Endeavour to achieve ‘excellent’ energy efficiency

The UK’s only Marine Enterprise Zone is set to achieve excellence, in part through innovative use of British engineering expertise.

Phase 1 of the 35-hectare Oceansgate scheme in Plymouth is the creation of an office block delivering over 1,000m2 of accommodation over three floors, with a further two terraces yielding 1,200m2 of light industrial space.

With a BREEAM rating of Excellent, the offices in Endeavour House all feature Gilberts’ Mistrale Fusion (MFS) stand-alone hybrid ventilation, integrated at high level into the façade glazing, specified by consultant engineer Services Design Solution (SDS).

In total, 36 MFS128 units have been strategically positioned across the floor spaces, to provide fresh air with no need for additional ductwork or plant. Normally automatically controlled using CO2 and temperature sensors, at Oceansgate a manual boost option also gives occupants control over temperature and air quality in both summer and winter (up to 143 l/s in summer and 39 l/s in winter); in effect, the system functions primarily as a natural ventilation system, with the built-in low energy fan supplementing throughout the year as conditions demand.

SDS associate mechanical engineer, Tom Lawson, said: “Plymouth City Council wants Oceansgate to be an exemplar scheme in terms of low energy. Gilberts’ MFS gave us a low energy solution, with greater control over internal temperatures and air quality compared to just openable windows in both summer and winter. The integrated louvre and ventilation from one source i.e. Gilberts, gave us the performance required with what I believe to be overall economies.”

MFS draws fresh air into the building, using a mixing damper to modulate airflow and mix the incoming fresh air with warmer exhaust air, extracting the heat without the need for a separate exchanger (as required in conventional MVHR systems). The integrated low energy fan energises to blend the internal air, ensuring an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintenance of a comfortable internal environment for occupants.

In keeping with its “green” credentials Gilberts maintains that MFS can ventilate a typical classroom-sized space for less than £5/annum. The product’s design and construction is said to have a positive impact on the overall building energy efficiency too: MFS reportedly attains air leakage better than legislative requirements – 5m3/HR/m2, and a U value of 1W/m2/°C.