When it comes to building or refurbishing an open plan office your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system will be an important consideration during the design. This is because you want to be sure that you get the system right from the outset so that you get the sizing of it spot on. We covered sizing in a previous article – which is here – but this month we are taking a closer look at how to design your space with your HVAC system in mind. Read on for all the details.
Create an efficient system for your space
When designing your space there are lots of considerations to bear in mind – for example, space size, number and size of windows, ceiling height, and the number of people using it. Your HVAC unit will have one of the highest energy consumption rates than anything else, so you want to be sure it is well designed to be as efficient as possible.
Windows are an excellent way to let in more natural daylight, but they can also lead to greater solar gains in the summer and lett in the cold in the winter, making your HVAC system have to work harder. You can reduce the loads by choosing good double glazing or applying solar filters or blinds to the windows.
Creating zones in your open plan office will ensure that your HVAC system is not overloaded and makes allowances for setting different temperatures without making too many compromises. Areas that will have more people – such as working areas – will have a higher cooling demand than meeting rooms which are not as heavily used. By zoning your HVAC system you can control the temperature in each area so that it is appropriate for its use. It also allows you to manage the temperature throughout the day – for example, when meeting rooms are full of people or the office is quieter during holidays.
Sensor technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past few years and is not just related to HVAC systems. By linking your lighting and occupancy sensors, for example, to your HVAC system, you can be sure that it is not working overtime when no one is around, nor is it struggling to cope when your space is full, and the lights are blazing further adding to the heat load.
Indoor air quality and ventilation
A good HVAC system will do more than just manage the temperature. It will also control humidity – a key component of how warm or cool a space feels. It will also manage the ventilation of your space by ensuring that there is a flow of fresh, clean air and eliminating stale air and odours – both of which are key to the wellbeing of your occupants.
If you are in the process of designing or refurbishing your open plan office space, get input from an HVAC specialist sooner rather than later. At JP Air Conditioning we can help at every stage of the process. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 020 8333 1191 for an informal chat or to book an appointment.