Warwick Digital Laboratory

Main photo for Warwick Digital Laboratory

Warwick Digital Laboratory, based at the University of Warwick, will be an ultra high tech and unique facility offering the most advanced technological digital solutions in manufacturing, health and security. Warwick Medical School will have a significant part in the development of the facility incorporating advanced digital approaches for the enhancement of medical diagnosis and care, as well as creating realistic virtual environments for the training of surgeons or the design of new operating theatres.

Working closely with M&E contractor CA Sothers and Hoare Lee Consulting Engineers, SE Controls implemented a natural ventilation system comprising of 165 automatic opening vents and a standalone control system to improve the internal air quality and thermal comfort of the occupants.

SE Controls designed and installed a full stand alone natural ventilation control system, offering local power supplies distributed within the floor voids close to the Automatic Opening Vents to ensure expensive wiring costs are kept to a minimum. SE Controls implemented master controllers, TAC Xenta modules that were programmed with SE Controls ventilation strategy, that operate the OS2’s via a dedicated building LON network.

The master control panels continuously monitor the temperature of each room or zone according to a 7 day, 24 hour schedule. Within each zone if the temperature rises above a prescribed set point, the window and atrium vents will automatically begin to open to ventilate the stale warm air out of the building. The system includes an outside temperature sensor, and wind speed sensor that triggers closure of the windows in higher wind speeds of 8m/s to protect the occupants from draughts and the building from damage, thus maintaining the internal comfort for occupants. Within each zone local manual override key switches were installed to provide occupant control, especially important to ensure occupant acceptance of such a system.

If the building’s heating system becomes active, the vents automatically close via the OS2 controller to maintain the comfort of the internal environment and to reduce the waste of heating energy.

During the summer months a night cooling strategy is implemented that allows the buildings thermal mass to store and circulate cooler night air. This process further reduces the internal daytime temperatures in the building, thus prolonging the duration that is perceived by occupants as comfortable.

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Why use a standalone adaptive natural ventilation system

Project Details

Client: Warwick Manufacturing Group

Edward Cullinan Architects


Specification: Natural ventilation system



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