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Heat recovery air conditioning cuts carbon emissions at London College

Students and staff at Barnet and Southgate College are benefiting from an outstanding indoor environment following installation of Toshiba’s award-winning heat recovery air conditioning system by Bry-Kol Building Services.

Toshiba outdoor units on the roof.

Barnet and Southgate College, a north London college with approximately 13,000 students across three campuses, recently completed a major upgrade of the main teaching block on its Southgate site. The project involved back-to-concrete refurbishment of facilities, including engineering, laboratory, administration and teaching spaces, and installation of new high-performance HVAC systems, headed by Bry-Kol Building Services as mechanical services contractor on the project.

The high-efficiency Toshiba air conditioning solution chosen comprises Super Heat Recovery Multi (SHRM-e) Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems linked to Toshiba VN-M heat recovery ventilation units, along with SmartTouch controllers. Indoor units include mostly four-way ceiling suspended cassettes, plus high wall units and concealed ducted systems.

The heat recovery ventilation system harvests energy that would otherwise be lost from the building when it is exhausted, and uses it to warm incoming fresh air to reduce the need for heating, saving energy and reducing the building’s carbon emissions.

The high performance Toshiba solution was selected by contractor Bry-Kol Building Services as it offered the outstanding energy efficiency, noise and comfort characteristics required for the project.

“We know Toshiba equipment well and it is excellent, and backed by superb technical support,” said Bry-Kol project manager Jason Taylor, who led the installation. “They are very proactive and anything we need from them, we get when we need it. Toshiba produced all the schematics for the project, and inevitably there were some changes to the design along the way. However, Toshiba were able to quickly update the drawings and provide us with updates – often within a day.”

The installation on floors two to five of the building took place while the first floor remained occupied and operational, requiring careful planning and management on site.

Toshiba’s SHRM-e three-pipe heat recovery VRF air conditioning system sets an industry benchmark for energy efficiency performance and continuous heating, achieving a world-first European Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ESEER) of 8 in most capacities.

The system uses an advanced rotary compressor, developed and manufactured by Toshiba, based on a two-stage compression process for improved efficiency and performance. Wear surfaces on compression vanes are treated with a high-tech Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating, giving outstanding hardness, wear resistance and reliability. This enables a significant increase in compressor rotation speed, resulting in a higher displacement volume – up to 50% greater than for the previous generation of VRF systems – delivering a higher duty from a smaller compressor, with less power.


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