Eaton-Williams helps weather forecasters
The Met Office has successfully completed its transition from Bracknell to its new state-of-the-art headquarters in Exeter. The building provides a modern, purpose-built and environmentally friendly building.
As one of the world’s leading providers of environmental and weather-related services, the Met’s building has been designed to support an advanced technology and IT structure. The building services installed and commissioned by Haden Young provides ‘no single point of failure’ for areas designated as resilience level 1 which provides data reliability for the vast amounts of weather data and customer information that is provided 24/7. The various Met buildings have been constructed around a central concourse known as ‘The Street’. This produces an open atria effect with large open walkways, café and meeting areas. A stream runs along the length of the street adding to the ambience of the environment.
The office floor plate of the buildings is ventilated using an innovative and unconventional approach known as a ‘TermoDeck’ system. Eaton-Williams has supplied a comprehensive range of equipment from across the group to meet the building’s requirements for efficient air conditioning and optimal air distribution.
Moducel provided 20 LKS air handlers, 40 IPAC units (20 serving each IT hall), Series 600 chilled water and DX units, Vapac humidifiers, and numerous Colman floor grilles, louvres and diffusers, with a total value in excess of £1-million. Supply air is ducted from the Moducel air handling plant and distributed to pre-stressed hollow core concrete planks that form the building’s floors. The planks are pre-cooled/pre-heated when the building is unoccupied, with supply air via the planks conveyed to the raised floor voids using floor mounted Colman swirl diffusers to the occupied zones.
The Moducel LKS air handlers are all fitted either with recuperators or thermal wheels, which adds to the energy efficiency of the system. The LKS units feature special continuous seamwelded, fully galvanised Pentapost sections for strength and durability, providing a clean and uncluttered external appearance with no external fixings. Inner flanges on the Pentaposts help create positive air seals behind the panels and reduce air leakage to a minimum.
In the IT halls, room air conditioning units (RACU’s) and humidifiers were required to deliver and sustain the close control environmental conditions. “The Met operates 24/7 and is dependent on its computing facilities. Temperature control is critical,” says Bob Horner, Project Manager, Haden Young. “Although the computers have a high temperature tolerance, they cannot cope with fluctuations.”
A number of close control systems were considered, but only Moducel IPAC floor standing units could deliver a design solution. “Space restraints coupled with having to address 1.75 MW heat load in each IT hall, dictated requirements. The IPAC range could provide a larger capacity which meant fewer units were needed and could be fitted within the available space constraints.”
Moducel’s IPAC range delivers precise temperature control for year-round 24/7 use. Ideally suited for computer rooms they provide optimum temperature control and can be fitted with humidifiers at the factory. Colman’s ‘T’ Series linear bar grilles are installed in the computer rooms.
The Met office has received a building of excellence rating by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) which is used as a means to review and improve the environmental performance of buildings. The rating is widely used in the construction and property industry and signifies best practice in environmental design and management.