Bespoke ceiling cooling system for Manchester Metropolitan University

For the Manchester Metropolitan University’s Brooks Academic Building (previously Birley Fields), Warmafloor designed a bespoke ceiling cooling system ebbeded into pre-cast concrete panels to deliver optimum comfort to student as well as meet the stringent cost and energy saving targets.

Fact File

  • Year: 2014
  • Size: 20,000m2
  • Floor Type: Bespoke
  • Sector: Education
  • Type: New build

The projects

MMUBirleyFields_2Energy efficiency was the order of the day at Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) 20,000 sq.m Brooks (previously Birley Fields) Academic Building, where Warmafloor was commissioned to install its ceiling cooling system as a means of keeping energy costs and carbon emissions to a minimum. Opened in October 2014, the brand new 15-acre Brooks campus is the final part of the £350m investment in new facilities for MMU.

The University has already committed to cutting carbon emissions and has reduced the carbon footprint of each of its students. Over £139 million has been invested in the campus to help make further reductions, with the aim of lowering the carbon footprint of existing campus operations by 60% and working towards a zero carbon, zero water and zero waste campus.

The challenge

Bearing the burden of responsibility for the training and development of our future leaders, universities have a duty to provide a comfortable, healthy and safe environment for students. Warmafloor were therefore commissioned to design a bespoke ceiling cooling system to deliver optimum comfort as well as meet the stringent cost and energy saving targets.

The solution

In order to achieve this, Warmafloor worked in close collaboration with Creagh Concrete to embed their system into pre-cast concrete panels, in an innovative new system to boost efficiency across the building.

Quality is of the utmost importance in any building project and the ceiling panelling is manufactured in a controlled environment off-site, making it easier to monitor the mix, placement of the coils and curing, thus guaranteeing the quality of the finished cast. This indoor controlled process also removes the challenge of installing coils and pouring concrete in poor weather, which can affect the concentration of the precast mix and the method by which it is installed, as well as add weeks on to project completion deadlines.

Another advantage of controlled conditions is that it enhances the concrete durability, ensuring that it is able to withstand heavy imposed structural loads. The cooling coils are also fully protected because they are embedded into the ceiling panels. Ready for immediate installation, the panels could quickly be installed in the Academic Building, resulting in a shorter project build time and lower labour costs.

The benefits

Finally, the system of ceiling cooling coils embedded into the concrete panels, was the ideal design partner for the Academic Building, providing a fair faced concrete finish in line with the building’s modern architectural style. Forming part of the University’s Estates Investment Strategy, the Academic Building is designed to meet a BREEAM Excellent rating, continuing the University’s heritage of environmental responsibility. MMU has been awarded the top position in the People & Planet Green League’s list of the UK’s greenest universities in 2015.