Of matchstick men and air conditioning

Published:  02 September, 2004

Digital Centre
Daikin’s VRV technology has been installed to provide air conditioning for the Digital World Centre at Salford Quays in Manchester.

The lower cost and ease of installation of Daikin’s VRV air-conditioning systems compared with chiller and 4-pipe fan-coil system promoted its installation in the Digital World Centre at Salford Quays in Manchester. Key Engineering handled the project on a design-and-build basis for Lowry Developments. Total cooling load for the project is 820 kW.

21 separate VRV heat-pump inverter systems serve the offices in the main 8-storey fully glazed block and the adjacent 5-storey digital black box. The third structure in the development , the 9-storey technology tower, acts as a service core with lifts and lobbies, with the entire top-level ‘hub centre’ containing a centralised computer suite for the entire complex and its tenants.

The ground floor of the glazed block is given over to exhibition, display and conference use and has a 100-seat auditorium. It is air conditioned by three Daikin split systems. The ground floor of the digital black box is earmarked for use as the Internet café.

All office floors are designed as open plan, but with provision for tenants to vary the layout to suite their own requirements. Conditioned air is supplied to the office areas by 98 low-noise fan-coil units concealed in the ceilings and ducted to ceiling diffusers, with return air through the light fittings.

All VRV outdoor units are on the roof of the glazed block. Outdoor units for the auditorium splits are in the underground car park. Fresh air for the VRV fan-coil units is supplied by heat-recovery air-handling plant on the roof.

Design conditions are set at 22°C ±1.5 K with relative humidity varying between 40 and 60%. Overall control of the air conditioning is maintained by a Daikin I-controller for each floor and located in the central management suite. As well as a range of management functions, it provides tenants with localised temperature control via wall-mounted room controllers.



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