Taking control of building management

The SCS Group has completed a £250,000 building management system (BMS) for the University of Sussex that controls the ventilation, air conditioning, under-floor heating and hot water systems at the Brighton campus.

Contractors Essex Services Group (ESG) originally specified three separate systems for the project – a building management system (BMS), window actuators and passive ventilation – with the three elements interfaced through the BMS. The SCS Group was awarded the contract after designing a completely integrated building services package that simplified the installation and reduced costs by 35%.

The University of Sussex educates over 10,000 students and the new £10-million Fulton building in the heart of campus is due for completion by summer 2010. The new building will provide 3,000sq m of teaching space across three floors, including two 160-seat lecture theatres and a mix of 22 different sized seminar rooms.

The building has been designed to minimise impact on the environment, with concrete floors acting as heat sinks and a natural ventilation system comprising of 24 roof-mounted extract terminals with cross talk attenuators to prevent noise transmission between classrooms and boost fans for extreme summer conditions.

Automatic dampers control ventilation rates in the lecture rooms, and 100 automatic actuators installed on high-level windows provide fresh air and ventilation to the common areas including an atrium.

SCS Commercial Director Chris Jones said: “Natural ventilation has been proven to improve the wellbeing and concentration rates of a building’s occupants, ultimately reducing absenteeism. As well as being energy efficient, they are also completely silent and are guaranteed to work for the lifetime of the property which makes passive ventilation the perfect choice for educational establishments.

“We have become specialists in the education building sector and clients are benefiting from our ability to provide holistic solutions for their entire building services needs.”

The SCS Group recently completed work on a passive ventilation system for a new building at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff.

Chris concluded: “We were really pleased with the innovative solution that we devised for this project. We not only reduced costs significantly against the original specification, but were able to cut installation time down to three weeks as the system was entirely integrated. Having one contractor managing the entire project rather than three separate ones also improved efficiency on site.”

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