Finding a phased solution


05 March 2019
air conditioning vrf heat recovery
Toshiba SHRMe units outside the building
A project to upgrade and replace air conditioning for a communications specialist was made possible by the phased installation of a Toshiba VRF system. 

Basingstoke-based Multione Electronics asked contractor Comfort Building Services to replace its existing independent split systems, which were proving unreliable and expensive to run. The end user was attracted to the efficiency and performance benefits of the Toshiba heat recovery-based variable refrigerant flow (VRF) whole-building solution. However, full replacement in a single one-off project would have been beyond the company’s budget.
air conditioning VRF
A wall-mounted VRF unit in the reception area
Toshiba's DesignAirs system
Comfort Building Services split the project proposal into three phases, enabling progressive replacement of existing systems with a Toshiba Super Heat Recovery Multi-e (SHRMe) VRF system over a two-year period.

Kris Carter, service manager at Comfort Building Services, said: “It was the first time we had used Toshiba equipment, and we were very impressed by its innovative features and ease of installation. We also found the company’s DesignAirs system extremely useful as a design tool. It is very flexible and enabled us to plan the replacement system in phases, structured to address the end user’s priorities, with the first phase focused on R&D and customer-facing areas, and then working through back office and production areas. It enabled us to keep costs within budget at each stage, while delivering a total building solution, with all the efficiency and comfort benefits this provides.

“Our customer is delighted with the results. The Toshiba SHRMe system is the perfect balance between price point, performance and reliability, and supported by an extended manufacturer’s warranty. It is excellent at harvesting energy where it would otherwise be wasted for use in areas needing either cooling or heating. The energy savings for the end user can be very significant.”

Indoor units included a combination of ceiling cassettes, floor-mounted and high-wall units, with hard-wired wall-mounted controllers in each area. Phases one and two of the project have been completed, and the final phase is scheduled to commence in the coming months.

“On the strength of the success with Multitone, we have already secured another Toshiba project,” said Kris Carter. “Many contractors are reluctant to work in this phased way, as it requires detailed planning to ensure everything works as a single combined system when completed. However, Toshiba’s DesignAirs is a great tool and makes this approach pretty straightforward.”
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