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WINDOWMASTER Dives Into The Pool Innovation Centre 

WindowMaster (www.windowmaster.com) is supplying natural ventilation and control systems for a new innovation and business incubation centre in Cornwall. The £12 million Pool Innovation Centre is a purpose built three-storey facility designed to meet the highest environmental sustainability standards. The 3,500 square meter centre will have space for 45 offices of varying sizes, six shared meeting rooms and conference facilities.

Designed as an incubator to foster entrepreneurship in the region, the innovation centre was constructed for South West Regional Development Agency (www.southwestrda.org.uk) by Sir Robert McAlpine (www.sir-robert-mcalpine.com). It will accommodate growing businesses and will act as a catalyst for boosting Cornwall’s economy.

The management of the centre is being delivered by Plymouth University (www.plymouth.ac.uk) on behalf of Cornwall Council (www.cornwall.gov.uk) and is backed by £9 million of ERDF Convergence investment and almost £3 million from the South West RDA.

The building has been awarded a BREEAM (www.breeam.org) ‘Excellent’ rating – one of the highest levels of environmental accreditation available for new buildings – and is designed to emit 35 per cent less carbon dioxide than a traditionally constructed office building of a similar size. Natural ventilation and a window control system will help to maintain a comfortable environment for people.

It has been designed to provide flexible accommodation with units ranging in size from 25m² to 90m². To help tenant circulation and networking, all central services including reception, meeting rooms, conference facilities, toilets and kitchens will be shared.

WindowMaster was selected by project designers Halcrow Yolles (www.halcrow.com) because it is able to provide an integrated approach to control of the heating and natural ventilation systems in the building.

Halcrow’s project engineer Nick Sendall said: “We needed a specialised system of natural ventilation to capture moving air outside the building and a system to control windows in the building to circulate the air, maintain interior climate and reduce CO2 levels.

“The project design specified a natural ventilation system based on WindowMaster’s NV Advance window automation system. It was chosen because it provided a complete installation with a central computer control system. The installation includes a weather station, various temperature sensors and 253 actuators which control façade windows and roof windows. It will work in conjunction with 28 'wind catchers' on the roof that channel fresh air into the building.

“The system needed to be flexible enough to deliver optimum internal air quality in 62 separate zones spread out over three floors.”

The control system understands and knows how the wind speed and direction on all façades will influence the airflow through the windows on each level and location in the façade. WindowMaster determines the Cp values (pressure coefficients) individually for each window by calculating the relevant air pressures from different wind speeds and directions.

WindowMaster carries out computational fluid dynamic (CFD) calculations for 16 wind directions for the specific building and its surroundings. Based on the calculations the Cp values are determined and programmed into the control system, which enables precise control of the individual windows resulting in an optimal indoor climate. Each zone operates independently of the others according to the specific external conditions relevant to those windows and the internal environment.

WindowMaster sales manager Carl Sutterby said: “This project follows several other examples of innovation centres using natural ventilation as their main principle and incorporating many low energy ideas to maintain a low carbon footprint. Previous projects include Butterfield Park in Luton and Rope Tackle in Shoreham, West Sussex.”

Email: johnh@smye-holland.com


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Windows automated system