Domus ventilation MVHR system specified for extensive office-to-apartment conversion

by Francesca

Domus Ventilation’s HRX-aQ Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems and Domus ducting are being installed into the striking No. 1 Thames Valley apartment complex in Bracknell, Berkshire.  This extensive development sees the building converted from offices to 130 single bedroom apartments laid out in two wings with floor-to-ceiling windows. 

As with most office to residential conversions, No. 1 Thames Valley has presented a number of challenges along the way, not the least the ventilation.  Thankfully, Working Environments, which is responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the mechanical, public health and electrical services, has plenty of experience in this field.  This has enabled them to meet these challenges, from ducting that needs to run through the building façade to trying to match the ventilation grilles with the terracotta tiles in place.

Working Environments specified the Domus Ventilation HRX-aQ for this demanding project as the MVHR system was readily able to provide the level of indoor air quality required.  Other factors that were taken into consideration were the pricing and cost-efficiency, plus the level of support provided by Domus Ventilation.

The HRX-aQ MVHR system is ideally suited to No. 1 Thames Valley as it intelligently manages air conditions for maximum homeowner comfort.  This is achieved through advanced AMIE (Air Management for Indoor Environments) technology including features such as digital humidity control, automated summer bypass and accurate system balancing.

Unlike conventional humidity sensors, the HRX-aQ enables occupants to have direct control over managing the humidity levels in their home to suit personal comfort levels.  By accurately measuring air humidity, the HRX-aQ’s extract speed automatically changes from background to boost as the level of humidity increases, thereby providing optimal ventilation performance.

The HRX-aQ features advanced bypass control, programmable by occupants based on time and temperature.  In standard mode the MVHR units work by warming fresh air drawn into the building using the heat from waste stale air extracted from the kitchen and wet rooms.  In conjunction with multiple time controlled bypass options (night time free cooling), the HRX-aQ also detects when air temperature reaches a pre-set level and intelligently activates the bypass mechanism allowing in cooler, fresh and filtered air.

Working Environments has installed the HRX-aQ units at No. 1 Thames Valley within each apartment’s bathroom in the ceiling void, with the MVHR controller located in the utility cupboard.  This is the first time the company has used HRX-aQ and, according to Robert Druce, Project Manager at Working Environments, they have found the units very easy to install, further assisted by the online training provided by Domus Ventilation. Measuring just 199mm in depth and weighing from just 7.9kg, the HRX-aQ is compact and light enough to be easily installed in the most restrictive of ceiling voids.  It can be simply designed-in with a straight in-and-out duct run and, in the case of No. 1 Thames Valley, is directly fitted to Domus 204x60mm Supertube rigid ducting for an air-tight connection, minimising pressure drops virtually eliminating air leakage.  Its offset duct connections also mean that any duct crossover is much more straightforward.  The accumulation of HRX-aQ’s quick and simple installation features make for one of the lowest install costs of any MVHR in the market today.

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