Research centre will use air-handling units with total-enthalpy recovery
12 large air-handling units with total enthalpy control energy-recovery wheels are part of a substantial contract awarded to Flakt Woods to provide the ventilation services for the new £200 million headquarters of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Each unit will deliver 18.5 m3/s of air, with the airflow balanced so that doors can always remain open.
The building is on the edge of the current hospital site on the Cambridge Biomedial Campus. It consists of two kinked laboratory blocks joined by an atrium in a shape resembling a chromosome. There will be 27 000 m2 of air-conditioned space on three main floors. This is the first major project in the UK to use Flakt’s TE3 wheel, which includes the 30 nm molecular-sieve technology.
The EQRS total-enthalpy wheels exchange sensible and latent heat between incoming and outgoing air with a total efficiency of up to 90%.
All heavy plant serving the building is in a separate energy centre or in the four stainless-steel towers linked to the building. This approach removes weight and sources of vibration from the laboratory itself, allowing lighter construction. The energy centre is connected to the building by two underground tunnels.
Full-height interstitial service voids between the floors accommodate all ductwork, pipes and services.
Solar gain is reduced by automatic venetian blinds between the standard double glazing and an outer glass skin. Other energy-saving features include a ground-source heat pump and automatic daylight linking of the lighting.