That feeling of comfort in your office space is both personal and complicated. Two individuals can be working in close proximity and be feeling differing levels of comfort. Satisfaction with the commercial environment will range across individuals for many reasons.
For this reason, at Thermo Tech we believe that commercial air conditioning is a specialist area of the market. The basic principles of air conditioning a commercial space are different to domestic, industrial and process air conditioning.
Because commercial air conditioning is primarily designed for occupant comfort a correctly functioning system has a significant part to play in the health, wellbeing and productivity of people.
When choosing a system there are three basic functions to consider that impact on occupant comfort and wellbeing, these are heating, cooling and ventilation.
Effective heating and cooling is a function of the architecture of the space, the design of the HVAC equipment and its application within that space. Effective ventilation is a product of the function of the equipment its design, selection and application.
Effective ventilation provides outdoor air to the space. The main reason for ventilation is to provide Oxygen rich air and flush away the products of human respiration, mainly Carbon Dioxide and moisture. There are other significant benefits of effective ventilation such as the dilution of odours, flushing away of pollutants and other emissions present in the space. It is not common knowledge that most systems in small to medium sized spaces do not include ventilation.
Comfort control of air conditioning systems can be a difficult proposition. Because of the natural differences between people’s perception of comfort it is never possible to create an environment that satisfies everyone. For example, at certain times in the season commercial air conditioning in Auckland can switch from heating mode in the morning to cooling in the afternoon. This is not always desirable and can be an inefficient use of energy.
Equipment installation and location needs to be carefully evaluated. Regarding the indoor equipment, consideration needs to be given to where in the space it will be most effective. For example, if installed too high and outside of the occupied zone then more space is being conditioned than is necessary. This is an inefficient use of energy and can cause access problems when the equipment needs servicing. The outdoor equipment needs to be as close as possible to the indoor equipment in a well-ventilated area. Traditionally outdoor equipment has been located on the roof. More recently this option has proved problematic for access if no internal roof access is available. Safe ladder access to any roof has its challenges, it can only be carried out in appropriate weather conditions and generally requires more than one person. Consequently roof located outdoor HVAC equipment where there is no internal access will add to the cost of servicing and maintaining for the life of the systems.
Our design team spend more time and energy considering these variables than most. We will visit the proposed space on existing buildings and study the plans for proposed buildings to ensure the system applied fully meets the needs of the occupants.