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folder Air conditioning, Case studies

WHSmith’s Swindon HQ gets premium aircon upgrade

Staff and visitors to the Swindon headquarters of WHSmith, one of the UK's leading retail groups, will benefit from installation of a top-of-the-range Toshiba variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning and CIAT ventilation system.

The upgrade of the 7-storey landmark building, headed by main contractor UC Build, has transformed offices, meeting rooms and open-plan communal work areas at the Swindon site. The new air conditioning system includes a combination of Toshiba’s premium three-pipe, Super Heat Recovery Multi Enhanced (SHRM-e) VRF units and CLIMACIAT Airaccess 70 air handling unit, installed by contractor Woodward & Co.

The Toshiba system is linked to high performance ceiling-suspended cassettes and wall-mounted indoor units. All Toshiba and CIAT equipment is connected to a high-level Building Management System (BMS), which provides estate-wide oversight and performance optimisation to ensure energy consumption is further minimised.

“The project made good use of the Toshiba VRF’s long pipe runs to deliver a superb result,” said Louis Badham, who led the air conditioning project for Woodward & Co. “I was extremely impressed by the support provided by Toshiba Carrier UK, and have passed on contact details to colleagues in relation to other projects.”

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

The SHRM-e VRF air conditioning system is based on an advanced rotary compressor, developed and manufactured by Toshiba, which uses 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.           

The coating 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 – to enable a higher duty to be obtained from a smaller compressor, with less power.


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