Fraser Group - Blythe Valley Chiller, Solihull.

Project Value:
Date Completed:
Autumn/Winter 2023

Project overview: 

Working alongside one of our valued clients Fraser Group, we embarked on a multistage project, which meant removing all roof-based HVAC plant from a prestigious serviced office building, to enable roofing repairs.

Due to the complexity of the project, the works was phased to ensure the building could remain operational during high ambient conditions. To achieve this, the HVAC equipment was split into 2 sections, and then further separated by location. This ensured we could de-commission plant, enable roof works, certify and then re-install / commission plant in the shortest possible time frame, not effecting the clients end users.

Equipment Types

  • Localised DX cooling, which provided a combination of critical cooling to IT rooms and office space.
  • Air cooled chillers that provides cooling via air handling units to the entire building

All air conditioning was only out of action for a weekend due to us relocating and running new mechanical and electrical services in advance to ensure no disruption to tenants.

We experienced further difficulties when one of the chillers was vandalised whilst at ground level. This delayed the project slightly as we had to source a new chiller. The new chiller meant we had to design new framework and carry out the necessary modifications.

We had to supply a hire chiller whilst the new chiller was on order, to ensure the building-maintained conditions in the summer, in case of any failure to the operating system.

DX Air Conditioning

The DX cooling equipment was a range of split air conditioning and VRV equipment. The challenge with element of the project was that it had to be de-commissioned and re-commissioned over a weekend. To enable this, we agreed with the client to build a new condenser compound near the existing location for the east wing (on a completed section of roof), and for the west wing we utilised a redundant section of the plant room, which we designed for the condensers to exhaust the discharge air directly to atmosphere. To ensure the works could be delivered over a weekend, we installed and erected the condenser base in advance of the shutdown, installed new containment, pipework, insulation, and control wiring. We also ran new mains electrical supplies to the new locations.

When the shutdown window occurred, we de-commissioned the plant on Friday PM, relocated condensers on the Saturday and then commissioned and tested operation of the systems on Sunday to ensure ready for occupation on Monday AM.

In terms of planning, we needed to ensure relocating the equipment would not affect operation but ensuring the installation was within the manufacturers recommended specification in relation to pipe runs and elevation.

For the IT rooms that needed to remain at temperature over the weekend, we provided temporary cooling, which was installed and tested in advance of the shutdown period.

Air Cooled Chillers

The chiller configuration on-site is setup so the total duty is covered by one chiller, which means 100% standby and rotation. Due to this setup,  we could de-commission and lift down one chiller at a time, Absolute complete the required roof repairs and then we re-in state and commission all within a 3-week period. In the event of a failure to the chiller in operation, we have a hire chiller on standby, which could be operational with 24 hours’ notice.

As we were removing one chiller from the control circuit, we worked closely with the site BMS team to ensure the strategy was temporary modified and then re-instated, whilst only a single chiller was operational.

One key element of the project was to ensure the chiller operational was verified following re-installation. To achieve and demonstrate this, we carried out a series of benchmark tests, which included flow, operational pressures, amp reading from key components and temperature outputs.

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