The modular approach to construction need not apply only to whole buildings. The advantages of modular technology can apply to HVAC systems as well. And there has never been a better time to consider the benefits of a new approach.
For today’s businesses, flexibility is a core strength needed to thrive in our fluctuating economic environment.
Whether you are managing an office or operating a manufacturing facility, the ability to scale to match market requirements is a significant advantage.
Modular HVAC equipment can help achieve this adaptability for a wide range of property types.
The smaller, lightweight modules are also much easier to position on rooftops
For example, chillers are often a core element of an air conditioning system. It is now possible to specify several smaller chiller modules rather than a large, single chiller.
These modular chillers are smaller units that can be joined together to meet project requirements. Our e-Series, for example, is available as 90kW, 150kW and 180kW modules.
Up to six of these modules can be linked together to provide a system capacity between 90kW to 1,080kW.
The modular chiller allows for growing demand from a building as occupancy grows in the office, or productivity ramps up in a factory.
It is also possible to operate fewer of the modular units at any time, to meet a smaller load requirement in the face of reduced cooling demand – if more occupants have to work from home for a time, for example.
Because the modules are specifically designed for flexibility, they are easy to connect with an integrated internal header pipe and couplings supplied as standard.
They can also be positioned in a number of ways which is very handy for projects with restricted space. Typical modular chiller design will see a 35% space saving compared to the traditional chiller.
The smaller, lightweight modules are also much easier to position on rooftops – removing the need for large cranes, street closures and the resulting higher installation costs.
Modular chillers are suitable for refurbishment projects as well as new-builds. This capability means building owners can reap the benefits of a modular approach in their existing properties.
Modular chillers are pre-packaged, pre-piped and pre-wired, so only water and power connections have to be made on site.
It’s a quick and effective solution for businesses looking to make upgrades that can help them cope with future market fluctuations.
The fast delivery and turnaround mean that modular chillers are also excellent choices for projects with tight deadlines such as universities, schools and sports arenas where downtime is minimal.
Addressing the challenge
The challenge for today’s buildings is real. It is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to change the size of your building easily.
Modular HVAC allows building owners to scale up their building services – which are crucial for the comfort and health of occupants.
There is also no need to cool a whole building if a portion of it is unoccupied or unused – costing money and wasting energy.
But if it is required, it is cost-effective and straightforward to add units to meet additional requirements.
Modular is a term that we are going to hear a lot more of in the next few years. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to think of it as a solution that’s only applicable to whole-building projects.
The benefits of factory-built products designed for flexibility are widely available at a smaller scale, and smart businesses will make the most of these new modular approaches too.