Multi-service chilled beams give new lease of life to office buildings
One of the larger refurbishment projects in London to exploit the benefits of Trox multi-service chilled beams is Riverside House.
Nearly 200 000 m2 of multi-services chilled beams (MSCBs) have been supplied by Trox for office refurbishment projects since production started in 2000. Recently renovated buildings in London include the Empress State Building, Riverside House and the Ministry of Defence. These three projects alone include over 35 km of MSCBs. Trox claims to be the only company basing its MSCBs on extruded aluminium, which is said to offer better aesthetics than rolled steel. Terry Farthing, sales director, explains, ‘Rather than bolt ancillary equipment on to a standard product, we manufacture a purpose-made shroud to suit the product. Extruded aluminium allows us to achieve a sharper, straighter line. It also gives the ability to build in sections so that we can change the shape of the beam. This has allowed us to become specialists in “mass customisation”.’ By incorporating a number of services, MSCBs reduce the number of different trades on site, which traditionally installed various equipment above a suspended ceiling. MSCBs are said to have a particular role to play if the height of the existing soffit prevents suspended ceilings being used to conceal services. For example, at the Empress State Building, MSCBs are fixed direct to the concrete soffit to increase headroom by 30 cm. They provide cooling using chilled water, lighting, PIR sensors, loudspeakers, primary fresh air and sprinkler pipework. Trox is working with the London Fire Brigade to identify the best location for smoke sensors in a composite unit. The company’s design bureau undertakes all project co-ordination and comprises expertise in system engineering, cost estimating, contract/project management and engineering dosing. This expertise has been used to reduce programme time by up to 20% compared with standard systems.