MSCBs bring modern conditions to historic building
Bespoke-designed Trox multi service chilled beams (MSCBs) have been chosen to meet the interior design brief for a magnificent 18th-century building in The Netherlands. The project came about when project-management company A. T. Osborne decided to refurbish the listed Villa Rusthoek in Baarn, near Utrecht, as its new offices. Built in 1771 and altered substantially in 1905, the building is a national monument and a previous residence of a member of the Dutch royal family.
A. T. Osborne’s ambition was to refurbish the building to provide modern flexible office space and improve significantly its energy efficiency. A UK-based firm of architects — BDG McColl — was appointed, and Trox was invited to ensure that effective working environments could be created for building occupants.
The chilled beams needed to be suitable for installation on wooden trusses. The architects also had an extremely clear vision for the aesthetic impact of the interior spaces, and the visual effects of the chilled beams needed particularly close attention.
It was agreed that combining all services in a single module offered significant practical and aesthetic advantages for Villa Rusthoek. In collaboration with the architects, the Trox Design Bureau created a bespoke chilled-beam design to achieve the aesthetic ambitions of the project, in addition to creating the comfort conditions essential in a modern office and achieving levels of energy efficiency that could never have been considered prior to the refurbishment.
The active MSCBs provide heating and cooling, and incorporate interior lighting. DALI fittings with daylight-dimming multi sensors allow unoccupied rooms to automatically power down, in line with the sustainability requirements for the building.
The chilled beams feature curved-face designs and a special pointed outer border extrusion. The beams include uplighting for additional design effect and fit flush to the wooden trusses. Drop rods are concealed from view, as desired by the architects, by locating them in the outer border. The back of each beam is mounted to a Unistrut which fits onto the underside of the wooden truss.
Consultation with Trox engineers during the design phase ensured that the equipment installed would integrate with the new low-carbon HVAC system for the site. A ground-source heat pump system has been installed, along with latest-generation induction coils. The resulting improvements have elevated the site from a G rating for environmental performance to a C rating. It is expected that total energy consumption at the site will be reduced by around 25% as a result of the refurbishment.