Cool and fresh worship for popular Glasgow mosque
The Madarassa Taleem ul Islam on Nithsdale Road is one of five mosques in Pollokshields on the south side of Glasgow. A popular residential area and home to historic Maxwell Park, Pollokshields attracts Muslims from across southern Scotland when important festivals are underway. Complete refurbishment of Madarassa, a large Victorian bay-fronted building, was finished in January 2007 as part of a local community project. A Unico heating, cooling and ventilation system was integral to the modernisation programme.
Zahir Ahmad works for Local Government as an engineer and has been involved in the planning and implementation of the mosque renovation for several years. “The Unico system is ideal for Madarassa as it provides much-needed cooling and ventilation for this busy mosque, as well as back-up heating in the colder weather.” Ramadan is currently being observed and every evening around 600 worshippers pack into Madarassa for ninety minutes of prayer. “With this number of people, and especially since the building has been insulated to modern standards, the fast-reacting Unico system is essential to maintain a comfortable environment,” Mr Ahmed continues.
The mosque has three floors for worship and Islamic education, and four powerful 4260 ‘M’ series Unico fan/coil units were required. This unit, the largest air handler in the range, has a heating capacity of up to 27kW and a cooling capacity of five nominal tons. One air handler was located in the basement, one in the attic and two were concealed above the suspended ceiling on the ground floor. A single boiler was installed to supply warm water to all four units. Another three boilers were required to power the traditional radiator central heating system and generate hot water.
When the Unico system is operated in the all-important air conditioning mode, each air handler is supplied with coolant from an individual outdoor condensing unit. Cool, high-velocity air is then delivered through unobtrusive outlets fitted into the suspended ceilings to provide even, draught-free climate control. The system can draw up to 100 percent of the system’s air supply from outside on demand and the air is filtered prior to delivery to promote a healthy environment, even in an urban setting like Glasgow where atmospheric pollutants may exceed safe levels. The insulated narrow-gauge Unico ductwork keeps heat loss to a minimum and ensures virtually noise-free operation – another important consideration for a place of religious contemplation.