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University of Edinburgh

11 Jan 2013
Case study
Fastlane Ventilation Equipment Limited has supplied the latest in a series of air handling units (AHU) to the University of Edinburgh.  The bespoke SA45H-SP for the university’s School of GeoSciences laboratory unit - built to specific dimensions because of the size constraints of doorways, ramps and stairways on the site – is one of several units supplied to the institution by the West Midlands based manufacturer. 
The unit was delivered to site in sections, before assembly and installation at the West Main Road facility by Arthur McKay, the building support services company based in Edinburgh.  A customised casing enclosure was constructed from Fastlane’s Pentapost assembly system to sit alongside the air handling unit and protect the device’s coil connections and controls from the elements.
Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences houses an impressive range of facilities and services and is involved with a number of collaborative centres of research excellence. The experimental facility is housed in a series of purpose built, blast proof laboratories within the Grant Institute. The high efficiency, low noise unit is used to condition and circulate air as part of the facility’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  In addition to its standard product range for direct and belt drive units, Fastlane has established a strong reputation for the design, manufacture and supply of such bespoke units, utilising a wide range of components to match particular specifications for any application.
Units are constructed from the company’s ‘Pentapost’ modular framework, comprising an aluminium frame and purpose built corners, for strength, with double skinned panels providing a rigid construction for the internal components.  They can be tailored to suit internal and external mounting applications, with a variety of options that includes plate-to-plate recuperators, cooling coils, mixing box sections, humidifiers, dampers, filters, control panels, silencers and more.  Amongst the many controls available within the range are starters, frequency inverters, damper actuators, temperature, pressure and humidity sensors, step controllers, frost protection, fan air flow and fan filter status switches.
The education sector is a significant market for Fastlane.  Being environmentally aware, the company has a philosophy of maximising the energy efficiency of its units to contribute to the whole process of reducing carbon emissions. This naturally fits well with the teaching sector’s approach to building.  Maintaining a healthy balance of heating and ventilation is essential within educational establishments as it can have a significant impact on the concentration levels of staff and students. The reduction of noise to an absolute minimum is vital in many applications, but particularly so in the education environment, as this can again have a direct impact on students’ capability to concentrate and assimilate information.
Fastlane AHUs are fitted with double, high efficiency, plate heat exchangers - through which the heat is transferred between the separate supply and exhaust air streams - to provide a source of heating whenever the need arises.  Recovery of heat from the exhaust air and the efficient transfer to the supply fresh air offers real energy savings, contributing significantly to a building’s energy efficiency and the reduction of its carbon emissions. Units can connect to ductwork ventilation systems for distribution of the conditioned air through the building before returning it to the AHU.  Incorporating Ziehl-Abegg electronically commutated (EC) motors, the units operate with specially matched EC controllers. This coordinated system enables precise speed control of the fans with the highest degree of energy efficiency and is totally free of electromagnetic motor noises.