The SBEC (Sustainable Building Envelope Centre) in Deeside is a pioneering partnership between the Low Carbon Research Institute, TATA Steel and the Welsh Assembly that will test, monitor and evaluate various low carbon technologies in different combinations to help inform specification decisions for both new build and refurbishment projects.
The three-year research project has been designed to investigate the next generation of low carbon whole building solutions to help create a blueprint for the most effective use of renewable energy technologies.
The building comprises various office spaces and facilities located across the ground, first and second floors. The heating and cooling to these areas is to be provided via a combination of sources, a full building energy management system is required to ensure the most efficient use of these energy sources. The Transpired Solar Collector also delivers energy as a primary heat source which has to be factored into the overall operation of the building services.
Kimpton were responsible for designing and installing the VRF system, hot water services, rain water harvesting, gas fired heating system and the full BEMS network as part of the energy efficient installation.
The facilities on the three floors are heated and cooled by a Mitsubishi VRF heat pump system and the Transpired Solar Collector (TSC) is used to temper the incoming air.
For the VRF system Kimpton installed four air handling units complete with DX refrigeration coils, which have been integrated into the VRF system. An additional VRF system has been provided to heat/cool the meeting rooms and circulation areas via fan coil units, along with a Mitsubishi Heat Pump Boiler to provide under floor heating with water at 45°C flow temperature.
The hot water system features a Stiebel Eltron hot water heat pump that utilises air from within the room and extracts the thermal latent energy which the heat pump uses to warm the water in the cylinder.
The SBEC test bay is provided with warm air in the winter months via a gas fired air heating system connected to a network of ducts. Surplus heat from the TSC is used to warm this air before the gas is used, thus helping to reduce the consumption of natural gas.