A phased approach - VRF technology on a split budget for Multitone Electronics PLCBasingstoke
Project Value £120,000
The offices of Multitone in Basingstoke proposed an interesting project. The brief was simple; to provide a competitive cost option for the replacement of old systems throughout the building and remain within a defined budget, a budget which lent itself only to more of the same split system technology, which, whilst efficient in its own right did not pose as the best possible option available in the context of a building-wide application. Although the gradual 1:1 replacement of defective split systems may have been an easily affordable and simpler project to undertake, due consideration to future financial exposure highlighted that annual maintenance costs would have remained high, based upon the comparative large quantity of external components to be serviced, plus increased financial exposure in years to come when said systems would gradually age once more and components ultimately fail, requiring replacement.
To keep things interesting, the design and structure of the building meant that there were nominal void spaces on each floor, not sufficient to consider ceiling cassette or ducted fan coils, but not even large enough to house flow selector boxes – a necessary component in VRF systems.
It was clear that the ultimate solution was to somehow provide a VRF solution to allow the client to enjoy the increased efficiencies and functionality inherent with complex systems; however the proposed budget was prohibitive and the native format of the building provided more obstacles to overcome.
After multiple consultations with the client where we discussed in greater depth practically how a VRF solution could be applied to the building, we formulated a proposal which covered the installation of a complete VRF system, but over three individual phases.
Areas of high importance were prioritised across each phase, with careful consideration to the next; R&D, client-facing areas such as meeting and training rooms were hit first. Equipment selection and the routing of interconnecting services were all carefully considered to ensure that they completely complimented decisions in future phases and allowed for the completed design to work without compromise.
The system of choice was Toshiba’s SHRMi super modular multisystem – the perfect balance between price point, functionality and reliability, and supported by an extended 5-year manufacturer warranty. The indoor units selected were a combination of ceiling cassette, floor-mount and high-wall fan coils, with hard-wired controllers fixed to the walls in each area.
Phase 2 of this project is currently underway.
““We were very happy with the work carried out again on this phase, the guys were a joy to have around although it did take a lot longer than anticipated.””Jackie Gentry at Multitone Electronics