Energy Award

Nu-air Plans to Create 100 Jobs After Expansion into New Plant
By Anthony Cooper, The Chronicle-Herald – August 12, 2005

WINDSOR Nu-air Ventilation Systems Inc. has expanded into a new $1.5-million plant in the West Hants Industrial Park near Windsor, and the company expects to hire up to 100 new employees by next year.

The company, which employs 50 people, designs and manufactures commercial and residential ventilation and heating systems with an emphasis on energy saving technology.

"It's very green," owner Earl Caldwell said Wednesday, noting that one of the newer products, the Enerboss, a compact unit that controls heating, cooling and ventilation, is being used by the Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alta., where 52 houses in a subdivision are powered and heated by solar power collected and stored year-round.

Nu-air products are shipped locally, across Canada and overseas as far away as Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia.

"We have come a long way, to say the least," Mr. Caldwell said of the business's progress since the company began in 1992. Revenues doubled this year over last and the increased production demands necessitated more breathing space.

Mr. Caldwell, a finalist in this year's Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Atlantic Canada, started the firm by building small heat-recovery systems for residential use. These are still made at the plant up to 100 a day but the firm also manufactures commercial ventilation units the size of a car and innovative products for which demand is expected to grow as builders and homeowners become aware of the potential energy savings involved.

The company also recently began designing circuitry for its systems in-house, which required more space.

"It's already starting to feel a little small," Mr. Caldwell said of the new facility. In fact, in the spring he plans to begin work on another 40,000 square feet of production space. "The old building we moved from, at 8,000 square feet, just wasn't big enough to get us where we wanted to be with production numbers," he said. But that building in Brooklyn, Hants County, will be reworked into a research and development lab, where new products will be dreamed up and tested.

Nu-air expects to add 100 employees over the next year, but the four-year plan, Mr. Caldwell said, is to hire 250 new people. Most of the new people will work in the production side, but there should also be openings for engineers, technologists and salespeople, he said.