About | Heritage - airclad
AirClad is a uniquely designed building system for producing mobile, portable, fast architecture. It has been refined by many years experience in the mobile event industry and our skill set to develop products and brands. AirClad now is its own stand alone entity offering offer the shelf structures and of course bespoke solutions to your brief if our solutions don’t fit your needs. The core of these AirClad products create clear span sealed buildings ready for the interior fit out. We offer a range of products from light weight pop up structures such as the Snoozy to double story buildings such as the XIP, and many in between. All of these have been engineered, built and field tested. On this site you will find details expelling the technical back ground of the products, operational and engineering aspects as well as a scope for the interior and exterior enhancements to build into the AirClad. We are fully aware of the typical demands and have options to assist you along the way. If you need something bespoke then we have a clear guide to the prices of developing with us your own unique or variant of the AirClad system. All the AirClad are designed and manufactured in the EU. It goes without saying that all structures are tested and warrantied to ensure they will perform beyond expectation. Each AirClad is design to maximise use of materials efficiency in production and design details edit to minimise nuts and bolts to speed up and ease assembly as well as minimising the risk of losing small parts between uses. With this and and the fact that in virtual all cases no ground fixings are need we feel the AirClad is a genuine eco product and as such has been awarded the Red Dot award in Germany. The AirClad system is now available to buy and hire, and we offer franchise and reseller agreements for companies or individuals who see the a greater opportunity for AirClad in their market.
airclad, inflate, snoozy, events, event systems, event showcase, mobile, portable, marketing, fast architecture, architecture, design, unique design, expo system, pop-up, pop-up bars, pop-up events, festivals, showcase
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About |

Heritage

This has been a journey of over 20 years, where knowledge year on year, from project to project has been passed along. All this had come to influence AirClad as we know it today. We are designers, rather than architects, as such we see all our structures as products to be used in the architectural world. These products are refined by experience and most importantly in field operations. This honest development of our products allows us to see and take the right steps into the future.

1995-2006

In 1995 Nick Crosbie founded a company and brand called Inflate. This brand became the vehicle of an evolution of his ideas over the next 11 years, which saw him designing small household products, trade shows and ultimately large outdoor event structures. The common thread was all these designs were based in inflatable technology. The rapid growth in demand for outdoor structures through high-end clients in the early 2000s led Nick to realise there was a gap in the market for a new type of mobile building system. But what would this look like?

2007

A project came along from a client in London who was working in a series of concept modular container-based low cost hotels in the Middle-East. They had a problem where the hotels were prone to getting very hot and required a lot of AC to manage the temperatures inside. They had the idea of wrapping the hotel in a type of blanket to insulate against the heat gain. We took the project on and developed a series of air cells and calculations to prove that we could reduce the heat gain by 80%. All was good and the project was signed off for the first five hotels. Then the credit crunch hit and the whole project was scrapped. However, the idea for AirClad was born!

2008

The system we had developed could also be used for complete buildings and not just cladding other buildings. In late 2007 we made the first sample of an office garden pod which we launched at 100% design in London and later at Grand Designs. These structures were well received, but clearly too far ahead of their time. However, to push forward we decided we needed to not just build a prototype show stand, we needed to build something for real, and what better than making a contemporary extension to a real house. We had a site in Suffolk and began working with an Italian supplier of the frames. We placed the order but back came the horrifying news that it would be 6 months delivery! It was immediately obvious that these lead times would kill any project we won. So we went back to the drawing board and redesigned the whole system to be more production friendly and something easy to install by a relatively untrained operator and especially we made sure we could control production.

So after a few months of de constructing the first AirClad we built the new AirClad and launched it again at 100% design.

2009

Suffolk pod as we called it took on this new form and production on site began. Most of the construction on site was the ground work in preparation of the impending pod arrival which went together in a day. With this project complete we had our hands on the first operational AirClad and with the process so far a heavy dose of knowledge. To compliment the Suffolk pod we launched the Roof Pod in London where we could show potential clients the structure and at the same time we learnt even more about pro’s and cons of AirClad.

2010

The roof pod was not just on any roof. This was next to the main train line into Liverpool Street Station London. We used the side of the AirClad as an advertising board to literally promote and advertise AirClad to all that journeyed that way into London. As a result we had a call from the owner of a rapidly expanding Italian restaurant off Brick lane London. He wanted to re develop and expand his seating capacity out side. His current offer were umbrellas and with the Airclad he could see the potential to create a flexible cover that would be engaging and functional for him at the same time.

Up until now we had not made a single commercial project with the AirClad so there was a nervousness to commit to such a project until we were clear we could deliver 100%. Then one day the owner walked into our studio wrote a cheque and said there you go, just start. And he walked out.

2011

The Alvolo restaurant project was a great success and we had our 2010 studio party in our AirClad extension. In fact the space became more popular than the main restaurant and late at night it converted comfortably to a bar / club environment.

With this first project under our belt we were relaxed to move forward with new enquires and projects using this new AirClad system. We were invited to look at an Office project for a car showroom in Antwerp Belgium and very quickly the owner signed off and the first of our AirClad Office projects was developed and installed.

Then later this year a fantastic opportunity came along which would take AirClad to the next level. We were commissioned by Puma to design and produce an AirClad with full VIP roof terrace to travel with the Volvo Ocean race. We could now start to see the future of AirClad

2012

With the Puma project up and running and touring the world we turned our attentions back to new opportunities. Behind the projects mentioned above we were taking on a series of smaller projects and starting to see some traction in AirClad, but still everything was on a project by project basis. We knew if this was going to develop we need to start to think about how this AirClad could become a product, a system that creates architectural products.

Through an architectural friend in Antwerp again we were offered the opportunity to design and produce an AirClad structure to cover a large boat moored on the river there. The project was signed off and this time we designed and produced the system to have the frame made from steel. Most of the other AirClad projects were based on a wooden frame aside the Puma which needed to be steel for the loading on the roof terrace. The move to steel was structural but also we were thinking about starting to see how the AirClad would and work as product.

2013

In the summer we headed to Melbourne for a meeting with a design agency there representing Kia motors. Kia had signed the contract to be the headline sponsor for the next 3 years of the tennis open in Melbourne. As the headline sponsors they wanted to have an event presence that would stand out from the crowd. They wanted a piece of mobile contemporary architecture and the AirClad won them over. We actually flew to Melbourne for just one day for the presentation which is crazy for such a distance from Europe. But crazy things lead to great things. With this project we were determined to take the AirClad system forward and to refine the structural details in way to sew the seeds of a product, of the AirClad system.

Back in Antwerp we had a little meeting with an event company that open our minds to a whole new world of possibilities for AirClad. But we need to invest heavy and go back to the beginning with the most challenging of demands. So while all the other AirClad developments were happening we started to think even deeper about where this could all lead.

December. In the 40 degrees plus heat we were there on site building these AirClads. This is crucial to products testing and serves as the only way to refine and develop our ideas. While most of the details in these designs were progressive, one element proved to need a re think. There was a pallet of various size nuts and bolts to assemble the whole system. In fact nearly 6000! On the plane home we vowed to design out as many of the nuts and bolts as we could.

2014

The Kia project went live in January 2014 and this year was going to be the metamorphosis for AirClad. On our return we had found a new family run factory in Antwerp to manufacture the AirClad frames not in steel but in aluminium which would allow faster, safer light weight installation on site. But most importantly we edited out over 95% of the nuts and bolts. In fact we only use very small screws to attached the front fascia and hang the doors. All the flooring, frames and cross bracing all clip together. We had our engineers some to make physical load tests on the structures to verify the structural integrity we knew the AirClad had in abundance.

With everything in place we rolled out the first of the new generation 2014 AirClad units. These were deployed in the middle of the banking district in London for a co launch of Delta and Virgin airlines. With our new production agreements, the refined fast and easy to use AirClad we were now in the positon to start to develop the rental side of the brand.

With this in place we were now ready to un veil what we had been working on since 2013. We called it Snoozy. The ultimate mobile hotel product. More than glamping, faster than a tent.

2015

This year began and it was all about Snoozy. The launch the previous year had sealed the deal for the first 210 rooms to roll out from May. There was a catch, we had to prove that the Snoozy could be installed in less than 6 minutes. The design we had launched last year was a fully tooled working prototype but the folding mechanism was nor complete. We had worked over xmas and had the system to be delivered end of January. The challenge then was production volume. We need 3 months to manufacturer the first 40 prior to shipping and the next 40 would run week after week for another 5 weeks. With the hinging holding up the order to production everything rode on the first sample working perfectly.

The day came we put everything together. We tested the panels folded up and down and without a second to waste we took the whole Snoozy to a photo studio and made a film of it being installed in under 6 minutes. The deal was done, and Snoozy was born.

2016

Snoozy has developed as its own sub brand from Airclad and shown us the amazing versatility of this system we have created. It has been a great journey so far. It was a simple observation in the beginning, but the years in between have all be instrumental in the formation of the reality we see now here and in the future.

The AirClad and Snoozy brand are developing with new partnerships and franchise deals with the right people around the world. We ensure all the field knowledge filters back to the design and production studio.

The core applications for AirClad and Snoozy is in the event and marketing industries, however we know it is not restricted to this and we continue to develop ideas and solutions for schools, emergency shelters, offices, retail and even a car!