The building-services design was developed to ensure a flexible, energy-efficient design with fully automated controls. Solar gains were reduced by limiting the amount of glazing in the facade.
Also, the building's heavy thermal mass and the use of exposed concrete frame absorbs heat from the occupied spaces to minimise cooling requirements. Typically, tempered fresh air was introduced into the occupied spaces at low level and extracted at high level to maximise the benefits of displacement ventilation, reducing the overall energy consumption and providing a fresher environment as warmed air and pollutants rise and are extracted at high level, rather than being mixed within the occupied space. In addition, heat-recovery devices were used within the air-handling units to further reduce energy usage. Supply-air volume and temperature were controlled based on room occupancies using temperature and carbon monoxide monitoring. The heating system's hotwater temperature was varied according to outside air temperature to minimise energy consumption.
Where possible, the heating and ventilation systems were integrated with the architecture to minimise their visual impact. This was of particular importance in the common room (an east-facing, double-height space with a glazed roof), where the supply air is introduced into the space from under the seating benches, and pipework embedded within the floor provides space heating and cooling to ensure a comfortable environment in both summer and winter, with minimal visual expression Patricia Johnstone, Arup