AET Flexible Space, manufacturer and supplier of underfloor air conditioning systems has received an order for replacement equipment for the second floor of the First Point Buckingham Gate building at Gatwick Airport. Originally constructed by BAA Lynton in the late 1990s and equipped throughout with AET Flexible Space equipment, the property is one of the few Grade A offices located adjacent to Gatwick’s South Terminal.
Underfloor systems are commonly used in office environments, using the plenum beneath a raised floor as the ventilation zone. Fully conditioned air is fed into the plenum by zonal downflow units (CAM), which is then supplied into the workspace via fan terminal units called fantiles. The fantiles feature integrated controllers where users can personally adjust fan speed and temperature to suit their comfort. Systems can be configured with underfloor or high-level return and can easily integrate with passive or other ventilation systems.
The installation at First Point has a CAM-C system installed throughout, offering flexible underfloor supply and underfloor return air conditioning. The original development was constructed at the same time as a comparable building at Heathrow airport, which used a ceiling-based fan coil system. After a feasibility study, the developers were able to demonstrate a significant reduction in building height – around half a metre for each storey, yielding a total height reduction of two metres, which equates to a saving of £200,000 in materials. It also provides around 25% more floor area than the building using fan coils. Savings in construction time using the AET Flexible Space system were in the region of five weeks, enabling a much earlier handover and subsequently attracting earlier rental income.
The second floor has recently been let to an independent merchant banking group offering corporate financial services. AET received the order for replacement equipment from M&E contractor Mala Engineering, which comprised three new CAM-C35 downflow units, 77 TU4 Fantile units and eight FA7 Fresh Air Modules. In addition, the client opted to upgrade the controls system with the latest AET Flexvisor BMS which enables enhanced remote monitoring and adjustment for users and facilities managers.
AET is very pleased to remain involved with this signature building 16 years after the original construction and is currently surveying other floors within the structure with a view to further equipment upgrades.