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WINDOWMASTER’S Motorlink Helps Network Rail Energise Workforce

WindowMaster ( has won its largest ever UK order for a natural ventilation and smoke control solution. It has supplied window actuators, locking motors and automated controls for the natural ventilation of Network Rail’s ( new National Centre in Milton Keynes.

Network Rail’s 37,000 m2new offices have been designed by architects GMW ( to be at the forefront of sustainable building technologies and are being constructed by main contractor BAM ( The development consists of six buildings – two multi-storey car parks and four office buildings joined by a central atrium which will house the main reception, support facilities, a coffee bar, retail outlets and space for informal meetings. The development will feature living roofs, rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation controlled by WindowMaster’s newly launched MotorLink™ automated window control system.

WindowMaster is supplying chain actuators for the automation of 2,429 windows as well as espagnolette locking motors for 439 of these windows. These MotorLink™ actuators are connected to 263 MotorLink™ MotorControllers to provide power and control primarily for natural ventilation. The central atrium also includes life-safety smoke control.

Network Rail’s new offices are divided into four blocks aligned to use prevailing wind together with exterior solar shading panels to reduce heat gain, improve the efficiency of natural ventilation and allow effective use of natural light. In the office areas, natural ventilation will be augmented by passive cooling, while energy requirements will be met by power and heating from the local district energy scheme.

Work has commenced on the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated project, which is set for completion in the summer of 2012.

BAM’s project manager Steve Milton said: “Network Rail’s brief to the consultant team calls for the building to deliver an efficient environment that will energize and motivate its workforce and meet exacting environmental standards.

“As a result, natural ventilation and smoke ventilation moved to the forefront of the building design with a focus on energy consumption and sustainability.

“WindowMaster was selected because of its experience in making the programming and operation of automated natural ventilation and smoke ventilation systems as easy as possible. Its engineers worked closely with us and the consultants to develop a very versatile system that seamlessly interfaces with building management systems.”

Richard Arnott, WindowMaster market manager UK and IE, added: “WindowMaster has worked very closely with the architects, consultants, main contractors and the facade company to provide a totally joined up approach to the automation of the facades and the controls for the natural ventilation strategy.

“Over an 18 month period it became clear to all parties that the technical features and quality provided by WindowMaster's MotorLink™ actuators and MotorControllers were essential for the performance of the natural ventilation strategy, whether controlled by a proprietary natural ventilation control system or by the proposed building management system.”

MotorLink™ is a state of the art digital data communication technology which provides improved control and functionality where automated windows and natural ventilation are part of a building management system (BMS).

WindowMaster MotorLink™ offers precise and accurate control. Because it operates within open bus communication standards, including KNX, LON, Bacnet and Modbus, its operation does not require expensive dedicated software systems. The versatile range of functionality of the MotorLink™ system also means that BMS suppliers and facade companies can deliver robust, flexible control solutions tailored to specific project requirements. Millimetre-by-millimetre control enables an optimal indoor climate to be obtained whatever the weather or the season. Two-way communication between the MotorLinkTMwindow actuators and the MotorLink™ MotorController enables the BMS to accurately position the windows.

MotorLink™ features precise position control, three-speed actuator operation, synchronisation between multiple actuators on the same window and reduced risk of entrapment. Other features include a reversing function, which protects the weather seals around the window, fault indication and online set-up.

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