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Case Studies

Daikin heat recovery systems give prime office building new lease of life.

Daikin heat recovery systems give prime office building new lease of life. main image

A prime office property in busy Watford has returned to the letting market after a massive facelift – including an efficient new heat recovery air conditioning installation that is configured to suit the needs of up to nine tenants. Described as a self-contained headquarters office building, 40 Clarendon Road has almost 50,000 square feet of lettable space, spread across five floors. The building, which dates from 1998, is part of an investment company’s portfolio. Refurbishment followed a previous tenant’s move to even larger premises. The new Daikin VRV IV heat recovery air conditioning system, installed by Rotherham-based Daikin D1+ Business Partner, Airmaster, as part of the Category A fit out, was designed to British Council for Offices standards.

“This means we have smaller indoor units where future tenants might want to install peripheral meeting rooms or small offices, and larger units in the central ‘general office’ areas,” says Airmaster director Gareth Campbell. Indoor units are exclusively medium static pressure concealed ceiling units. This is unusual in an exposed services environment as these units are primarily designed to offer flexibility and performance in rooms with limited space or with irregular shape (L-shaped, U-shaped, or long rooms). They also offer automatic airflow adjustment, which means they are draught-free and quickly reach the desired temperature while being whisper-quiet. Sound levels can go lower than 25 decibels.

Gareth Campbell says: "They wanted a high-end look for the pipework and ducting. We had to present a number of sample configurations and they chose a shiny, smooth aluminum cladding."

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The Daikin indoor units are all in their ‘natural’ state – apart from in the reception area where exposed services are all sprayed matte black.

Each unit has an individual branch selector box, providing maximum flexibility to accommodate ‘cooler’ or ‘warmer’ requirements – plus facilitating isolation of units, if necessary.

At the core of the installation are 19 VRV IV heat recovery outdoor units, ranging from 8-16hp and totaling 230hp. Heat recovery units are inherently more efficient than straight heat pumps – and additionally have the ability to deliver simultaneous cooling and heating, economically using ‘waste’ heat.

The outdoor units drive nine independent systems – one for the 8,500 sq. ft ground floor, and two for each of the four upper floors which range from 8,000 to 10,000 sq. ft. As a result, the upper floors could each be let to one or two tenants.

Each of the systems is controlled at tenant level through a Daikin Intelligent Touch Manager with individual local control of 41 zones through Daikin’s elegant wall-mounted Madoka controllers. Overall, the Daikin systems are linked to building management system via a BACnet gateway.

Conveniently sited midway between Watford Junction and the town’s main shopping area – and an easy walk to both – the building has open and underground parking for 129 cars. The refurbishment also included new lighting, lifts and toilets.

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Pharmaceutical / Health

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Sector: Pharmaceutical / Health

Contract: Full M&E Design & Build

Airmaster have completed the full design and build mechanical install of specialist laboratory systems for a pharmaceuticals company in the health sector.

The install compromised of:

Flexible LEV extraction arms in the laboratories.

Dedicated plastic fume extraction systems to the fume cupboards up to roof level duty/assist centrifugal fans and purge stack.

All this controlled via an Easylab VAV damper system to keep the pressures in balance when the environment changes.

Magnehelic Gauges were installed at each entrance to show the pressure reading of the room, each with its own specific requirement.

The general ventilation was supplied via packaged Air Handling Units with LTHW frost coil via an Air Source Heat Pump and DX heating/cooling coils.

Fan units were installed throughout the floors with VRV Condensers providing comfortable temperature control to the office and laboratories via secondary high induction supply grilles.

All roof systems required walkways and handrails manufacturing to provide safe access.

Other systems installed include a Comms Room AC split system, a -20 degree freezer room build and refrigeration install for material storage.

Stainless steel ductwork and plastic fan to specialist ICPMS lab equipment to deal with chemical fume extraction. Buffer vessel and pump set configuration within the plantroom.

And finally, a full public health install of sanitary ware and laboratory sinks and basins and safety shower, POU water heaters, high efficiency twin water softener and GRP storage tank with twin headed booster pump.

All systems controlled and managed via a fully integrated BMS system with head end PC and graphics.

Download the full PDF case study here.


A great team effort by all, from the conception of Airmaster's team of designers which made all that came after run and work smoothly. The install with our own contracts engineers and site supervision completed the whole project within a 13 week programme!

The team also completed a 2 week commissioning phase at the end to balance the systems in a -10pa lab environment.

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Water-cooled VRV perfect solution for Richmond office refurbishment

Water-cooled VRV perfect solution for Richmond office refurbishment main image

A landmark 1980s ‘head offi ce’ building in Richmond, London, has been given a new lease of life – and a fresh long-term tenant – after a £5 million refurbishment that included installation of Daikin VRV-W water- cooled air conditioning.

The 33,000 square foot four-storey building at 63 Kew Road – former UK headquarters of Pepsi Cola – is now home to the leading online marketplace for creative small businesses, which has taken a 10-year lease.

Owned by Low Carbon Workplace, the building has been substantially upgraded to raise its Energy Performance Certificate rating from E to B and to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. The improved ratings also meet the London Borough of Richmond’s target for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions.

Low Carbon Workplace is a a partnership, launched in 2010, between the Carbon Trust, fund manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments and property developer Stanhope.

The partnership acquires commercial office buildings and refurbishes them into modern, energy efficient workplaces.

In selecting the Kew Road building’s new heating and cooling system, noise criteria and line-of-sight constraints ruled out chillers and air-cooled VRV outdoor units. Water-cooled VRV, on the other hand, could be contained – out of sight and earshot – in a plant room.

VRV-W also offered the efficiency advantage of two-stage heat recovery - within each system and between systems on the water loop. This two-stage recovery substantially improves overall energy efficiency especially in situations where cooling is required even in winter.

Heat recovery was an obvious choice for a building with different aspects developing variable conditions that required simultaneous heating and cooling. The original design was also based on a Cat A selection process to ensure the system would have maximum fl exibility to accommodate the requirements of any future tenants.

There is a flexible and energy efficient control strategy to attain both the EPC and BREEAM scores required by Low Carbon Workplace. The strategy includes PIR movement sensors linked to Daikin RTD interfaces to provide the control inputs for one or more FCUs to optimise conditions when people are present, but to drift from the set point after no response from the PIR, and eventually switch off. 

To allow for Individual control, one branch selector box is provided per FCU. The 20% tempered fresh air delivered to the FCUs is controlled by dampers and CO2 sensors, which further enhances efficiency. There are no local controllers, with the system controlled centrally by Daikin Intelligent Touch Managers – facilitating sub-metering of the building if it is subsequently let to multiple tenants. The system gives individual tenants the facility to control their environment through web-based access to the ITMs.

Sheffield - based Daikin D1+ Premium Partner Airmaster installed six systems totalling 13 condensers, which generate the total heating and cooling requirement for all floors and an air curtain in the lobby. Another four condensers serve the building’s two air handling units, which supply tempered air at 18oC to the rear of fan coil units (FCUs) throughout the building. The building’s total calculated load is 427kW (peak instantaneous: 348kW).

Two low-height, low-noise Guntner adiabatic dry air coolers reject heat from the water loop to the roof. A 546kW boiler generates hot water for the building and heat injection to the water loop to maintain a fixed 40oC flow to the Daikin VRV-W condensers during cold weather.

To fit the boiler and condensers into the plant room, the condensers were located using racking, one above the other. This satisfied the requirements for heating and cooling plant without compromising design – or the lettable floor area.

All FCUs are of the FXDQ type – slim concealed ceiling units, which can be mounted in ceiling voids as small as 240mm.

These medium external static pressure units can be used with flexible ducts of varying lengths. They are specially developed for small or well-insulated rooms such as hotel bedrooms and small offices – and so are ideal for ensuring future flexibility of the office layout at 63 Kew Road.


To download a PDF of this case study please click here.

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B&Q Distribution Centre, Worksop

B&Q Distribution Centre, Worksop main image

Sector: Logistics

Contract: Design and Build Mechanical Services

As a Daikin D1+ dealer & installer, Airmaster Air Conditioning Ltd along with several other local D1+ rated companies were invited to tender for the large Air Conditioning replacement project at the B&Q Distribution Centre in Worksop.

We were asked to present 2 tender applications, the first to carry out a full like-for-like AC replacement of the existing 15 year old Sanyo systems, the second was to put forward our own design & build application.

The Airmaster Contracts team presented a perfect tender application which included a full Hevacomp thermal imaging building report, giving us the precise up to date technology to supply the correct AC equipment in the right areas, this was carried out by our in house Design team at Airmaster Air Conditioning Ltd.

The project included; the full removal of the existing AC systems, with full replacement of 6 large Daikin Europe VRF systems, 2 Comms room double split systems, the project also included the Daikin ‘reclaim with confidence’ and ‘commission with confidence’ package. This was finished with a full mains electrical upgrade to all internal and external AC systems.

This was carried out on a very tight 8 week timeframe, along with all buildings still in full use and strict Covid restrictions earlier this year, the Airmaster Air Conditioning Ltd team pulled out all the stops to complete a fantastic project on time.

The B&Q Worksop Engineering & Facilities Manager Dave Horton and his team were brilliant to work with and had nothing but praise for the Airmaster installation Engineers.

To download a PDF of the case study please click here. 

Paul Wilkins, Corporate Clients Division Manager at Daikin

“Well done to everyone involved at Airmaster Air Conditioning Ltd. Your tender submission was spot on, fulfilling the brief perfectly and then going beyond it too. The project ran like clockwork thanks to your professionalism. The client understood the long-term importance of marrying a high-quality installation with high quality equipment. A great project.”

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