Panasonic’s market leading heat pumps have been installed in the Meads Business Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire, to provide heating and air conditioning to the centre owner, London-based property development company St Modwen.  

The Meads Business Centre is a fully furnished office building set in the heart of Farnborough’s Meads district, surrounded by major retailers and leisure destinations. Installers Woodhouse Environmental Services were tasked with designing and installing a heating and air conditioning system that would be energy efficient and fast to install, without interfering with the design aesthetic of the interiors. St Modwen, the centre’s owners, also needed the system to be flexible enough so that it could be used by a future tenant without requiring any further changes.  

“The key concern was to select a system that was energy efficient, quick and easy to install and flexible enough for us to adapt the design to the needs of the site,” said Trevor Woodhouse, MD of Woodhouse Environmental Services. “Panasonic’s system was ideal for this project so for us it was really a simple decision. The tenant’s own facilities team agreed when they came over for a final inspection from the USA, they thought it was fantastic.”  

The architect working on behalf of the tenants, sustainability consultancy Hurley Palmer Flatt, had decided to have all the services on show with a flat concrete ceiling above and large vaulted areas in between. This presented a particular challenge to the design of the heating and air conditioning system, as it meant that the positioning of all the components of the system had to be carefully planned, including the units, ductwork, cable tray pipe runs and drain services. The components also had to be meticulously laid out to ensure that the system looked completely uniform to retain the aesthetic of the interior, which again presented a challenge to the installers from Woodhouse.  

These challenges required Woodhouse to design a system that was quick and easy to install, but that also provided functionality and control to the end user. Working with distributor Environmental Site Supplies (ESS), they specified a Panasonic system, which allowed them to create a flexible design with a high energy efficiency rating. Panasonic air conditioning systems also lead the industry with their low levels of noise, which enhance their value for use in such office projects because they don’t disrupt a peaceful and productive atmosphere. Woodhouse installed two Panasonic 3-Pipe ECOi MF2 VRF systems, an extremely efficient outdoor unit that can heat and cool simultaneously and is easy to install and maintain.  To meet the architect’s specified design style, inside the office they fitted multiple concealed ducted units, the Panasonic S-36MF2E5, and a wall-mounted unit, the S-36MK1E5.

To ensure accurate zonal heating and air conditioning Woodhouse installed the CZ-256ESMC2, a web enhanced touch screen controller that gives central control to a designated user. This function also ensures that unauthorised individuals cannot interfere with the system by changing the temperature settings. The company also installed a range of energy recovery ventilation units, which improve running costs by reducing the load on the air conditioning units by about 20% and also ensure cleaner air coming into the building.  

Panasonic’s system installed on this project was comprised of a range of their most advanced products. The indoor units specified by Woodhouse are easy to install and maintain and, crucially for an office environment, have industry leading low sound levels, meaning disturbance is kept to a minimum. The intelligent controller allows flexibility in how much control is given to individuals, limiting their influence on factors such as temperature and timings of operation. The heat recovery units recover up to 77% of the heat in the outgoing air and also have very low sound levels.