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MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC - Automatic Pump-Down System Helps Building Achieve BREEAM

A new and innovative method of providing an automatic pump-down for Mitsubishi Electric’s City Multi, heat recovery systems (R2) has helped a state of the art educational facility achieve full BREEAM rating.

The unique pump-down system was developed by Mitsubishi Electric’s Value Added Reseller, PACAIR and Business Solutions Partner, Kelvinair Ltd. Both companies worked closely with M & E contractor, Airedale Mechanical to ensure the effectiveness of the system would meet BREEAM criteria.

“Other systems are based on the principle of detecting or measuring the concentration of refrigerant in the air once a leak has happened, but we wanted to find a way of knowing about any loss before it got to this stage, this system achieves a whole new level to satisfy BREEAM requirements”, explained PACAIR Director, Nigel Palmer.

The new system means that a pump-down is automatically started if the performance is affected by refrigerant loss. The system is automatically placed in the cooling mode; isolation valves are automatically closed in sequence to contain the refrigerant recovered from the system during the process. Subsequent operation is suspended until the problem can be investigated by a qualified technician; any leaks repaired will be re-tested within a month.

The BREEAM assessment was carried out at the beginning of August 2011 by Matthew Edis, Licensed Assessor for Sustainable Construction Services and confirmed that the installation of an automatic permanent refrigerant leak detection system helped the building achieve the necessary pollution controls for the building.

The new medical educational building at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, which was officially launched in March 2011, has been undergoing BREEAM assessments and has achieved a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating, with a final score of 56.69 per cent.

Since its launch in 1990, BREEAM ( has set the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance.

A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

“Both healthcare and education are areas where legislation is demanding new buildings achieve high levels of BREEAM standards so it was doubly important for this building to be able to demonstrate that all areas of efficiency and environmental performance had been looked at by the design team”, explained Palmer. “We are now developing the pump-down system further with Mitsubishi Electric.”

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