Air conditioning is a flexible resource

Published:  16 January, 2005

While designed to minimise the need for both heating and air conditioning, the new Resources Building of the Isle of Wight College require a number of air-conditioning approaches — many of which are provided by Toshiba VRF systems.

Flexible cooling and heating for a new college building on the Isle of Wight designed around an atrium to minimise the need for air conditioning is provided by Toshiba VRF and split systems.

Designed by local architects Rainey Petrie Johns, the new Resources Building is immensely adaptable to changing uses.

The building makes use of brise soleil and overhanging upper storeys to minimise solar gain. Nevertheless, high occupancy rates over long periods and a high level of technology content through the use of computers and server rooms requires a number of heating and cooling strategies.

The top floor of this 3-storey building has multi-use computer, lecture and social space. It is served by four VRF heat-pump systems. Two split systems with cassettes serve dedicated closed IT teaching suites, with a further system in the server room, which acts as the main server provision for the entire college campus.

The middle floor has a traditional library and modern computer-based resource area is air conditioned by VRF cooling-only systems, as is the lecture theatre space on the ground floor.

The various spaces are also provided with ducted, tempered fresh air — which enables free cooling to be provided.

The computer-suite ceiling void is also used a a return-air plenum, with separate supply and extract.

Toshiba’s Interactive Intelligence provides zone management and timer functions to maintain maximum energy savings.

The flexibility of Toshiba’s VRF systems satisfy a wide range of possible heating and cooling requirements. To maximise efficiency, Toshiba’s interactive windows-based control options are used.

The college has 1400 full-time and 4500 part-time students.

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