'Concealed, compact and without compromise'

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Published: 15 August 2017


daikin vrv air conditioning
The Daikin VRV I-series offers 'invisible' air conditioning
Martin Passingham, Product Manager for DX at Daikin UK, discusses how modern trends in the retail and light commercial sectors demand a discreet, compact, cost-effective and high-performance air conditioning solution.

Balancing the requirements of customer or staff comfort against the aesthetic and logistical realities of installing an air conditioning unit can be a major dilemma for many businesses. This is especially true in urban areas where outdoor space is restricted.
 
The condenser element of air conditioning systems can be relatively bulky and thus is most commonly installed on a roof, basement or in a side alley. However, this may not be feasible in densely populated areas where buildings routinely serve a mixture of commercial, residential, leisure and social purposes. Consequently, roof space may be occupied by penthouse apartments, basement space utilised by car parking and strict planning permissions may prohibit installing a system in a side alley.
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The interior unit is compact and can be discreetly positioned
The most forward-thinking air conditioning manufacturers have developed solutions that can service any building requirement
Balancing the requirements of customer or staff comfort against the aesthetic and logistical realities of installing an air conditioning unit can be a major dilemma for many businesses. This is especially true in urban areas where outdoor space is restricted.
 
The condenser element of air conditioning systems can be relatively bulky and thus is most commonly installed on a roof, basement or in a side alley. However, this may not be feasible in densely populated areas where buildings routinely serve a mixture of commercial, residential, leisure and social purposes. Consequently, roof space may be occupied by penthouse apartments, basement space utilised by car parking and strict planning permissions may prohibit installing a system in a side alley.
 
While available building service space shrinks, the focus on employee wellbeing is growing. Shifting cultural attitudes brings with it more expectation from workers when it comes to a workplace’s physical environment. There is also a growing trend among progressive employers to place more credence on the day-to-day experience of their employees. Creating stimulating, inspiring and dynamic workspaces is thought to have a positive effect on both morale and productivity, and is now viewed as a priority by many organisations.
 
Comfortable
Aesthetic and atmospheric considerations are also of paramount importance in the retail and light commercial sectors. Increasingly, a significant amount of thought, planning and research goes into every design decision and its affect on consumer behaviour. Retailers want to present their offerings in the most eye-catching and appealing manner. This often means the incorporation of sleek and minimal design, where elements such as piping, plumbing and air conditioning are hidden from view. In addition, restaurants and bars want to create a comfortable and ambient atmosphere where any potential noise from a building’s services is kept to a minimum.
 
However, maintaining a comfortable temperature is always a key stipulation for businesses of all kind, so it is imperative that installers provide their customers with energy efficient and cost effective air conditioning solutions that can meet all their needs.
 
Keeping pace with the changing demands of evolving built environment trends, the most forward thinking air conditioning manufacturers have developed solutions that can service any conceivable building requirement. 
 
Invisible
For example, the Daikin VRV i-series, which is now available in an 8hp version, is specifically designed for applications where outdoor air conditioning units are not possible due to space limitations, architectural considerations or planning constraints.
 
Overcoming the issue of outdoor space, the innovatively compact unit is mounted entirely indoors with only a grille visible outside. Furthermore, by using decorative elements of a building's façade to hide the grilles, installation can be rendered completely invisible from street level.
 
Speaking of this unique design element in reference to a recent installation of the Daikin VRV i-series at Leon restaurant in London, Gary Piper, HVAC Manager at Synecore, said: “To be able to install such a discreet and highly efficient air conditioning system will hugely benefit many high street retailers across the UK, where sourcing outside space for a condenser can be challenging. At Leon Fenchurch Street, you will not visibly see any sign of the air conditioning system on the exterior of the building.”
 
Cost-effective
The heat exchanger of the VRV i series is integrated within the ceiling, with an outside vent. Its V-shaped heat exchanger and high performance fan combination offers higher air flow and static pressure, resulting in higher efficiencies compared to a standard outdoor unit installed indoors. The compressor element is compact and can be installed indoors, within an office, storage room, kitchen or technical area. In the case of Leon restaurant, the compressor was installed completely out of sight in a cupboard.
 
The Daikin VRV i-series also facilitates faster and more cost-effective installation as the components can be transported in a simple and straightforward manner. This means premises can be opened quicker as building permits are easier to obtain and building regulations are easier comply with. 
 
As commercial and retail space becomes an increasingly scarce commodity and the comfort of employees, customers and end-users becomes evermore important, installers face new challenges to meet customer requirements. However, by including the latest systems within their portfolio, installers can reap the benefits of hassle free installations, whilst offering their clients an invisible, cost effective and high-performance air conditioning solution.
 
www.daikin.co.uk