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Gilberts protects environmental retrofit

In the drive towards reducing carbon emissions, Cambridgeshire County Council is leading by example. It is actively working towards becoming Net Zero, as a result of diverse measures including a £16m Environmental Fund to convert all Council buildings to fossil-free heating by 2025.

One of the latest buildings to benefit from the Renewable Energy Retrofit scheme is Scott House in Huntingdon, where an air heat source pump has been installed to service the three-storey Council office block.

To ensure the pump works at optimum efficiency without disturbing the office occupants or passers-by, leading independent air movement specialist Gilberts has designed and supplied a protective acoustic screen around the installation on behalf of project contractor P Woods Construction. Measuring 8.5m x 5.7m x 3.5m, the screening effectively creates a box around the pump.

The ALS30 single bank screen louvres provide fresh air to prevent over-heating, delivering 34% actual (50% visual) free ventilation area through the screen to the pump behind. The acoustic treatment modulates heat pump operational noise from up to 78dBA to a weighted SRI of 18 dBA (validated by performance tests at Salford University). A double door also constructed from the louvre screening facilitates maintenance works.

Gilberts powder-coated every louvre section in traffic grey to further mitigate the screen’s environmental impact.

Phil Woods, managing director @ P Woods Construction elaborated, “It was a complex project because of the site constraints: the only suitable site for the pump was within a courtyard behind Scott House, already occupied by a bike shelter. All the equipment had to be offloaded next door and hoisted over a wall. The constrained space meant a significant amount of preparatory design work by Gilberts, to ensure proper airflow whilst still including an access point for maintenance etc, and allowing repositioning of, access to, and safe use of the bicycle shelter. As a result, the actual installation went smoothly and the finished screen looks stunning!”

Added Chris Phillips, Cambridgeshire County Council Senior Building Services Engineer, “The louvre screen was crucial to create and maintain a stable, correct, protective environment for Scott House- for the heat pump itself, and people in and around the building.”

Gilberts’ range of kitform and factory-assembled standard architectural, weather protection and acoustic louvres are just part of its range of solutions that have established it as the UK’s no 1 independent commercial air movement supplier. Gilberts’ louvres have been installed in locations as diverse as Wimbledon no 1 Court, National Composites Centre, Blackpool FC, Papworth Hospital and Museum of London (formerly Smithfield Market).

Family owned, the company has a 60 year heritage of innovation, operating from a 95,000ft2 facility in the Northern Powerhouse of Lancashire.

12 April 2022


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