THE original Nobu restaurant in London has proved so popular with the rich and famous that the city has now become the first in the world to become home to three of these high-class, innovative restaurants.
And in recognition of Nobu's iconic status, the new restaurant's interior designers were given a free rein when creating this true eating experience. It was also imperative the interior environment was just right, so the mechanical services needed to be perfect. A fully-functioning heating, cooling and ventilation system was designed but when it was found the Mayfair site did not have sufficient power to support the design, the consultant Environmental Energy Partnership (EEP) turned to the ECO G gas heat pump range from Sanyo.
The scheme, designed by EEP, had to fit the bill on a number of levels. It had to provide a comfortable environment for diners and staff, complement the interior décor of the restaurant, and meet strict environmental and space requirements.
Darren Manley from McQuay, which supplied the Sanyo equipment, explains the consultants were faced with a major power issue:
'For a restaurant such as Nobu where image is just as important as what's on the menu, we had to provide an unobtrusive solution. Therefore a ducted system was chosen. Also, the lack of power meant the consultant was only considering the gas-powered options. Working together we put a scheme in place based on Sanyo's gas heat pump chiller producing chilled water to feed large cooling coils fitted into five rooftop air handling plants.'
The GHP system fitted the requirements of Nobu Berkeley. The power limitations on the site precluded the use of traditional VRF systems, hence the gas-powered GHP chillers. Apart from the energy source, other key attributes meant the system was particularly appropriate for this installation. The chillers' small footprint fitted the tight roof-space and, critically, the five 56KW outdoor units produce very low noise thereby reducing the amount of acoustic screening required. Keeping noise to a minimum was a crucial factor in the specification, especially in Mayfair, a high-density urban setting with stringent environmental restrictions in place.
Nigel Bowater at EEP takes up the story: 'EEP works towards achieving a greater level of sustainability within the construction industry. This applies to both the consumption of energy in the operation of buildings and the use of materials that promote sustainability. We were therefore delighted to discover the GHP system from Sanyo as, not only does the company have similar global views, but the product range exactly suited this project's needs.'
The ECO G range is the only GHP air conditioning system in Europe which offers this chiller facility, claims Sanyo. It offers an unrivalled level of choice and flexibility to satisfy any power problem or site requirement.
The Sanyo GHP uses HFC-type refrigerant and clean-burning natural gas for high-efficiency operation that is easy on the environment. It is a high-performance system which is economical to run and maintain. It is environmentally-friendly producing only 160g/kWh of CO2, so it contributes to improving the quality of city air. The ECO G range provides quick and powerful cooling/heating and the efficient recovery of waste heat. Not only is the gas used as the heat source but the waste heat from combustion is also recovered and re-used by Sanyo's cutting edge technology. Energy loss is therefore prevented and powerful heating with quick-start has been achieved.
Nobu Berkeley has recently opened with a no-reservations policy (for groups of six or less), at 15 Berkeley Street W1. The restaurant, on the top two floors of the six-storey Mayfair site, is the third and latest Nobu restaurant to open in the capital from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa. Designed by David Collins, it looks very different from both the Park Lane Nobu, and Ubon by Nobu at Canary Wharf restaurants.
Nobu: an eating experience