AET Flexible Space under floor air conditioning for Reading Bridge House refurbishment

AET Flexible Space have recently supplied an under floor air conditioning system to Reading Bridge House, one of the largest and most distinctive buildings in Reading. The project was the second phase of major refurbishment and services upgrades which were designed to bring the building up to full British Council for Offices (BCO) air conditioning standards for prospective tenants. The 115,000 sq ft building is located to the North of Reading adjacent to the River Thames.

The first phase of refurbishment took place under former ownership, on five out of ten floors of the heated only 1960’s office building. David George, Sales Manager at AET Flexible Space, was involved with this initial project, supplying an ‘all air’ central station, variable air volume (VAV) under floor air conditioning solution by AirFixture, which was able to satisfy the designer’s requirements. Throughout the building, the major engineering challenge was the limited floor plenum height available, due to the low slab to slab height.

The new owners opted to install a similar system to the remaining five floors in the second phase of refurbishment. The second phase included the Ground, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th floors of the building and was completed towards the end of 2013. The system provided by AET Flexible Space is an under floor air conditioning design based on AirFixture technology; 1200 floor terminal boxes, comprising PMIT grilles with multi-directional airflow, and an upgraded Time Modulation controls system were supplied for the five floors of the second phase. The project clearly demonstrates that phased refurbishment is possible with all air VAV systems, often disputed by industry professionals. The multi-directional grille has sixteen different air flow patterns; ideal for controlling air flow in the VAV system.

Similar under floor air conditioning systems adopted in the UK; utilising variable air volume (VAV) with passive floor terminals; have the potential to be highly energy efficient. Air supplied from the central plant is at 15 degrees C, therefore, when the air temperature outside is lower, free cooling is possible, with the potential of free cooling provision for over 60% of the year.

The refurbishment of the building is now complete. The Ground floor (North) was pre-let to an existing tenant, Royal London Mutual Insurance, and the management expect to attract more high quality clients who wish to take advantage of the landmark building’s prime location, high specification and competitive rates.