No trouble at mill for Fujitsu solution


02 March 2023
The Globe Mill at Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield

Airtec Services (Yorkshire) Limited has designed and delivered a modern comfort cooling and heating heat recovery solution with fresh air ventilation from Fujitsu as part of the regeneration of a historic former textile mill in Yorkshire.

Thornton & Ross, one of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, has taken an open plan office with meeting and breakout rooms at The Globe Mill in the village of Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield. Built in 1887 for textile production, the site comprises two five-storey mill buildings which have been sympathetically transformed to provide 80,000 sq ft of business space.

Air conditioning and ventilation contractor Airtec Services Yorkshire used 15 ducted fan coil units connected to two VRF heat recovery systems throughout, with seven, 4-way cassettes installed in some of the meeting rooms. The VRF systems achieve high operating efficiency and reduce the building’s environmental impact by transferring heat energy between rooms that require cooling and areas that require heating.

Ian Whitaker of Airtec Services Yorkshire said: “We chose Fujitsu equipment for this project because of its competitive pricing and design flexibility. The way the building has been developed meant the system had to look the part as well as meeting all the customer’s requirements in terms of performance and efficiency, and it has delivered on all fronts.”

An innovative design feature sees the high static 22kW ducted units connected to fabric air socks, which create a more even air distribution in open plan areas and are more aesthetically pleasing as all equipment is visible, due to the exposed ceilings which have been retained in keeping with the building’s industrial heritage. 

Fujitsu VRF indoor ducted fan coil with airsock

The air socks have a maximum working pressure of 150 pascals. Each ducted indoor unit had its external static pressure set and commissioned by the Fujitsu remote monitoring system to operate at 100 pascals, with each ducted unit set from one place via laptop.

Performance and efficiency

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All installed equipment is connected to a touch screen Fujitsu central controller that offers remote system access and email error notification. The open plan indoor units are controlled solely by the central controller, while units located in meeting rooms are also controlled by a hard wired local controller. The central controller is linked to the fire alarm, meaning the system will shut down in the event of alarm activation.

To enhance indoor air quality for the occupants, Fujitsu fresh air energy recovery ventilation (ERV) has also been installed.

Nick Wilks of Fujitsu General Air Conditioning UK, added: "Seeing renewable technologies integrate seamlessly into a building steeped in history is really satisfying. Exposed ceilings really do put the product and installation teams to the test… the installation is a testament to both."

Fujitsu VR-IV VRF heat recovery outdoor modules

Specialist office interior design and build company Eden Interior Solutions Limited was the main fit-out contractor for M&E and furnishings, while Oceanair UK supplied the Fujitsu equipment.

Richard Power, project manager for Eden, said: “This was one of our most complex projects, which has resulted in a modern, state-of-the-art workplace within a landmark, historic building in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. Our brief was to encourage employees to come into the office and the uptake has been superb. The collaborative efforts from all of our suppliers made delivering what was an intense project enjoyable.’’

Paul Airey, of Oceanair, said: “The design and commissioning tools available to use with Fujitsu equipment make specifying a project like this a simple process. Being able to accommodate external static pressure ranges of between 50 and 200 pascals means that we have had no design restrictions to achieve effective air distribution.”

To discover more about the Fujitsu product range, click here