. “One real draw for our customers tends to be in the flue runs which are incredibly simple and can range from very short to over 40 metres.” This flexibility allows designers to move away from the previous paradigm of fireplace design, where everything else needed to revolve around convenient extraction paths. “Our approach allows the flue to just become another service to run through the building; this allows designers to really use their imagination of what’s possible in the space.”
Media and social media are playing a driving role in educating and inspiring the market about home heating, Richard says. “What we’ve found is that, through television and social media, people are able to showcase designs they’re really proud of, and potential users can get in close with the products and see some really cool design to support them. We also have a vast array of technical documents and resources online which are primarily there for designers and architects, but which are freely accessible to anyone. Those can help join up the nuts and bolts of a design and work out how it’s actually possible to implement it. At that point, or even long before, you can contact us and go live with a staff member to talk through your design. That’s a free service we provide because we want the end result to be right.”
Escea fires typically earn higher than a 5-star energy rating, meaning that they sit at 90-95% efficiency with regard to their gas usage. In practical terms, this means that they return the maximum amount of heat while also emitting the minimum amount of greenhouse gases. “When you’re specifying a gas appliance, ideally, you want to start with the most efficient product available. That’s what we offer,” Richard says. “Our fires work exclusively on a sealed chamber combustion system where there’s no interaction between room air and the combustion air of the fireplace. Once through the combustion process, that air is taken through a heat exchanger where the room air is blown over the heat exchanger to scrub the energy off of it. That leads to a really high energy efficiency with very cool flue temperatures.”
Innovative technologies, sustainable business practices and a better future for the building industry are really at the heart of everything that Escea does, Richard says. “Gas fires are actually incredibly low on CO emissions – well on par with a heat pump and, in extremely cold environments, sometimes even more efficient. We can already deliver up to 20% hydrogen gas without any changes to our product or infrastructure and, over the next 15 years, we will be exploring the step-changes required to ensure that the delivery systems remain resilient and fit for purpose. As hydrogen and bio-gasses continue to come online, it’s our expectation that we’ll be able to deliver a zero-carbon-footprint solution.”
Escea also has a hand in the social impact space through their initiative, Fire for Life. The passion project of Escea owner, Nigel Bamford, Fire for Life provides low-emission, flat-pack stoves for families in war-torn and developing regions to enable them to cook more safely and efficiently in their homes. “Anyone can sponsor a Fire for Life and they can be delivered in their hundreds. We crank them out in our down-time and ship them overseas where they can be easily assembled for families in need. We’ve had positive results in Syria already and we’re hoping to really roll that initiative out in Africa as well.”
Richard is excited to bring his joint passions of sustainable architecture and industry education to a new partnership between Escea and Teulo. “I’m really very passionate about the low carbon footprint and high efficiency of our products, and I’m astounded by the wide range of material specifications that we can offer to ensure that the design and the joinery are both as long-lasting as the product. I also love connecting with the architectural community, which is full of wonderful people who are incredibly hungry to learn. With Teulo, we’ve paid close attention to the future of online education offerings and we’ve seen Janelle’s infectious enthusiasm for what she’s doing. As a business based in Dunedin which services multiple countries, Teulo gives us the opportunity to be operating in global markets before we even turn up on the ground there. That’s extremely powerful and we’re really enthusiastic about the future of our partnership with Teulo.”
Escea is busy in 2022, Richard says, with several new products already released and several more to come later this year. They’re also excited to be rolling out a “massive Australasian events calendar” which will enable them to get back in the room with architects and designers post-COVID. “That re-connection with industry is a big focus which is really important to us. We’re also thrilled to just keep doing what we do best: helping architects and designers with their plans for Escea products to ensure that their consent and build process runs smoothly. So many people are still surprised to know that we’ve been here offering that support for years!”
To learn more, visit Escea at https://www.escea.com/nz/, visit Escea’s flagship dealership in Newmarket and keep an eye out for Escea’s CPD-accredited events and content on Teulo!