“The overall project brief was to convert an existing 19th century docks warehouse into a funky office space in Dublin’s Silicon Docks district”, says Don Hoban of Crystal Air, “and our responsibility was to deliver a heating and ventilation solution that reflected this. The end user, Zalando – a fast-expanding online provider of shoes and fashion – found that rapid growth meant their existing Dublin base was too small so they needed new space, and quickly. They needed to provide for their current numbers as well as growth for new staff.
“Part of the attraction of the Silicon Docks for the likes of Zalando is its central location in the heart of Dublin, and also the proximity of major international technology firms (and talent) such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AirBnB, etc. This, however, also meant that both the building exterior and interior, including the air conditioning and heating solution, had to reflect the ultra-modern iconic style of its neighbours”.
The brief for the project was extremely challenging as the building featured an exposed truss roof design – with the services needing to be exposed and kept above the bottom of the truss – wherever possible. This meant that all the workmanship had to be top quality because it was all on show to the client, and to their clients. In addition, this had to be done with minimal changes to the building fabric, and to a very tight schedule.
Working closely with Willie Bennett, Project Manager, FKM Group, Bluon, Crystal Air opted for Panasonic because of the energy efficiency and flexibility of its 3-pipe air conditioning system. According to Marine Air Conditioning, a key technical feature was the ability of the ducted units to have sufficient fan power to drive warm air to the floor without being too noisy for an open plan office. The Panasonic 3-pipe ECOi MF2 Series was the obvious choice.
Fresh air via energy recovery ventilators “Because of the limited availability of plant space”, continues Don, “it wasn’t possible to provide a central AHU externally or internally without losing space or a need for major support steelwork. So, fresh air needed to be delivered using energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). These we located in the roof space, so we saved plant area without compromising on building comfort.
“In addition to using two highl-efficient 3-Pipe ECOi VRF systems matched to a central controller, the ERVs are also connected to the central controller using CZ-CAPC2 modules. This allows us to use the scheduler facility in the central controller to maximise the free air cooling.
“During the summer months we can purge the building at night, thereby allowing the night air to cool the building for a fresh start to the day. Then during the day we reduce the number of ERVs running at lunchtime when there are less people in the offices
Central controller The central controller acts as a master scheduler for the entire office, including the cellular spaces. These spaces have local controllers to give full control, but we also use the scheduler to provide additional ‘stop’ points to shut off the meeting room in those all-too-frequent occasions when, after a meeting, the AC is left running. If you take one thing from this, it’s to shut the AC when it is unused. Unless, you don’t mind reading about AC repair tips during a heat wave when all technicians are busy. Of course, that’s why you need the central controller, it never forgets, unlike your employees. In addition, the cellular spaces have been fitted with ‘ECO NAVI’ presence detectors to reduce the energy consumption when the rooms are unoccupied.”
This is only one of five Panasonic PRO Awards pre sented throughout all of Europe in 2017. It speaks volumes for the efficiency and performance of the system, but also the quality of the installation. It not only delivers the optimum indoor working environment, but also complements and indeed enhances the interior décor.
For further information contact: Vincent Mahony, National Account Manager, Panasonic Ireland. Tel: 087 – 969 4221: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Don Hoban, Business Development Manager, Crystal Air. Tel: 086 – 444 4588; email: email@example.com
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