AET’s Flexible Space underfloor air-conditioning system has helped the Alojas Biznesa Centrs, home to the central office of Finland’s Nordea Bank in Riga, to secure the highest rating in two categories of a Government-backed competition to find the most energy efficient buildings in Latvia. As part of a €20 million refurbishment project prior to the competition, sustainable solutions provider, AET, supplied the Nordea Bank building with its Flexible Space Underfloor Air Conditioning System for optimum low energy performance, temperature comfort and control. As part of the energy efficient HVAC system for the building, Flexible Space has enabled Nordea Bank to achieve top ratings for “Most Energy-efficient Building in Latvia, 2011” and “Most Sustainable Building in Latvia, 2011”.
Designed by architects Sarma&Norde, the Nordea building is now an A-class office premises, which experts recognise as setting a prime example for “green-building” architecture and construction. Retrofitted as a frame-type building with reinforced concrete columns and floors, the Nordea building also saw developments to the partition structure as well as its HVAC system featuring the installation of heat recovery ventilation and innovative air conditioning. Contractors, JSC LNC Industries (formerly known as BCC Company), specified AET’s Flexible Space System to deliver energy efficient heating and cooling from beneath a raised access floor covering 8,000m2 of the building.
“In terms of architectural solutions and technologies, this is now one of the most modern office buildings in Latvia”, says AET’s Managing Director, Glan Blake Thomas. “We’re delighted that Flexible Space has contributed towards the Bank securing these highest building accolades. It reflects how well the system performs compared to traditional ceiling-based air conditioning solutions.”
The competition evaluated the building’s energy-efficiency indicators and total consumption as well as sustainability solutions and principles of their application.
Ensuring total flexibility in operation, each floor of the A-class Nordea bank is divided into a number of air-conditioning zones depending on the potential use and occupancy density of the area, with each zone supplied with chilled or warmed air by a conditioned air module (CAM). The underfloor void is split into supply and return air plena using easily relocatable, airtight baffles. Supply air is drawn up into the occupied space by fan assisted terminal units (FTU450), which are recessed into the floor, plug into an underfloor power source and are connected by data cabling for intelligent control. A total of 34 CAM-V33 units and 480 FTUs have been fitted on the project.
These fan tile units feature individual controls to provide variable speed and temperature adjusted for maximum user comfort. Since they are not restricted by duct or pipe connections, they are easily interchangeable with floor panels in a matter of minutes, allowing easy reconfiguration of the system to accommodate changes in office layout with minimum cost and disruption. Air travels back to the CAM via return air grilles located over the return plenum for re-conditioning and is mixed with fresh air at that point to achieve high standards of indoor air quality.