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Prestigious new build in Ghana chooses underfloor air conditioning

One Airport Square is a 20,000 sq m mixed-use development currently under construction in the growing commercial district of Airport City in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana's capital

This landmark building comprises 2,000 sq m of retail space and approximately 18,000 sq m Class A office space over 10 floors. Elegant and contemporary, it has been designed to the highest standards by award-winning sustainability designer Mario Cucinella Architects, and will be the first green-rated building as well as the first underfloor air conditioning installation in Ghana.

A joint venture between equity investment company Actis and Boston Investments, it is being managed by Laurus Development partners, a portfolio company of Actis. Construction commenced onsite in 2012, with a major milestone achieved in February 2014 when workers celebrated topping out 26 days ahead of schedule. The compact design features an internal atrium that provides light and facilitates natural ventilation in the indoor space. To enhance the natural design, sophisticated mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting services were selected by M&E consultants BDSP, and an AET Flexible Space Under Floor Air Conditioning system was chosen to provide additional cooling.

The striking architectural design features large structural slabs that project beyond the facade outline, effectively providing horizontal solar shading. Extensive environmental analyses wwer undertaken to optimise the design and orientation of the overhangs with different glazed facade configurations, and adopting mixed-mode ventilation enables a total reduction of over 30% active cooling. MC Architects report a reduction of 48% of HVAC related CO2 emissions using their sustainable designs, and the project is the first in Ghana to be awarded 4* Greenstar (SA) certification.

To supplement the natural ventilation within the building, an AET Flexible Space Under Floor Air Conditioning system provides cooling to the Class A office areas. This is a zonal CAM-V option that uses the floor plenum beneath the raised access floor as the ventilation duct for the conditioned air. With a CAM-V system, used air travels back to the downflow unit for reconditioning via high level. Each floor was divided into four tenancy areas, each served by two AET CAM-V33 units. The air is introduced into the space via a fan terminal or “Fantile” unit, which has the added benefit of individual control of air flow and temperature via the integrated Fatronic controller, and the building is served by more than 900 standard TU4 fantile units.

The project is scheduled for completion this year and AET Flexible Space engineers have travelled to Ghana for commissioning of the company’s equipment. Flexible office space from 450 sq m at Ghana’s most prestigious address will be available. One Airport Square, Accra, the first building in Ghana to feature Under Floor Air Conditioning.

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