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New underfloor AC system for London development

One Benjamin is a new mixed-use address in Central London for which AET has provided a flexible underfloor air conditioning system to replace the original downflow design.

One Benjamin, a new mixed-use address in Farringdon, Central London.

The original air conditioning design specified four downflow units per floor: two supplying the rear zone of the building and two for the front zone. Each zone was split into two further zones; one supplying cool air towards the perimeter of the building and the other providing warmer air to the central areas of the office space.

AET Flexible Space had built up a strong working relationship with the main contractor, Knight Harwood, while working on a previous project. Having seen the advantages of the AET system on that project, Knight Harwood saw the opportunity at One Benjamin to redesign the original design and to implement AET’s underfloor air conditioning solution.

Knight Harwood felt that AET’s highly flexible system would be more suited to cope with the variations in temperature across the building caused by increased/decreased sunlight.

AET’s underfloor air conditioning systems make use of the space beneath a raised access floor to create the air ventilation path, eliminating the need for ceiling-based services and associated duct and pipework. At One Benjamin, each of the floors was divided into zones of up to 300sqm depending on the potential use and occupancy density of the area.

Each zone is then supplied with chilled or warmed air by a zonal air handling unit or Conditioned Air Module (CAM) and the conditioned air is then delivered into the space using a number of recessed fan terminals (Fantile).

One Benjamin selected AET’s most flexible system, the CAM-V, which makes use of the raised floor void as a plenum for the distribution of supply air, whilst receiving return air back to the CAM unit at ceiling or high level. With a CAM-V system there is a considerable amount of flexibility in where the fantiles can be placed, allowing for easy reconfiguration depending on the particular needs or layout of an office.

For maximum flexibility each fantile is supplied with on-board Fanspeed and Set Point adjustment, but in meeting rooms and cellular space AET offers Flextouch wall-mounted controllers which allow users not only to adjust the fan speed and temperature, but also CO2 and humidity monitoring and control.

Headroom height was a key consideration during the design and build of One Benjamin, and by using the AET underfloor air conditioning system the contractors were able to eliminate much of the ceiling-based services and ductwork.

The offices were developed to provide a sustainable workplace, and have been awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. The reduced amount of building materials needed for an AET underfloor system, as well as its long-term flexibility, make it an excellent choice for sustainable building projects.

Overall, AET was able to provide One Benjamin with a high-performing and flexible air conditioning system which was more suited to its needs than the originally proposed downflow system.

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