Effective Control of Glazing Heat Gain in Contemporary Property

Designed by OB Architecture 2017, Holm Place in Hampshire has rightly been recognised for its outstanding architectural design and beauty. Set in a conservation area, the design and materials used for Claire Jordan’s new contemporary property reflect those of the Grade 2 listed house within the grounds of which Holm Place is set.

A combination of timber, brick, zinc and off white render, as well as extensive use of glass, blur the lines between the inside of the four bedroomed two storey house and the outside world. Indeed, the glazing is a key design feature, with the first floor master bedroom suite featuring full height glass on three sides. The property’s east, south and west aspects ensure the sun is on the windows all day and internal temperatures can reach 28 degrees C due to heat gain, even when it is just 20 degrees C outside.

Having already specified coated glass and included heat recovery ventilation during construction, Claire was looking to retrofit air conditioning as the only solution left to her to combat the heat gain. The problem was that the house was already completed and the design of the building left little or no space for the required equipment. A wall mount split air conditioner was something that Claire wanted to avoid because of its negative visual impact. So the objective was to find a solution that would not only provide the improved comfort for the occupants, but would also complement the interior design and structure of the property.

The original developer, R Durtnell & Sons, recommended the services provided by Air Craft who had demonstrated their knowledge of air conditioning on other challenging projects for them. The specification of a system that would be easily retrofiittable to the new house was a primary requirement. The successful installation of a system within an existing home with delicate interior furnishings and a challenging structural design was also essential.

For example, at Holm Place the ceiling voids were very narrow with only 100 mm space available in some areas. Only the slimmest and most shallow internal air conditioning unit could be considered, whilst structural steel beams made inflexible duct routes almost impossible too.

Air Craft recognised the need for a solution featuring a thin profile 100mm x 500mm plenum with flexible ducts that would lead to unobtrusive room outlets. Small Duct High Velocity technology was specified – a complete high performance and extremely quiet air conditioning system that features Daikin Air Conditioning’s heat pump technology using R32 refrigerant for low environmental impact.

The clever installation features a Daikin Sky Air heat pump condensing unit combined with flexible mini-ducts that have been designed to weave through the ceiling void, avoiding beams, and culminating in highly discreet circular room outlets. The system has also been designed by Air Craft to be controlled remotely over the internet by Claire from anywhere at any time.

The solution has maintained a steady and comfortable indoor temperature at Holm Place at all times, despite summer 2019’s record breaking high temperatures. Claire Jordan is delighted: “ I am so pleased that I can finally enjoy my home as intended. We thought that the coated glass and ventilation system would be sufficient, but it proved not to be so on the first floor with all the solar gain. The fact that I can monitor and control the air conditioning from anywhere is reassuring as this saves me wasting energy when I am away from home and the weather suddenly changes.”