Capital honours for ventilation
An innovative ventilation strategy is helping a company displaced by the 2012 Olympics site beat Government targets for carbon emissions and achieve a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.
Capital Print, one of the UK’s leading marketing campaign solutions companies, is one of several organisations that have relocated into custom-built premises at Beckton Waterfront, in London’s East End, as a result of the 2012 Olympics zone development. The Capital unit is one of four on the new site that features Passivent’s award-winning mixed mode system, which focuses on harnessing natural forces to efficiently ventilate the building, supplemented as appropriate by air conditioning to give fresh air and total environmental control.
The Passivent system is the leading element of several sustainable strategies being utilised by Capital, including photovoltaic technology and solar water heating. Combined, they obtained a BREEAM assessment rating of ‘very good’, and have reduced Capital’s carbon emissions by 12.7% compared to the Government target of 10%.
At Capital, the Passivent ventilation comprises 16 Aircool wall ventilators, which draw fresh air into the ground and first floor offices and meeting room, where nine suspended ceiling louvres draw the fresh air across the depth of the room and exhaust used air up concealed ducting to nine Airstract high capacity roof terminals. The system enables finite occupant control via individual room overrides, internal temperature sensors and carbon dioxide sensors, linked to an external weather station that monitors the external air temperature, wind speed and direction. The entire ventilation strategy is controlled by a programmable logic controller, which constantly monitors air temperature and quality within the building and adjusts ventilation levels as required. Should internal temperatures rise above or below presets, the system triggers the air conditioning and then controls it to ensure it runs only long enough to achieve the predetermined comfort level.
Passivent natural ventilation systems focus around a combination of cross ventilation, convection (warm air rising) and the venturi (wind passing over the terminals causing suction) effect. Harnessing these natural forces enables the system to effectively and constantly ventilate a building with little energy consumption. Because the system operates constantly, it provides free night cooling when the building is unoccupied, removing unwanted heat build up and reducing the need for energy consumption by up to 40% the following day to bring the interior to the required air temperature and quality. Natural ventilation is also proven to reduce incidence of sick building syndrome and improve staff performance.
Rav Gill of Capital Print commented: “As a company we have long been committed to choosing the most environmentally-friendly path, so the relocation gave us an opportunity to custom-build and incorporate features designed to conserve power and minimise carbon emissions. Passivent’s mixed mode system gave us a low carbon solution to ensure all our offices and meeting rooms are well ventilated throughout but always at a comfortable temperature – neither too hot in the heat of summer, nor too cold in the depths of winter.”