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TROX Bespoke Chilled Beams Chosen For Refurbishment Of Listed 18th Century Building

Bespoke-designed TROX Multi Service Chilled Beams (MSCBs) have been chosen to meet the demanding interior design brief for a magnificent 18th century building in the Netherlands.

The project came about when project management company A T Osborne decided to refurbish the listed Villa Rusthoek in Baarn, near Utrecht, as its new offices. Built in 1771, and altered substantially in 1905, the building is a national monument and a previous residence of a member of the Dutch Royal family.

A T Osborne’s ambition was to refurbish the building to provide modern flexible office space, at the same time as improving significantly the energy efficiency and sustainability of this historic building. A UK-based firm of architects – BDG McColl – was appointed to carry out the project, and air distribution experts TROX were invited in, to ensure that effective working environments could be created for building occupants.

The age and methods of construction of the building held a number of challenges for the installation of air conditioning. Without features such as false ceilings and existing ductwork, the chilled beams needed to be suitable for installation on wooden trusses. The architects also had an extremely clear vision for the aesthetic impact of the interior spaces, and the visual effects of the chilled beams needed particularly close attention.

TROX met with the architects and showed a portfolio of photographs of different chilled beam designs to illustrate potential design approaches. It was agreed that combining all services in a single modules offered significant practical and aesthetic advantages for Villa Rusthoek. In collaboration with the architects, the TROX Design Bureau created a bespoke chilled beam design which would achieve the aesthetic ambitions of the project, in addition to creating the comfort conditions essential in a modern office, and introducing levels of energy efficiency that could never have been considered prior to the refurbishment.

The active MSCBs provide highly efficient heating and cooling, and incorporate interior lighting. Dali fittings with daylight dimming multi sensors allow unoccupied rooms to automatically power down, in line with the sustainability requirements for the building.

The chilled beams feature stylish curved face designs and a special pointed outer border extrusion. The beams include uplighting for additional design effect, and fit flush to the wooden trusses. TROX was able to conceal the drop rods from vision, as desired by the architects, by locating them in the outer border. To install the beams, TROX mounted the back of each beam to a unistrut which could fit on to the underside of the wooden truss, and be concealed from view.

Consultation with TROX engineers during the design phase also ensured the equipment installed would integrate with the new low carbon HVAC system for the site. A ground source heat pump system has been installed along with latest generation induction coils. The resulting improvements have elevated the site from a G rating for environmental performance to a C rating. It is anticipated that total energy consumption at the site will be reduced by around 25% as a results of the refurbishment.

David Miller of TROX said, “This was an outstanding example of how modern technology and the historic fabric of a building can complement one another. It is a stunning building, and shows what can be achieved with sensitivity and concentration on design.”

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