Monmouth Housing Association

Main photo for Monmouth Housing Association

SE Controls have designed and supplied an automated natural ventilation system for Monmouths Housing Associations new Head Quarters, in Pontypool, Wales. The system will regulate temperature and air quality through the comfort control strategy been implemented into the project.

The project is a new head quarters for Monmouth Housing Association to relocate their 114 staff operation into a spacious open plan environment. The development has the potential to expand by 30% within the same site if or when required.

The development was designed with natural ventilation and high level lighting from the onset, which has consequently assisted in achieving an excellent BREEAM ratings.

The building required a ventilation strategy that would provide fresh air into the working space to provide a healthy and productive environment for its users. The solution designed works by expelling stale air and introducing fresh air through the use of climate and air quality changes.

SE Controls provided the control and automation of the facade and clerestory windows by designing and installing 165 chain actuators. The central control strategy acts as an intelligent interface between the actuators and the BMS (Building Management System), communicating via the LonWorks interface.

As the temperature inside the building increases above a set parameter, the warm stale air rises and the high level clerestory windows would open to exhale the warm stale air. The facade windows are opened to allow cool fresh air to be drawn in, replacing the stale warm air. This is a typical application of the stack ventilation principal, utilising the buoyancy effect of warm air to create low pressure areas at the bottom of the stack. This in turn draws replacement air from wherever possible, in this case, an open window. As the temperature levels return to normal, the windows close incrementally.

During the summer, a night time cooling strategy is triggered - in part due to a comparison of internal and external temperatures during the day. If applicable, the strategy results in the OS2 controller to open the vents, allowing cool night air to enter the building and purge the interior warm air.

During the day, warm air is cooled by these surfaces, which in turn warm up ready for the next night cooling cycle. Such a cooling strategy can typically reduce internal temperatures by a further 1°C during the day. During the winter, heat produced by people and electrical equipment in the office is retained as much as possible by high performance building insulation - and by minimising the opening of windows and vents, reducing the need for mechanical heating.

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Project Details

Client:              Monmouth Housing Association

        B3 Architects

Pontypool, Wales

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