Maru Building a good fit for campus

Experts in building and lighting automation and energy management Setpoint Solutions, has come up with an innovative heating and ventilation system for the Victoria University of Wellington Maru building.

Wellington branch manager Thomas Kaffes says the aim was to maximise plant efficiency and occupant comfort while minimising energy usage and costs.
The company designed and supplied the fabric ducting for the building utilising a membrane system, which has allowed for much more effective use of the variable refrigerant flow system.
“Where a traditional ducting kit would have fixed outlet locations regardless of the air handling unit (AHU) mode, our membrane system allows for the usage of either the top or bottom half of the duct (with custom directional flow control and diffusion rates on either half) for better usage of the supply air in cooling or heating mode respectively,” he explains.

In heating mode the top half of the duct is closed off through building management system (BMS) communication with the AHU and the duct is now effectively in heating mode with diffusion rates and directional flow control (DFC) elements set up to provide efficient room heating. Similarly when the AHU switches to cooling mode, the duct will shut off the bottom half of the duct and go into cooling mode with air coming out through the permeable material on top as well as DFC elements orientated specifically to cool the room down. Thanks to constant diffusion through the permeable material, Thomas says that draft is virtually non-existent and occupant comfort is greatly enhanced. Another distinct benefit of using a lightweight fabric duct instead of traditional galvanised duct is the high suitability in seismic areas.

The BMS designed by Setpoint Solutions includes time scheduling and comfort heating/cooling of the mechanical plant and environment heating and cooling that provides tempered fresh air to the multiple workspaces and individual rooms. Controllers monitor the spaces and initiate heating or cooling to the VRF units depending on the individual space demands. All spaces have occupancy sensors to only start up the respective AC units during unoccupied times.
Specialists in controlling and managing the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and lighting within buildings, Setpoint Solutions was established in 1991 and works New Zealand wide offering three branches and over 50 engineers.
“Our solutions meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of performance, and we have in place sound local back-up and support that customers can rely on. Our strong relationships over many years with clients, such as Victoria University of Wellington, are evidence that what we do really delivers results.”