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The Oval Cricket Ground new Sanyo air conditioning heat pump installation



The Brit Oval is the home of Surrey Cricket Club, which has gone through a major redevelopment programme, the OCS Stand was built at a cost of £25m. This stylish and eye-catching new structure replaces the ramshackle collection of old terraces that previously stood at that end of the ground. The new design is a geometrically bold, futuristic curve in white steel that houses (alongside the all-seater terracing) a press centre, broadcasting suite and corporate hospitality facilities. These include an al fresco dining area on the fourth floor that has stunning views of one of the most famous cricket squares in the world. This impressive piece of architecture is the work of the HOK Sport, a practice that specialises in high-profile stadia projects. One of the skills the practice has developed over the years is to seamlessly combine sports and corporate facilities in the same development without compromise in either direction.
Mixed Demands

One of the key building services challenges for the project was to find an air conditioning system that could meet the mixed demands of the users of the stand, both sports and corporate. For obvious reasons, a quietly spoken radio broadcaster needs a different level of comfort to a committed Twenty/20 fan cheering on Surrey from a corporate box. In the broadcasting and press areas, highly effective but unobtrusive air conditioning was the order of the day. However, in the main bar and corporate hospitality rooms, a high degree of flexibility in the system would need to balance the widely fluctuating loads and conditions. Building services engineer for the project, Hiltons of Nottingham, recognised that a full cooling and heating solution would best meet the project requirements.

Having worked on a number of high-profile projects with specialist air conditioning distributor OceanAir, Hiltons contacted the company’s Managing Director, Tony Evanson to develop a solution. “Discussing the requirements of the Oval project, it quickly became clear that the SANYO product range offered the right mix of quality and performance and we specified their VRF solution,” explains Evanson. SANYO's ECOi 2-pipe range of ducted units with grilles and in-ceiling cassettes, combined with 28 outdoor units, were installed throughout the executive rooms, corporate hospitality facilities and control room. In addition, SANYO's ECOi 3-pipe was used in the press and broadcast rooms to offer the further benefit of simultaneous heating and cooling.

Steve Rush, project engineer at Hiltons comments: “The SANYO product suited our design in a number of areas, the main one being the confidence the suppliers bring to the table. With both this manufacturer and OceanAir, you are dealing with years of experience in the air conditioning trade - backed by the latest VRF inverter driven product. In addition SANYO provides a distinct advantage to the end user by ensuring the close monitoring of the ‘air off’ temperature – a feature OceanAir had alerted us to on a previous project. This combination proved to be a winning formula in the design of our ductwork for the project.”
Installation Challenges

There were a number of installation challenges to iron out - the main one being the profusion of structural steel beams. These beams provide support for the stand framework and do so without vertical beams. Although this ensures the best possible view from all areas of the stand, the knock-on effect is that it reduces space in the ceiling void. There was just no room within the ceiling structures to allow the passage of large ductwork and services. However, OceanAir specified the slim-profile of SANYO fan coil units which could accommodate the shallow ceiling voids without any problems at all.

As with pretty much all new construction projects nowadays, the OCS Stand had to meet all the latest relevant regulations – including part L2 of the building regulations and all appropriate environmental standards – and building services are no exception. The SANYO ECOi system uses 410a refrigerant, and combined with its inherent build quality, this ensured that all relevant performance, environmental and safety regulations for this installation were met. Another key factor in the specification of the air conditioning system was that some of the outdoor units were to be installed in the OCS Stand plant room. Tony Evanson explains, “The small, internal plant room has no windows and was already tightly packed with equipment. However, thanks to the ECOi system condensing units’ small footprint and their high static fans, we were able to install them indoors, with the addition of acoustic sleeves, thereby meeting this challenging aspect of the contract. Not to mention the incredibly tight time constraints. We were certainly put under pressure to meet the tight deadlines, but I’m very pleased that my team was successful in commissioning the entire air conditioning plant in less than four days.”

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Orion Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Ltd, 10 Grisedale Court, Woburn Road Industrial Estate, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK42 7EE, UK

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                                Last updated - 05/04/2019