Air conditioning under the floor brings new life to historic Soho building
Built in 1906, this historic building in the Soho area of London has utilised AET’s Flexible Space underfloor air-conditioning system to update it from a heated-only building to fully air-conditioned commercial office space — whilst retaining the aesthetic values of the architecture of the period. The refurbishment of the building at 76-88 Wardour Street was a joint development by Legal & General and Walbrook Land.
A number of design challenges were presented by the architectural style and prominent corner location to achieve full air conditioning for the speculative open-plan offices. The AET system overcame height restrictions, unique structural elements and floor-plate configuration — while maintaining a floor-to-ceiling height of at least 2.6 m on all five office floors.
The system proposed by AET was a zonal CAM-C system using the space below the raised floor as the ventilation duct for supply and return air. Each floor was divided into two zones, each served by a downflow unit (CAM). Air is taken from the floor void into the space via a Fantile unit, which provides individual control of airflow and temperature via the integrated Fantronic controller.
For each zone, the floor void is divided into supply- and return-air plena using air-segregation baffles, so there is no need for ducting and pipework in a ceiling void.
AET also overcome the problem of a very shallow void area on each floor by using its latest 150 mm slimline Fantile with EC fan for these areas — in addition to the standard TU4 Fantile elsewhere in the building.
The project has achieved a BREEAM ‘Very good’ rating and a B rated Energy Performance Certificate.