SystemCAM-V - floor supply, high-level return
Designed by Max Fordham, and located on the banks of the river Thames in Marlow, the global headquarters of leading analytics Company SAS was originally designed to use natural ventilation in conjunction with an experimental heating/cooling system.
Unfortunately, this led to the main wing being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, which made for a very uncomfortable and unproductive working environment. The temperature fluctuations were so severe that staff were either forced to work from home or relocated.
The design of the ceilings on both the ground and first floors made cooling the building a major challenge for consulting engineers Insignis. The ground floor ceiling was designed to have a wave-like effect through the building to enhance natural ventilation, while the first-floor exposed metal ceiling is dominated by large structural beams. These characteristics made it impossible to install a conventional ceiling-based air conditioning system without major structural changes and significant costs.
Fortunately, the building already had a 250mm high raised access floor, with a 220mm void. This gave the project team the opportunity to use AET Flexible Space’s innovative underfloor air conditioning (UfAC) system, helping them to reduce both time and money spent on the refit without compromising the internal design aesthetic. AET’s UfAC systems make use of the void beneath an existing raised access floor, and therefore do not require major alterations or building works to install.
AET installed a total of 12 CAM-V (floor supply, high level return) Conditioned Air Modules across both floors which are served by high efficiency, heat pump units. The conditioned air is then delivered into the space using AET’s unique slim line TU350 Fantile™ units which sit 160mm within the existing floor void. Room air is then routed back to the CAM units at high level where it is filtered, reconditioned and redistributed back into the floor void.
One of the key benefits of using an underfloor air conditioning system is that it avoids uncomfortable and unwanted cold drafts from the ceiling. AET’s Fantile™ units induce conditioned air into the space, drawing room air into a plume as it rises into the space making for a more gradual, unobtrusive air flows compared to conventional ceiling-based systems.
The natural flexibility of the UfAC system also enables the end user to quickly and easily reposition the Fantile™ units to suit both their individual and collective needs, giving them complete control over the system.
The architects, T P Bennett were able to incorporate the CAM-V units into open plan office by designing individual plant pods. These pods sit towards the rear of the space, directly underneath the mezzanine floor which backs onto the main walkway at the perimeter of the building.
Since the installation of AET’s UfAC system and completion of the fit-out works, SAS’s staff have been able to move back into their new office environment. Many of them have already commented on the vastly improved working conditions.
End User – SAS
Architect – TP Bennett
M&E Consultant – Insignis Consulting Engineers
Main Contractor –BW Workplace Experts
M&E Contractor – Sale Service & Maintenance
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