Panasonic Provides Air-Conditioning Solution for Historic CHQ Vaults
When looking for the ideal air conditioning system for an eco-friendly office refit at the listed CHQ Vaults in Dublin, the developers selected a Panasonic VRF system. The unusual architecture and historical importance of the vaults presented some interesting challenges for this installation, which were overcome thanks to the flexibility of Panasonic’s system.
The CHQ Vaults, situated in Dublin’s historical docklands, were originally used to store tobacco and whiskey in the 1800’s. Many years later, during the 2000’s, the building was refitted to accommodate retail units, when the space became a shopping haven. Now, in its most recent transformation, the vaults have regenerated into a buzzing commercial hub of offices, restaurants and bars.
The client, Dogpatch Labs, wanted to create an innovative, tech co-working space utilising a 13,500 sq ft area within the vaults. The interior design needed to incorporate the original features within the space for an eclectic and unique working environment. Dogpatch worked with CEL Consultants to bring the vision to life. When it came to heating and cooling, they called in specialist air conditioning and ventilation experts Crystal Air Ltd to install a system that would both work with the structure of the building and effectively ventilate this old, underground space.
“Panasonic provided the best solution for us to overcome the several unique challenges that the installation at Dogpatch Labs presented,” said Don Hoban, Business Development Manager, Crystal Air Ltd. “The flexibility of their VRF ECOi MF2 series and floor-standing units allowed us to overcome every roadblock within one system. The installation took six weeks and the finished result not only looks great but will also provide an economical and sustainable solution for the client.”
The vaulted brickwork structure of the building combined with its listed status meant that Crystal Air already had several challenges to overcome. Firstly, the air conditioning system had to be easily removable in case future tenants wanted to fit an alternative solution. Secondly, none of the installation work could damage the bricks and mortar of the original vaults, and nothing could be attached to the historical vaulted ceiling. The system also needed to provide consistent cool, clean air throughout a large office space of over 150 desks, to counteract the underground atmosphere for a comfortable environment.
The Panasonic 3-Pipe ECOi MF2 Series overcame each of these challenges, whilst providing an energy efficient and economical solution. The sophisticated design of the floor-standing units meant that they could be easily removed and did not need to be attached to the fabric of the building, leaving the vaulted ceiling free from any fittings. To save energy, the system, which can provide simultaneous heating and cooling, can also extract warm air and redistribute it to cooler areas of the working space.
Ease of control is crucial to a heating and cooling system, particularly where staff may not have the expertise required to operate a complex control system. Crystal Air installed 12 Panasonic CZ-RTC2* controllers, to enable sophisticated yet simple local control of each floor-standing unit. The CZ-RTC2* allows employees to change the temperature, fan speed and air flow, as well as the operation mode. Local control is essential to creating a comfortable space for staff, as it means that everyone’s preferences can be catered for.
The Panasonic system, installed by Crystal Air, more than met every expectation of CHQ Vaults. It not only provided an efficient and effective heating and cooling solution, but also preserved the beautiful interior of the historic building.
*Panasonic has recently launched its latest controller, the CZ-RTC4, which has a brand new interface and a wide range of features, making it easier than ever to create the perfect atmosphere.