Barbican Centre – HVAC replacement works in Frobisher Crescent

Another planning application from the Conference Centre has also recently been submitted. This one is “to undertake HVAC replacement works to improve the functionality, presentation, sustainability of the Conference Spaces on level 4 of Frobisher Crescent”. The planning reference number is 22/00942/FULL and can be viewed here. The Design, Access and Heritage Statement gives full details of the proposals and can be viewed here.

In brief and by way of background, “A major income stream comes from renting events and conference spaces in the Barbican Centre. A suite of conference rooms are located on level 4 of Frobisher Crescent. The current spaces have inefficient and outdated heating systems, which have been altered over time and are now comprised of a combination of different systems and elements, wall mounted storage heaters, underfloor heating, ceiling mounted electric heaters. The conditions in the rooms are not comfortable and this is leading to a reduction in rental income. The existing system is inefficient, uncomfortable for users, and detracts from the visual appearance and quality of the spaces”.

What is being proposed? “The proposal is to improve and rationalise the HVAC system serving level 4 conference rooms, removing existing chilled water pipework and electric heater batteries, replacing this with direct expansion heating and cooling coils on the existing air handling units. To improve the interior presentation and condition of the spaces it is proposed to replace the various heating units with a new radiator installation to corridors and reception areas, with wall mounted units that will be consistent in design and finish throughout each space. The new air handling coil and radiator installation would be fed from new air source heat pump installations which would be located in existing plant rooms on level 5 above, immediately adjacent to the existing plant rooms that currently house air handing systems and ductwork installations that currently serve the spaces”.

In summary therefore: “The Barbican Centre wishes to undertake work to improve heating provision and energy efficiency in order to improve the conditions within the Frobisher Crescent Conference suite. These works are essential to provide an acceptable level of heating and comfort for building occupiers. Care has been taken to ensure the proposals involve minimal alteration and neutral impact on the special architectural interest and historic fabric of the building”.

If anyone wishes to comment on this application they can do so here.

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