Office refit? Go to the wall to minimise energy costs, maximise floor space

Office refit? Go to the wall to minimise energy costs, maximise floor space

With new agile working, more and more offices are being refitted- latest data reveals in Central London alone, more than 70% of office construction is refurbishment(1).

Gilberts Blackpool- the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist- has a pioneering ventilation solution, that optimises sustainable natural resources and cuts energy consumption. It has the added benefit of optimising useable floor space, and removing the need for suspended ceilings or exposed building services thus delivering an uncluttered working environment aesthetic.

The solution is Gilberts’ MFS stand-alone, hybrid ventilation solution. Essentially a natural ventilation unit that can operate solely on fresh air, it includes a quiet, low energy fan to supplement airflow only as conditions demand (such as the recent heatwave).

Installed through the external façade or window ( or the rooftop), Gilberts’ MFS mixes ‘used’ internal and fresh external air to ventilate the internal space providing free cooling with heat recovery and no risk of cross contamination.

A mixing damper within modulates airflow to allow the new, fresh air to mix with the warm exhaust air, thus extracting its heat without the need for an exchanger. The integrated low energy fan energises to blend the internal air, ensuring an even distribution of airflow, controlling CO2 levels without stratification. The smart Mistrale Control Unit (MCU) gives individual, automatic room control, requiring no occupier input to maintain the comfort levels within.

Each MFS unit can be accessorised with an LPHW coil to temper the air to provide Covid compliant ventilation without compromising the internal temperature, or filter boxes to control NOX and other pollutants (F2-7 or F7+). Integrated into the heating system- including heat pumps- Gilberts’ MFS can utilise the warmth generated from LPHW systems to warm or cool the internal space as needed without the need for radiators and all associated ancillary capital costs.

Free night cooling is standard; a boost mode enables the air within the space to be “purged” for fast redress of air quality and temperature

As a solus ventilation unit, MFS costs as little as £5/room/year(2) to operate. Using it as the means of room heating adds just £2.19/room/year(2). Its sustainable credentials are further enhanced by its design: the MFS range attains air leakage better than legislative requirements – 5m3/HR/m2, and a U value of 1W/m2/°C.  As with all Gilberts’ ventilation solutions, it delivers efficient weather performance via its bespoke louvre system (up to Class A). MFS has also been engineered to minimise embodied carbon

MFS has already been proven to help achieve BREEAM Excellent(3), contributing points towards Energy and Health & Wellbeing.

From a design perspective, being at high level through the external façade, MFS airs the internal space without the need for a suspended ceiling to conceal ductwork. It enables high level architectural features to be exposed and highlighted without the intrusion of exposed ventilation systems. Its location through the façade and entrainment process also eliminates draughts and cold spots.

By using the MFS for heating there is no need for radiators, further freeing utilisation of the internal space and provision of clean, uncluttered aesthetics.

From a building owner perspective, MFS is cost effective to install, requiring no ductwork. Being primarily natural ventilation, it is attractive to potential occupiers from sustainability and operational cost perspectives. It maximises their use of the floor plan. This combination helps reduce churn rates.

Observes Ian Rogers, Gilberts’ Sales Director:

“MFS helps simplify the complex issues architects are facing in todays’ fast-paced office design environment. In one unit, it delivers a highly cost-efficient, sustainable option, that liberates design of the internal space, from floor to ceiling, creating an internal environment that enhances the health & wellbeing- and therefore productivity- of staff.”

Find out more about MFS here:

Founded 50+ years ago, privately owned Gilberts is recognised as a leader in commercial air movement. It is unique in having its own, on-site (85,000ft2) manufacturing facility, producing engineered solutions, with an in-house test centre. Technical expertise is supported with full in-house testing addressing air movement and combining with computational fluid dynamics CFD).