Cool System

A new air conditioning system is promising a range of benefits for a high street location, including unobtrusive design, quieter operation and easier maintenance

Air conditioning systems most commonly require an outside space – either an alleyway or rooftop – to accommodate the bulky condenser unit, but Daikin has been clever. It has created a unique system that is entirely installed indoors, with only simple grilles visible from the outside, which can be discretely disguised within the existing architecture, or by using signage.

The first application of this all-new patented system was by Synecore for its long-standing client, healthy fast food restaurant chain, Leon. Synecore has provided HVAC design and installation for Leon sites for several years, with the majority of the projects taking place across London, where outside space is at a premium.

Through using the all-new Daikin VRV IV i-Series, the new Leon site in Fenchurch Street was able to open sooner, thanks to the system’s unobtrusive design and low operating sound.

Not only is the new Daikin integrated system quiet and more aesthetically pleasing, it is also quicker and more cost effective to install, as the unit is split into two elements – the heat exchanger and compressor.

The heat exchanger is integrated within the ceiling, with an outside vent. It’s V-shaped heat exchanger and high performance fan combination offers higher air flow and static pressure, thus resulting in higher efficiencies compared to a standard outdoor units installed indoors. The compressor element is compact and can be installed within an office, storage room, kitchen or technical area.

“To be able to install such a discrete and highly efficient air conditioning system will hugely benefit many high street retailers across the UK, but particularly in London, where sourcing outside space for a condenser can be challenging,” explains Synecore’s HVAC Manager, Gary Piper.

“Daikin’s strapline for this product is ‘Keep looking, you’ll never find me’, which is entirely appropriate. At Leon Fenchurch Street, you will not visibly see any sign of the air conditioning system on the exterior of the building, as it is concealed by a glass canopy.

“Inside, the units could have been disguised fully, however, Leon prefer the industrial exposed look of the pipework and utilities. For Daikin this is a fantastic opportunity to show how the units look when installed, as you can see the neat heat exchanger units positioned above the front door and in the kitchen area.”

Being installed inside, and within two parts, means the amount of pipe work is lessened; there is no requirement for a crane for rooftop installation, or costly sound insulation.

The Daikin VRV IV i-Series can connect up to ten indoor air conditioning units (cassettes, concealed ceiling, wall mounted, floor standing indoor units or Air Curtains). Synecore connected two 5 HP i-VRV systems – on to serve the restaurant area and one in the kitchen. The compressor was neatly installed in a cupboard under the stairs, completely out of sight.

The client too was delighted with the installation. Lob Tang, Head of Property for Leon Restaurants, said: “In all our developments we look to include innovative and space-saving solutions where possible. So, when Synecore approached us with the latest integrated HVAC technology by Daikin, there seemed no reason not to try it in our new Fenchurch Street branch.

“With an unobtrusive external plant, the site was up and running far quicker than expected. This is great for companies like Leon, which have a rigorous development schedule. I firmly believe it could be the ideal HVAC solution for many restaurants and retailers in the future, particularly in urban areas.”

Not only is this system much more aesthetically pleasing and practical for retail developments, but it also simple to install and provides fantastic overall efficiency to keep those energy bills down. As for maintenance, every element is easy to access and the time taken will be no different to a conventional air conditioning system.

“It was an honour to be the first M&E contractor to install the all-new Daikin VRV IV i-Series. There is no doubt, that I would recommend this system to clients looking for a space saving solution for their property’s air conditioning and heating in the future,” concluded Piper.