Breathing Life Into Centre Of Excellence
Open plan has been taken to extremes in a European Centre of Excellence- but it’s proved no obstacle for the ventilation strategy.
To the M&E team’s brief, leading air movement specialist Gilberts developed an advanced draught-free solution to the refurbishment and refit for Uber’s European Centre of Excellence, using air movement principles more commonly employed in aircraft and Formula 1 engineering.
Architects Healy & Partners designed a contemporary work space for the software house’s premises in Limerick, with the open ‘feel’ extending to removing ceilings and creating symmetrical exposed services in the offices, meeting rooms and break-out areas.
Consulting engineers Metsec and supplier Keane Environmental worked closely to develop a ventilation strategy that would ensure adequate airflow with a comfortable, draught-free internal environment, and turned to Gilbers to deliver the solution.
In response 160 of Gilberts’ circular GSFE fixed swirl diffusers, specially fitted with coanda plates, have been installed throughout the four-storey building. The diffusers’, a patented design, uses radial vanes behind a perforated face to allow the introduction of high levels of air horizontally across the ceiling with rapid entrainment and intermixing. The addition of coanda plates further encourage the incoming cooler air to track along the nearest surface, gradually dropping into the room below.
“There is a fashion to leave the services exposed in commercial developments, but it brings practical issues regarding air movement and comfort conditions,” explained Keane Environmental’s Patrick Keane. “Most grilles are designed and built to operate with a ceiling. If there’s no full ceiling, an alternative strategy needs to be found. The whole building services design team worked closely to develop a solution. Gilberts’ diffuser was the closest in its core design to meeting our needs, with its contemporary design and horizontal airflow; the addition of the coanda plate gives just enough surface area for the jet of air to move as required without draughts or cold spots.”
Gilberts is the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist. Alongside its comprehensive range of grilles, louvres and diffusers, it has the ability, in-house, to design, manufacture, and test bespoke solutions to meet specific project requirements. It also has one of the most technically-advanced in-house test centres in the country- which it designed and built using internal resources- at its 90,000sq ft Blackpool headquarters.