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High energy Olympic athlete opens low energy office

Kris Akabusi officially opens state of the art low emissions premises for Chalmor

Release date: 12/11/2009

Kriss Akabusi MBE was the principal guest at the official opening of Luton-based Chalmor’s new, state-of-the-art, low energy offices earlier this year.


The new offices have been created as a ‘living showcase’ for Chalmor’s comprehensive range of energy-saving lighting and control products. As such, the company’s new low-carbon office building ensures that its services are ‘demand-controlled’ in relation to occupancy, natural daylight, internal heat gains and solar heat gains.


“We are delighted that Mr Akabusi agreed to perform the official opening of this new facility,” said managing director Steven Henry. “He is well known for his dynamism, both on and off the track, and he clearly appreciates the importance of controlling energy consumption to achieve optimum performance,” he added.


The offices have been created from a former warehouse building, with funding assistance from the East of England Development Agency, the Selective Finance for Investment in England programme and the Carbon Trust.


“Because this new facility serves as both a working office and a showcase for our energy-saving products it incorporates a much wider range of lighting products and controllers than might be the norm,” Steven Henry continued. “It also illustrates the significant return on investment that can be achieved through selection of such products.


“For example, we have reduced the annual energy costs by over 80%, compared to simply using the existing systems, providing a payback of less than 5 years. And with government incentives such as Enhanced Capital Allowances – for which many of our products qualify – the savings are even greater,” he added.


Offices and common areas, for instance, are served by high efficiency T5 linear fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting linked to Chalmor Autolux lighting controllers, divided into discrete zones for maximum control flexibility. Lighting in each zone is activated by presence detectors with additional manual dimming functions for staff to set preferred lighting levels.


Lighting close to windows has additional control via light sensors to dim lighting in relation to natural daylight levels. Similarly, Brilliance and Intelligence high output fittings in the store area are controlled by both occupancy and daylight levels.


All zones are linked to lighting in actual and notional corridors to ensure egress routes remain lit when the building is occupied. Exterior lighting, using Chalmor’s long-life Endurance fittings, is controlled by PIR presence detectors – while the Endurance lighting in the reception area is controlled using a microwave detector.


BlueWave controllers are also showing their paces in the new building, with one controlling lighting in the R&D areas and another providing occupancy-controlled ventilation in the kitchen.


A key element of the refurbishment programme was to increase the building’s fabric insulation levels to minimise space heating requirements. Consequently, most of the space heating requirements are met by air source heat pumps, selected from the Energy Technology List, which also provide cooling to selected areas such as the server room. Air conditioning is controlled by Autolux controllers.


Heating is also zoned and controlled by Chalmor’s Universal Heating Controllers, with additional demand-controlled heating in some spaces. For instance, heating in the disabled toilet is maintained at a background level and then boosted when someone enters the room. Hot water is controlled by a timer.


“All of the systems within the building have been designed by our own staff, so we are not only demonstrating our products but also our expertise in delivering affordable, low energy solutions that provide our customers with high levels of comfort and low cost of ownership,” Steven Henry concluded.

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