Lush Ltd draws on Mitsubishi Electric’s expertise to transform its air conditioning

If you have come across Lush on your High Street, you will know the brand from the exotic smells that emanate from its stores.

Best known for its sweet-smelling, handmade cosmetic and bath products and a highly ethical approach to business life, Lush also ensures that the comfort of staff and energy efficiency are also key priorities.

When Lush decided to expand its office space, the company leased out a new unit in Dolphin Quays, Poole, a prestigious complex of apartments and office spaces.

The leased units came with running water and electricity, but other comforts like air conditioning all needed to be arranged by the tenant.

The team had to work hard and fast to ensure everything was delivered when promised

Carole Titmuss Refurb projects Carole Titmuss Editor of Refurb Projects

Overall efficiency

Lush decided to bring together multiple contractors for the different elements and for its new air conditioning system, chose Modern Facilities Services Ltd to lead on the installation of Mitsubishi Electric’s City Multi VRF heat recovery system to serve the office area. Modern Facilities Services is an Accredited Installer of Mitsubishi Electric equipment.

Across the space, 12 ceiling-suspended indoor units have been fitted, with one additional floor positioned unit for a specific area. The beauty of City Multi is that excess heat from an area being cooled can be moved to other parts of the building that need heating, helping improve the overall efficiency.

“We wanted a system that would create a pleasant working environment for our staff, whilst fitting comfortably into the office environment. We also wanted to make sure we avoided any draughts for our employees”, said Krystal James, Project Coordinator at Lush Ltd.

Comfort

Staff comfort and energy efficiency are key priorities

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Light and airy

Lush has developed light, airy spaces for staff

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Heating or cooling

12 ceiling suspended indoor units offer simultaneous heating or cooling across the space

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Ventilation

The spaces include heat recovery ventilation to increase efficiency

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Ethical approach

Lush has enjoyed growing success with its ethical approach to business

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A discreet experience

The Modern Facilities Services team came up with a solution using swirl diffusers which distribute the airflow in the building more evenly and ensure the experience is discreet.

City Multi air conditioning is one of the most popular solutions in the UK because of its outstanding energy saving performance, advanced control system, and the flexibility of design it offers to specifiers and installers.

With systems available to suit almost any building, long pipe runs and up to 50 indoor units connected to each outdoor condenser, City Multi offers advanced, controllable, energy efficient comfort.

This was an exciting project to work on and, given the location, there were strict time restrictions we had to adhere to, so as not to disturb the tenants above and below the site,” explained Gary Whitcher, Director of Modern Facilities Services Ltd.

Ensuring fresh air

Alongside the City Multi system, two Lossnay Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) units were installed. These remove stale air from the office environment by passing it across Lossnay’s unique, paper-based core.

As the stale air is removed, this paper core enables up to 80% of the temperature to be captured and passed to the fresh, incoming air, meaning it needs less energy to bring it up to the indoor temperature.

This is a highly efficient option for Lush Ltd as it allows the air to be heated during the winter and heat to be removed from the air in the summer.

On-site challenges

During the project, there were a few challenges for Modern Facilities Services. Working with multiple contractors on one project meant that there needed to be a high level of collaboration to ensure each team was able to complete their work and everything was delivered on time.

There was also a lot of existing pipe work running throughout the building that wasn’t considered in the original drawings. This made the installation of the MVHR units more challenging, resulting in real-time adaptation to ensure the units fitted within the space provided.

“With a tight eight-week timescale to work towards, the team had to work hard and fast to ensure everything was delivered when promised,” added Gary Whitcher.

“We are proud of the result and are pleased to hear that Lush Ltd is considering rolling out the same system to its other sites.”

Carole Titmuss is editor of Refurb Projects magazine