Aug 17, 2017 Last Updated 11:36 AM, Aug 14, 2017

Nortek keeps University of Cumbria students warm

Published in HVAC/HVP
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The University of Cumbria received complaints from students about the café at its Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District. The drinks were hot, but the overall environment was not, and it was especially draughty close to the entrance. Airbloc soon resolved the problem with a HVAC solution that combines the power of a high performance air curtain in an exposed location with the aesthetic demands of the space.

Airbloc, which is part of Nortek Global HVAC, supplied a high quality, high capacity air curtain from its AC range. The unit maintains the internal conditions, delivering vastly improved comfort for students and staff along with significant cost savings.

The entrance opens up to the high ceiling café which links, via a reception area, into a quiet working and reference environment. The challenge for the University of Cumbria was to source a HVAC system powerful enough to tackle the draughts of a westerly facing entrance in an exposed geographical location that would also blend in with the architecture of the building.

The Airbloc AC2000 air curtain provides an effective warm air barrier, which combats draughts and retains heat within the café, no matter how often the doors are opened. Fitting doorways up to 2m wide and 4m in height, the unit used a 24kW coil fed from the existing low pressure hot water (LPHW) wet system. This not only ensures reduced running costs, but also chimes with the University of Cumbria’s environmental approach to building management.

Installed by PK Engineering of Carlisle on a frame and hung from behind, the air curtain provides a stylish as well as a powerful HVAC solution. The entrance to the café retains its clean lines because the system blends in with the natural metal and wood surfaces and textures and there is no disruption to the minimalist design.

The AC2000 air curtain’s outer casing, which comes in white or metallic silver as standard, was customised with a brushed stainless steel finish. The unit also features a built-in illuminated exit sign with battery back-up pack, which is mounted flush, negating the need for separate signage.

While the main requirement was to ensure the café offered a warm and welcoming environment for students and lecturers, noise was also a consideration, as the building provides access to various university services and resources.

Sean Campbell, mechanical services manager at PK Engineering said: “The University of Cumbria wanted a HVAC solution with low running costs that would not look out of place in the stylish café surroundings.

“The Airbloc AC2000 air curtain is ideally suited to this application because it is powerful enough to cope with the demands of the exposed location, but not unduly noisy. It looks good and is highly versatile, which simplifies and speeds up the installation process.”

Installation Summary:

  • Aesthetic solution, with no requirement for additional exit signage
  • Energy-efficient system reduces heat loss and building running costs by 80%
  • Compact modular unit, surface-mounted to a frame at the entrance
  • An effective barrier against draughts in an exposed hillside location

Technical Summary:

  • LPHW heated AC2000 HW24-EXT unit
  • High capacity performance with a 5000m³/hour airflow
  • Unit incorporates a flush-mounted, illuminated exit sign with battery back-up
  • Customised brushed stainless steel outer casing blends into the entrance design
Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:36
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