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Sustainable flexible cooling for MAF Properties headquarters in Dubai

The headquarters of one of the MENA region’s leading retail and leisure property companies Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties is the first building in the United Arab Emirates to be LEED EBOM Gold-rated, with the AET Flexible Space underfloor air conditioning system playing a major part in achieving flexibility and occupant comfort.

The 10,000m2 tower is fully served by an AET CAM-V system. The tower has a total of 45 zones served by the AET CAM-V downflow units and nearly 5,000 recessed fan terminals – called Fantiles – that supply conditioned air into the workspace.

The AET underfloor system uses the plenum beneath a raised floor as the ventilation duct, eliminating the need for ceiling-based ductwork, potentially reducing the height of new-build construction by up to 10% and making it easy and economical to adapt to changes in the workplace. The conditioned air is introduced into the space through floor recessed Fantiles, which are easily relocated with the 600mm x 600mm raised floor tiles. They also feature integrated controllers, allowing users to personally adjust temperature and fan speed settings. The CAM-V units introduce conditioned air at floor level into the plenum beneath the raised floor and then receive return air at high level for reconditioning. This set up is ideal for easy reconfiguration as there is no division of the plenum into supply and return channels.

The underfloor HVAC system has been operating in the building since 2008, and as part of the LEED EBOM accreditation the environmental impact of the building was assessed at the end of 2013 and compared with the baseline assessment conducted in 2009. It exceeded requirements in a number of key areas and the owner occupiers declared that the investment in managing resources and operations was recovered in one year, highlighting the long-term financial benefits of being sustainable.

In a statement of satisfaction about AET Flexible Space’s system, MAF Properties mentioned the good year-round performance and added: “It is the flexibility of the system, however, that saved us both time and money.”

 Changes are able to be made in a matter of minutes without disturbing normal operation of the office. In an occupant comfort survey carried out as required by LEED EBOM approximately 79% of occupants responded, and a majority declared that they were satisfied with the thermal comfort offered by the system. 

The owner occupiers added: “We would definitely recommend the AET Flexible Space underfloor HVAC system for any modern building requiring flexibility and true sustainability.”

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