Designing an Air Conditioning System for B-DACS’ New Office

Abdul Akhtar

Abdul Akhtar

Air Conditioning Office DesignAs you may have heard, B-DACS is moving office on Monday 28th April.

From that day, we’ll be based just over the road at 31 Lonmay Drive, Glasgow, G33 4EP.

The reason for the move is simple.

When we moved into our current office, there were only two people working from it.

Now we have five full-time office employees and host meetings on a regular basis.

Despite moving the furniture around, it’s getting a little too small for our needs.

31 Lonmay Drive, Glasgow

Our new office has the same layout as our current one but we’ll occupy both floors instead of just one.

This will allow us to create two private areas, a meeting room and a kitchen, as well as giving everyone the space they need to work in.

There is still a lot to do before the move, including putting up partitions and renovating the kitchen area, but one of our biggest priorities is to replace the inefficient electric radiators.
Naturally, we felt air conditioning would be the best solution.

It’s the most efficient way to heat commercial properties and provides invaluable cooling when needed. It keeps our office at a consistent temperature, enabling us to stay productive whatever the weather.

Because summer is on the way, we want to control our office temperature from the outset. So we’ve already designed an air conditioning system to fit the space.

Air Conditioning Office Design VRF Heat Pump

Designing the Air Conditioning System

Firstly, we worked out the heating and cooling loads for the office.

The floor area for each level is 48m2. As a general rule, we base our calculations on 120W per m2, then make adjustments based on factors like occupancy, IT equipment and solar gain.

From doing this, we worked out that we needed just under 6kW heating and cooling capacity for each floor.

This gave us a number of options, including multiple split systems, which we have in our current office.

However, this would have meant installing four condensing units outside our office, which we was something we wanted to avoid.

We were keen to reduce the amount of outdoor equipment in order to leave the building’s exterior relatively clear.

Our Solution: VRF Heat Pump System

Having considered all the possibilities, we went for a VRF heat pump system, which allows us to have four indoor units running off a single outdoor unit.

To serve the main space of the upper floor, we initially wanted to install a ducted unit in the ceiling void. This would have been unobtrusive and saved wall space.

It’s impossible to do this for the ground floor because the ceiling void is only 200mm deep, and, in the end, the space proved too tight on the upper floor as well.

Depending on the unit’s specifications, you need a minimum of 250mm to install an air conditioning unit in your ceiling.

Therefore, we had to go with two wall-mounted units for the open plan ground floor and two further wall-mounted units for the upper floor and meeting room.

Alternative Solution: VRF Heat Recovery System

The VRF heat pump system will fulfil our heating and cooling needs throughout the year. However, it has one limitation.

All units have to be in either heating or cooling mode; you can’t have different areas running in different modes.

To solve this problem, we could have chosen a VRF heat recovery system. In fact, this is the solution we’d recommend to most customers in our position.

Heat recovery systems are easier to manage and eliminate potential conflicts in the system. Conflicts arise when different areas have contrasting heating and cooling demands.

However, as air conditioning contractors, we have the knowledge to be able to manage the system effectively. Having an open plan office makes it easier, as you need fewer units to serve the same space.

Air Conditioning Office Design Window Air Conditioning Office Design VRF

Choosing a Manufactuer: Mitsubishi Electric

Having designed the system, we needed to select a manufacturer.

There were several viable options but Mitsubishi Electric were able to offer the best solution at the best price.

As in our current office, the wall-mounted units are from Mitsubishi Electric’s Zen range, although we’ve chosen silver units this time instead of black.

They are stylish and energy efficient and have served us very well over the last two years.

Each unit can be controlled individually using remote controllers.

If you’d like us to install a system in your office, get in touch on 0141 773 3355.

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