The outstanding Sky Central building is the result of a multi-disciplinary collaboration of designers and engineers; including AL_A, PLP Architecture, Hassell, Arup and Mace. The design brief was to create a highly flexible, connected space with a focus on wellbeing. The result is a modern, safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable, BREEAM outstanding building, which is simple, intuitive and people-centric. The 45,000 m² timber-framed building with its triple height atrium, is vast and wide span, with deep floorplates offering high levels of visual connectivity. Ventilation is achieved primarily by means of a central plant displacement ventilation system, but outlets such as swirl diffusers and grilles offer little or no control to react to changing loads and designers were concerned that the meeting room pods would be at risk of sub cooling when not occupied and over-heating if the occupancy in these areas exceeded the design provision.
It was therefore deemed necessary to provide further airflow control and temperature control for the meeting pods created as part of the flexible workspace design. AET Flexible Space Fantiles were selected by consultants Arup as a solution to offer further load control without compromising the flexible design of the meeting pods, and were specified after Arup were satisfied that the very low acoustic levels achieved would be non-intrusive to users of the meeting pods.
AET Fantiles have been used in similar applications both in the UK and most notably in China at the Microsoft Campus in Beijing. They offer control of air flow by means of an on-board room temperature sensor and integrated controller which opens and closes a volume control damper. The Fantile also has 10-speed fan setting and optional electric trimming heater. Fan speed may be fixed, user adjustable or automatic according to temperature and the heater function can be used to boost temperature out of hours or when the space is in very low load. As controllers are integrated, there is no need for wall-mounted controls and the fan terminal units can be picked up and moved along with the modular meeting pods to new locations within the Sky Central campus as required.