The Air Conditioning Company was brought in to design a complete air conditioning installation at The Summit, Centre for Conventional & Complimentary Health in Highgate Village, using top of the range ceiling and wall mounted units, appropriate to the extremely high specification finish required in all areas of a major refurbishment taking place at The Summit.
The Summit is a period building in the Highgate conservation area and therefore presented a number of problems for The Air Conditioning Company.
As the building is situated in a conservation area, the installation company (Airconco (UK) Ltd) was obliged to work within restricted hours so as to have the least impact on the local area. This was essential not only because of the conservation area restrictions, but also because three private residencies are allocated on the same plot and indeed share the same entrance to The Summit.
Two further problems were encountered by Airconco with regard to the brief, which were a) installing a fixed unit in the basement with restricted external access and b) that the building is situated on a steep hill where the rear of the building is below ground level and the walls are tanked (specially coated against dampness). Due to the tanking, it was not possible to chase into the walls so pipe work could not go through the rear of the building.
The above problems were expertly dealt with by our engineers with external units being discretely placed to the side of the building so that there was no impact on the façade, or the local residents sharing the plot. The basement unit was piped through an old ventilation duct, preventing the need for any alterations and clever use of the drop ceilings and wall cladding allowed pipes to reach the side-facing external units without being visible from anywhere inside the building and without breaching any tanked walls.
It was also essential that high quality and extremely efficient units were used, as windows are not used for ventilation and all of the front rooms are south facing and get very warm; not only in summer but in winter when the sun is low and shines directly into these rooms.
The rooms (consulting rooms) are let to healthcare professionals on an hourly basis, therefore, the air conditioning units were required to quickly cool or heat the space in a matter of minutes. The Air Conditioning Company provided units equipped with a boost button to meet this requirement.
Equally important in a ‘consulting room’ situation is the noise factor. Clients visiting the consulting rooms could not be disturbed during consultations or treatments by noisy air conditioning. The noise levels on the units provided fell well within the required levels and feedback from clients using the consulting rooms is that they were comfortable at all times in terms of temperature and were completely unaware of noise from the air conditioners.
This was a particularly tricky installation, far more difficult than dealing with a new building situation, since it required sensitivity to the local surroundings and in particular sympathetic installation within what is essentially a beautiful listed building.