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PANASONIC Helps RYA Go For Gold At 2012 Olympics

Panasonic air conditioning equipment is helping Team GB to make the ideal preparations in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics with an installation at the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) accommodation and training facility at Portland, Dorset.

The recently completed RYA House will be the hub of performance sailing in the run up to and during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The multipurpose facility provides accommodation, conference facilities and a home for the British sailing team in the lead up to next year’s events.

Built on a brownfield site, the former HMS Osprey Royal Navy Air Station, RYA House has been specifically built and fitted out for the RYA to a world class standard to provide the ideal facilities for the Olympic team, squads, staff, coaches, support staff, and RYA members. It complements the adjacent Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sailing events.

The facilities provided in RYA House include 24 twin en-suite rooms, three with full disabled access and top-floor conference facilities with seating for up to 80 delegates and a full commercial kitchen. A picture window and balcony provide stunning views across the harbour towards Weymouth and Lulworth Cove. On the ground floor there are offices, meeting rooms and a recreational space.

RYA has chosen Panasonic to provide the ideal comfort conditions for sailors and coaches. Each of the bedrooms is fitted with an ultra slim, ducted Panasonic VRF air conditioning unit; in the disabled access rooms and reception area, slim wall mounted units were selected. Ceiling-mounted cassettes have also been specified for the offices
“We chose Panasonic because of our existing relationship with them and experience of their equipment,” explained Chris Hall, Racing Operations manager at the RYA. “We were after a solution to enhance the ventilation and cooling specifically in the bedrooms. Panasonic provided the advice and a system solution for what was required. We’ve now got a robust and flexible system that will keep the GB sailing team comfortable during their numerous camps and events and assist in reducing future operational costs.”

RYA’s engineering consultancy EDP Ltd developed the design specification and oversaw the installation by local firm Heating and Cooling Services Ltd. The Panasonic equipment was supplied by Oceanair UK. The electrical contractor was H W Smith.

Bedrooms are accessed using a card system, with air conditioning, heating and power all activated by placing the card in a reader at the entrance to the room. All occupants then have individual control over the cooling in the room via a simple wall-mounted controller. The facilities manager will have complete control of the system via a central intelligent controller linked to his computer, which will allow him to monitor and control air conditioning in any room during the day and ultimately save energy.

“The units and controller are working well and the bedrooms are now comfortable,” said Chris Hall. “The biggest challenge for the installation contractors was installing the outdoor heat exchangers inside the building because of planning restraints. This was achieved by constructing two blockwork enclosures adjacent to the outside wall.”

The equipment has already performed at the recent Sail for Gold regatta and the next challenge will be the Olympic Test Event in August this year. Let’s hope that Panasonic’s gold standard is matched by the GB team next summer.

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