Office Fabric Ducting – FBD Insurance
FBD Insurance Dublin
FBD Insurance is one of Ireland Largest Insurers, with regional offices nationwide. Started in the 1960s by Irish farmers FBD today has over 500,000 customers and insures cars, homes, businesses and farms as well as offering pensions and investment services.
Based in Dublin, FBD Insurance has a large office building (FBD House) to the west of the city centre which has an administrative function over several floors. The shape of FBD House means that there are two large, long facades one of which is predominantly southern facing. The large windows in each façade create different environmental requirements within the open floors of the building, with more cooling being required on the southern side of the building.
The buildings centralised air conditioning system was installed back in the 80’s – with rigid ducting and grilles running along a central spine east to west across the building suppling air to each side of the open plan office spaces. Velocity, discomfort and a lack of local control had become the primary problematic issues during cooling.
Over the years FBD had tried several different schemes to try to improve the situation and alleviate the comfort issues. Grilles had been changed, in some places adjustable nozzles installed and eventually the blanking off of large sections of ducting to avoid complaints over velocity discomfort, which lead to complaints in other areas over a lack of cooling.
A major investment was scheduled for 2014 with renovation of several of the open plan floors being modernised and revitalised and with this arose the opportunity to address ‘The Air Conditioning Problem’ once and for all.
FBD called in their AC contractor and asked for their help in resolving the problem, specifically the imbalance across different parts of the floors and the discomfort caused by detectable air velocity. Crossflow ventilation of Dublin looked after the building air conditioning maintenance and Padriag Hanvey of Crossflow knew that the central plant was actually still working pretty well, it was the air distribution causing the problems.
Having worked with us on lots of projects over the years Padraig called Prihoda. After an initial quotation to establish the financial viability of the scheme we created detailed proposals including bespoke air pattern/velocity graphics to address the customers primary concerns of comfort, and we supplied samples for architectural/interior design approval in terms of colour and overall look. Prihoda chose a half round system to maintain a low profile within the low ceiling structure of the open plan floors.
The customer chose to use Prihoda Classic 100% RECYCLED material for this project. 100% post consumer waste is used to make the yarn for the ducting, all recovered from recycled plastic water bottles. This project saved precisely 2262 water bottles (500ml) from collected waste – that’s 2262 water bottles fewer in the oceans or landfill.
Following the installation and renovation of FBD House we went to visit the project to look at the installation and discuss the outcome of the project with FBD’s Facilities Manager. The system works better that imagined and regular calls with complaints about the AC system are now a thing of the past. The floors are comfortable, of an even temperature gradient and velocity free, even with ducts mounted over desks (micro-perforation diffusers avoid ‘dumping’ of cold air below the duct which is unavoidable with permeable material fabric ducts alone, this video link shows a smoke test of this problem https://vimeo.com/100693994). The whole plant copes well with the new diffusion system and even on sunny days the open plan floors are a comfortable place to work in.
Office fabric ducting and other applications is a long term, low cost, reliable and cleanable solution to everyday ventilation and diffusion applications. Most suitable mounted ‘in the space’ the large surface area for diffusion allows improved distribution of air and more controlled velocity.
Contact us for further details firstname.lastname@example.org – 0121 320 2496