‘M’ picks Daikin VRV for five-star hotel comfort and efficiency

M by Montcalm – the latest addition to Montcalm Hotels’ portfolio of six luxury hotels in central London – features Daikin VRV Heat Recovery air conditioning systems to provide efficient climate control and ensure comfort throughout its public spaces and 270 guest rooms.

Designed for five-star standards and ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating, the eye-catching £40 million 23-storey newbuild occupies a triangular site on City Road, Shoreditch.

In contrast to the Victorian frontage of Moorfields Eye Hospital across the road, the boutique hotel’s futuristic white tower features diagonal windows, bold angles and a pyramid roofline. The building was designed by leading architects Squire and Partners and 5Plus Architects and built by SGP Contracts Ltd.

The hotel has a restaurant and cocktail bar on ground and mezzanine levels and a haute cuisine establishment on the 17th floor – both operated by Searcy’s. Also on the 17th floor is a sky bar with spectacular views. Other facilities include a spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, conference rooms and banqueting suites.

M is close to Silicon Roundabout – Old Street – focal point of London’s burgeoning ‘Tech City’ and creative quarter, and a short distance from the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International.

Its tastefully appointed guest rooms – all above the London average of 28m2 – exude contemporary elegance and echo the ‘tech’ flavour of the neighbourhood with features such as touch-screen controls for mood-setting and comfort.

Guest comfort and system reliability are Montcalm Hotels’ key requirements when selecting air conditioning. It currently has Daikin VRV equipment as its primary comfort control systems in three other hotels – with another in the pipeline.

At M, Daikin supported consultants and contractors to develop and install the best possible solution for the hotel. Daikin also assisted the BREEAM assessors with technical information.

SGP Contracts, main contractor on the three-year development project, used in-house capability to install 41 Daikin VRV Heat Recovery compact condensing units, giving the hotel more than 570hp of air conditioning capacity. The outdoor units, mostly installed on the roof, deliver heating and cooling – and economically recover energy from warm areas to heat cooler parts of the building.

The heat recovery facility is particularly useful in economically offsetting solar gain which can result from the hotel’s unusual fenestration.

Apart from three concealed floor-standing fan coil units, air conditioning delivery throughout M’s guest rooms and public areas is provided by 433 ducted fan coil units of low or medium static pressure.

Public areas of the building are ventilated by 15 Daikin Heat Reclaim Ventilation units. With a combined capacity of 13,350m3 of fresh air per hour, these units optimise the balance between indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity levels.

Heat reclaim ventilation helps to reduce the heating or cooling load and increases efficiency of air conditioning systems. Its benefit was readily apparent with the onset of cooler ambient temperatures during M’s first autumn: with minimal load on the fan coil units in the public areas.

Ventilation is also a key concern in modern buildings because of regulations focusing on energy efficiency and environmental concerns. Double glazing, better insulation and airtightness help to reduce heating or cooling demand – and environmental burdens – but buildings effectively become sealed boxes with no natural air movement.

Guest rooms are ventilated by a central air handling unit feeding the rear of the ducted fan coil units. The return flow is via bathroom vents.

Despite the hotel’s irregular exterior appearance, floors 5 to 15 are identical in plan. SGP's Building Engineer Stanley Anie says this facilitated installation of air conditioning and other services. “We basically had to get one floor right, then just repeat the installation all the way up.”

M’s air conditioning control is integrated into a third party common touch pad controller for all ‘in room’ guest services. No equipment problems or guest complaints were reported in the first six months of operation.

Code

Description

No of units

REYQ-P8

VRV Heat Recovery Compact

41

FXDQ-A

Ducted fan coil unit – low ESP

279

FXNQ-P

Concealed floor-standing fan coil unit

3

FXSQ-P

Ducted fan coil unit – medium ESP

154

VKM-G

Ventilation Heat Reclaim

15