Gilberts helps achieve synergy between contemporary and heritage

Gilberts has played a key role in helping take a Grade II listed building into the 21st century.

The 98,000ft2 Arkwright House has undergone a £16 million upgrade by Catalyst Capital, to create seven floors and a basement of open office space.

One of the major issues being faced at the Manchester city centre building of national interest has been how to deliver adequate quantities of fresh air throughout the building without draughts – bearing in mind that the finished soffits are over 3m high.

Gilberts, the air movement specialist, solved the problem, using over 700 of its patented GZL linear diffusers. Catalyst and its M&E consultant Crookes Walker Consulting worked with Gilberts to prove the design using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling, before specifying the diffusers. The collaborative approach was said to have been instrumental in winning the order.

“The aim at Arkwright House has been to deliver Grade A office space in the heart of Manchester,” explained Gilberts’ sales director, Ian Rogers. “One of the main architectural features is the inclusion of a rafted ceiling system, to expose the original beams yet conceal the building services, including the ventilation ducting, and give a sense of space that a conventional suspended ceiling would not be able to match.

“The GZL could deliver the high air volumes required. With our technical expertise and in-house R&D and engineering capabilities, we were able to further refine our technologically-advanced design to ensure it could be seamlessly integrated into a non-standard ceiling system.”

Gilberts’ GZL high induction (Zipp Air) diffuser uses a cross-flow high induction jet to create semi-circular air distribution. This accelerates mixing with the room air, whilst causing rapid deceleration in air discharge.

As a result, high air change rates – up to 25/hour – can be achieved, without detrimental impact on the normal comfort conditions: the standard two-slot GZL delivers a minimum 60l/s with only 15NC (based on a room absorption rate of 8db).

Gilberts has the ability in-house, to design, manufacture, and test bespoke solutions to meet specific project requirements.