Energy-efficient climate control system resolves the issues of cooling and heating
An energy-efficient Daikin VRV heat recovery climate control system has been installed at the brand new Airdrie Community Health Centre.
This integrated system was designed to provide lower running costs and fewer carbon emissions than alternative systems and fits perfectly within the health board’s vision to provide best-in-class healthcare facilities.
The £27m health centre is a new-build project on a former supermarket site. It is believed that this is the first of its kind within the UK, having been specially designed to bring together many services under one roof, including eight GP surgeries and related services including dentistry, podiatry, dietetics, paediatrics, physiotherapy and a pharmacy. North Lanarkshire Council Offices and some shops are also located within the building.
Facilitating many services on one site puts the health centre at the heart of the community, and provides better access to a range of vital services. Encompassing many varied services under one roof is a key government initiative to bring communities together.
It was important to choose a climate control system that would simultaneously resolve the issues of cooling and heating in a cost effective and efficient manner. The NHS chose carefully so that ongoing energy and maintenance costs were reduced in comparison with separate heating and cooling systems.
Externally, 12 outdoor VRV heat pump condensing units were installed at the community centre. The VRV heat recovery system is designed to extract heat which would otherwise be wasted during the cooling process and transfer this ‘free’ heat to other areas where heating is required.
New healthcare buildings are insulated to high standards to maximise energy efficiency, so they provide optimum opportunity to install a VRV heat recovery climate control system. This ensures that waste heat, which would otherwise be extracted, can be recirculated and utilised elsewhere to power heating, hot water and air curtains.
The VRV system was combined with a total of 113 self-cleaning round flow cassettes incorporating daily automatic filter cleaning and 360º air discharge for uniform air flow and temperature distribution. Dust removal is simple using a vacuum cleaner twice a year, without opening the unit, thus saving on maintenance costs.
Daikin wired remote controllers were also installed for easy system modification, together with RTD-10 interfaces, which enable integration with the building management system. An intelligent controller provides detailed monitoring and easy operation of the VRV system, while offering access to electricity consumption management and historical data.
The cold, wintry temperatures in Airdrie posed a further potential problem which was easily overcome with this system, as the outdoor condensers operate in temperatures down to minus 25ºC, ensuring reliability even in very low temperatures.