Small space, big problem, clever solution


he Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend-on- Sea is a treasure full of collectables, and as part of a recent refurbishment, Dantherm were called upon to carry out a key area of work that was necessary to protect the future of the building and its important artefacts. Outdated air handling units were near the end of their life and Dantherm provided a building solution that made the Beecroft’s art gallery, museum, library and enterprise offices fit for contemporary purpose.

The challenge was to replace and upgrade the existing units, incorporate heat recovery, and meet current building regulations, incorporating ERP2016 and ERP2018 – while still occupying the same overall plant space.

Dantherm supplied seven DanX units to the art gallery, which would deliver the very maximum heat recovery and provide a low energy ventilation solution.

Michael Walsh, building service engineer for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, recognises the important and key role Dantherm’s air handling units play in the future of the art gallery. He commented: “The main purpose of this particular project was to make the Beecroft Art Gallery more energy efficient and to have greater heat control and air quality. It is imperative that the building is kept at a controlled environment

48 November 2017

as this keeps it, and some of its important pieces, preserved in their original state for the public to enjoy.

“We have been extremely impressed with the high quality of the Dantherm units; the attention to detail in the construction to achieve low leakage rates; and the smooth quiet running of the fans. We believe they will become a worthwhile investment and protect the history of the gallery.”

Millions visit Southend-on-Sea each year and the art gallery plays its part in offering visitors to the town the chance to break away from the sunny beaches and indulge in a slice of history from across Europe.

In 2014, the art gallery, which is one of five sites which together make up Southend Museums, was moved to its current home and as part of a refurbishment, underwent a modernisation project to what is now a multi-purpose building. This project went to competitive tender and Dantherm offered unrivalled value for money to win the project.

However, it came with some problems. Thermal wheel or plate heat exchangers could not be accommodated within the height available in the plant room, but Dantherm quickly found a suitable solution.

An ingenious piped-coil heat recovery system,

between multiple units, was incorporated and the latest sophisticated coil circuitry was instead installed, ensuring maximum heat recovery for the art gallery.

Dantherm’s commercial air handling unit range also allowed the council’s design engineer, Neil Pointer, to fit the seven air handling units into the very limited plantroom space, while several of the units also needed to have ‘L’ shaped configurations.

This air handling project included Dantherm Honeywell based controls panels which are designed to give the customer ease of controlling various factors, including the temperature and air quality of the building.

Commenting on the project, Robert Tilbury, commercial ventilation sales manager at Dantherm, said: “This has been a particularly interesting but difficult project, which has thrown up several unexpected challenges along with way. “The limited plant space and ceiling height was the ultimate challenge, but Dantherm are experts at offering building tailored solutions, however difficult and challanging the size or shape of the plantroom.

“We are really proud of how well the air handling units have fitted in and are performing, and it has to be said that the contractor has done an excellent installation job.”

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