All hands on deck to refurbish The Ship

Published:  05 April, 2017

JCW Energy Services, Mitsubishi Electric, air conditioning, VRF, split system

In response to the owners of one of Plymouth’s most iconic buildings, The Ship, which used to be occupied by The Herald & Western Morning News, looking to refurbish and upgrade the derelict office in weeks instead of months, JCW Energy Services assembled a project team from its nationwide office in just seven days from receiving the order — and called upon technical and logistical support from Mitsubishi Electric.

Rob Monroe, managing director of building owner Burrington Estates, explains, ‘When we first decided to buy The Ship, we knew that the existing HVAC system was just inadequate and the whole system would need upgrading. New tenants were keen to move in, so we had limited time in which to make the drastic changes that were required.’

Kurt Hedgley, managing director of JCW Energy Services, ‘It was clear that reducing the building’s energy consumption was of paramount importance to Burrington Estates, which are renowned for their sympathetic treatment of historic sites in the region.

‘We worked within our partnership agreement with Mitsubishi, which provided support to help design, install and commission the most suitable system within the tight deadline specified.’

The first phase of the project saw the installation of 12 City Multi VRF condensing units and four Mr Slim split air-conditioning systems to serve 89 individual ceiling units. City Multi was installed in a modular fashion to provide JCW’s engineers with the flexibility needed to work around other elements of the refurbishment.

Kurt Hedgley explains, ‘We chose this VRF system because of its high performance and that it only uses two pipes rather than the usual three, which was ideal in a job with such tight deadline. It also comes with intelligent controls that make it easier to interface with the BMS.’

Working around existing equipment was also a challenge to integrate systems and negotiate new pipework around old. The building shape and positioning of the plant added to the challenges, with some units being fed through pipe runs over 150 m long.

The energy rating of the building will dramatically improve immediately, and the design provides effective simultaneous heating and cooling that will deliver substantial savings on annual running costs.

The project will restore the building to its former glory and see it become a major hub for business in the area.

For more information on this story, click here: April 2017, 121

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