26th March 2014

Natural ventilation, daylighting and cooling specialist Monodraught celebrates its 40th Anniversary in March 2014. Renowned for its Windcatcher, Sunpipe and Cool-phase ‘natural’ systems, Monodraught has established itself over four decades as the UK’s most innovative creator of low energy solutions for the building services industry. The following is a review of each of the company’s innovative solutions.


Founded in 1974, initially to manufacture and supply balanced flue brick chimneys, a small but innovative company led by Professor Terry Payne quickly developed to exploit a growing interest in air movement. This in turn led to the production in 1988 of the first prototypes of the company’s ground breaking Windcatcher natural ventilation systems, helping to create the building services industry’s now popular ‘Natural Ventilation of Buildings’ sector.

Developments of the Windcatcher have included the state-of-the-art Sola-boost ventilation unit, which uses solar driven PIV to provide energy-free solar-powered ventilation while maintaining a traditional appearance. So innovative was this new natural ventilation solution that, in 2006, Sola-boost was awarded “Best Building Services Product of the Show” at the UK building industry’s Interbuild exhibition. Then, in 2010 the next generation Windcatcher, the completely re-engineered Windcatcher X-Air, joined the Monodraught natural ventilation portfolio featuring an Active Louvre System and “No Leak Guarantee”.


Having helped to create the Natural Ventilation sector from 1974, Monodraught applied itself to natural daylighting and, in 1995, the Sunpipe natural daylight system was launched into the UK market and was followed just two years later with the introduction of the Suncatcher, an all-new system combining natural daylight and natural ventilation.


Following a 4-year development programme, 2009 saw the UK launch of Cool-phase, an innovative application of the exciting new ‘phase change technology’, to create a low-energy cooling and ventilation system that creates a thermally-comfortable, fresh and healthy indoor environment, whilst reducing the energy consumption and running costs of buildings.

In 2013, design and technology enhancements were incorporated and Cool-phase Nova was introduced. Monodraught began the upgrade by exploring new design techniques to speed the design process and, having already used 3D modeling within the R&D department, the company complemented it with the latest 3D printing technology to enable them to bypass traditional ‘prototype’ lead times.


Typical of Monodraught’s commitment, exactly 40 years after it was founded, the company has unveiled another creative and innovative product – the Hybrid Thermal Mixing System (HTM). This exciting new product is designed to provide a mix of air from natural and hybrid ventilation for winter, with the ability to deliver secure night time cooling and boosted levels of ventilation in the summer.

HTM is designed to meet the requirements of the Priority Schools Building Programme by combining exceptionally low specific fan powers and an intelligent control system as standard, which includes a full data logging facility, temperature control and CO2 control.


Growing demand for Monodraught’s innovative natural building services solutions created rapid expansion and in 2000 the company moved to its current premises in High Wycombe. Later that same year Monodraught was incorporated into VKR Holding.

In 2013 Monodraught created its own Technology Centre at its High Wycombe facility to act as a training resource and provide easy access to working examples of new products and technologies.


Monodraught is proud to have been delivering sustainable solutions for 40 years and is looking forward to continuing into the future.

The following dateline is a summary of all the Monodraught products produced in 40 years

Technology Timeline – 40 years of Monodraught highlights:

  • Founded 18th March 1974
  • First prototypes of the Windcatcher Natural Ventilation Systems in 1988
  • 1991 first major commercial installation of Windcatchers installed at Bosch Industries
  • 1995 Sunpipe Natural Daylight System launched
  • 1997 Suncatcher System launched
  • 2000 moved to Halifax House, High Wycombe
  • 2005 Sola-boost system created
  • 2006 Sola-boost awarded “Best Building Services Product of the Show” at Interbuild
  • 2007 iNVent introduced
  • 2007 Monodraught incorporated into VKR Holding
  • 2009 Cool-phase launched
  • 2010 Windcatcher X-Air introduced with Active Louvre System and No Leak Guarantee
  • 2011 Ventsair launched
  • 2013 Cool-phase Nova introduced
  • 2014 Celebrating 40 years of innovation

Need any help?

Enquire now...