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Landmark Restoration Benefits From Combined VRF


Fort Dunlop, Birmingham’s iconic listed building, visible to the thousands of commuters as they journey along the M6, has been transformed into modern offices and contemporary retail space; all of which will be benefiting from the latest heating and cooling technology from environmental controls system manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric.

The landmark building, historically the location of the construction of spitfire planes during World War 2, was transformed by award winning property developer, Urban Splash, who had the challenge of bringing the building up to modern standards of comfort and technology without compromising the existing features and unique architecture.

The specification included over 120 Mitsubishi Electric water cooled WR2 systems making it the largest in the UK. Installed by Skyline Air Conditioning Ltd, the WR2 units meet the heating and cooling demands of the building utilising multi port BC controllers which enable the building to benefit from heat recovery, using waste energy generated from one part of the building during cooling, to be used to heat another area.

To keep the internal air fresh without wasting energy, the project also includes over 120 Lossnay heat recovery units, which recoup energy from outgoing air to heat or cool incoming fresh air.

Skyline Air Conditioning, which is a strategic Mitsubishi Electric Business Solutions Partner, was engaged in the complete air conditioning installation throughout the entire building, providing controls and remote zone controllers for each floor.

The WR2 condensing units are ‘housed’ in internal plant rooms, of which there are four per floor, providing heating and cooling to each floor via a total of over 700 Mitsubishi Electric ducted fan coils.

“To preserve the integrity of the original architecture, the internal floor was raised and we used the void below as a pathway for concealing all of the air conditioning system’s distribution, electrical power and control cables,” explained said John Bradshaw of Skyline, who led the project. “The combination ensures the highest total building efficiencies, as well as lower running costs and excellent CO2 emissions reductions.

“Lossnay ventilation units working in conjunction with the water cooled systems provide effective ventilation and total heat recovery, ensuring a comfortable air temperature within each room,” he added.

With large numbers of air conditioning units, control is paramount in a building of this complexity and size and Skyline Air Conditioning installed 24 Mitsubishi Electric G50A centralised controllers per floor in addition to 180 wired remote zone controllers.

This allows Urban Splash and their tenants to closely monitor and control each individual unit within the system to match separate room requirements.

With the installation of what is the country’s largest installation of WR2 systems, Skyline Air Conditioning have helped Urban Splash convert Fort Dunlop into a building fit for modern use and ensure that this prestigious building remains a central part of Birmingham’s heritage for years to come.

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