The installation of new air conditioning system into a Buckinghamshire hotel is demonstrating how the clever use of design and specification can remove the need for leak detection equipment in occupied spaces.


The Crowne Plaza, Gerrards Cross is a 147-bedroomed hotel and conference centre which has undergone a complete refurbishment having been bought by the Cairn Hotel Group.


Specialist air conditioning contractors, Turn Key Air Conditioning Ltd has installed a Mitsubishi Electric City Multi heat recovery system into the hotel, to offer guests the ultimate in modern complete comfort and style.


Current legislation restricts the use of refrigerants in buildings, with EN378 in particular intended to minimise possible hazards to persons, property and the environment from refrigerating systems and refrigerants.


Under EN378 legislation, which is particularly applicable for hotels, leak detection equipment must normally be provided if, in the case of R410a, a concentration of 0.44 kg/m3 refrigerant could be exceeded, if all of the refrigerant from a system were to leak into a single room.


Turn Key has developed an on-going relationship with The Cairn Group since providing maintenance service and advice on the Newcastle International Hotel.  Swirles and his team have extensive hotel experience and this gave the Cairn Group the confidence to bring Turn Key in at an early part of the design process.


“We worked closely with The Cairn Group from day one to design a system that meets all requirements in terms of guest comfort, energy efficiency and legislation,” added Swirles.


In close association with Mitsubishi Electric Value Added Reseller (VAR) PACAIR, Turn Key designed the system with the minimum amount of refrigerant in each bedroom to comply with EN378.


PACAIR also helped ensure that the equipment design was modular to allow the hotel to continue trading during the refurbishment and minimise the disruption to both the business and its guests.  This is where the unique two-pipe, heat recovery City Multi system comes into its own as it provides much more flexibility of design and installation.


“Each room is fairly unique so we also had to ensure that the design was flexible enough to cope with the different sizes and layouts,” said PACAIR Managing Director, Nigel Palmer. 


PACAIR also used its specialist knowledge of the complete Mitsubishi Electric range to advise on the installation of a Melcotel hotel control system which links each individual room to the Ving cards, so that systems will not operate when unoccupied.  


The hotel has been refurbished to the highest standards The entire project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. Turn Key has also fitted the infrastructure to the ground floor and designed the installation process to allow it to be completed in five distinct phases to minimise disruption. 


In addition to ducted fancoil units in the rooms, City Multi ceiling cassettes are being installed in all public areas, whilst Lossnay mechanical ventilations with heat recovery is being used to energy-efficiently maximise the amount of fresh air within the building.


“When we were asked to help with this project, we saw it as ideal opportunity to design out the need for leak detection,” explained Swirles. “We are now looking at how we implement this in other situations with The Cairn Group.” 


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