Gilberts Banks on Sustainability and Wellbeing

Rabobank is leading by example with its new Ireland head office, helped by Gilberts Blackpool to deliver an energy-efficient environment for staff that simultaneously enhances wellbeing.

The bank- one of the world’s largest co-operative banking operations- has a sustainability policy to achieve an A energy rating across its estate, and actively encourages its customers to adopt sustainable practices. Its relocation into three floors of a multi-storey office in Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin has seen that achieved for its Ireland division in part through the specification of Gilberts’ linear slot diffusers and swirl diffusers linked to a ducted fan coil system. The building has LEED Gold and BER A3 energy ratings.

The 16,000sq ft of predominantly open-plan space is ventilated by 23no GSFR swirl diffusers with coanda plates and 76no GSL slot diffusers, supplied by Gilberts via Keane Environmental and installed by Axiseng.

In the main desk work areas, which have exposed building services to compliment the aesthetics of the bank’s “no nonsense” brand, Gilberts’ GSFRs with coanda plates have been installed. The fixed swirl diffusers are a patented design to optimise horizontal air flow, with the coandas enhancing the throw and providing rapid entrainment and intermixing thereby avoiding risk of cool air “dumping” on staff below.

Around enclosed areas, Gilberts’ linear slot diffusers in runs up to 4m long compliment the office design aesthetics whilst providing accurate airflow with almost 60% free ventilation area. Supplied in lengths up to 2m, the aluminium diffusers include a concealed alignment feature to enable a positive, seamless abutment of lengths to provide a continuous, unbroken aesthetic. A unique design of air deflection vane enables each run to be finitely adjusted to the precise ventilation requirements within the space.

The diffusers were powder-coated in Rabobank’s corporate colours of orange and blue.

“It goes without saying that good ventilation is critical for a healthy indoor environment, and to enhance occupant wellbeing,” commented Keane Environmental Sales Engineer Ryan Caldwell. “The quantity has to be balanced with quality, and how it is delivered: there’s little worse than sitting at a desk for hours and feeling a cold draught or being over-warm. The trend towards exposed ceilings can exacerbate this, throwing up practical issues regarding air movement and comfort conditions. Most grilles are designed and built to operate with a ceiling. If there’s no full ceiling, an alternative strategy needs to be found. Gilberts is at the forefront of resolving this issue, having developed a range of coanda plates to integrate with its swirl diffusers and deliver an attractive solution that works.

“We can rely on Gilberts’ designs to deliver the ventilation quantity, efficiently, and give M&E contractors on site the ability to minutely adjust airflow and direction to create the best overall working environment, to optimise staff productivity and wellbeing.”

Gilberts is recognised as the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist, offering grilles, louvres, and diffusers for natural, hybrid and mechanical ventilation. Founded 55 years ago, Gilberts Blackpool is unique in its ability to develop components, be it ‘mainstream’ or bespoke- entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply, at its 8825m2 manufacturing facility. Its state of the art test centre, designed and built in-house, is one of the most technically advanced in the country.

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