Which air conditioning system is best for your refurbishment?

05 Jun

Which air conditioning system is best for your refurbishment?

The refurbishment of older properties can introduce bespoke challenges to overcome, not least when specifying the most appropriate laboratory air conditioning system.

Bulb’s experience of office refurbishment & conversion of offices to laboratories can assist you in identifying the right solution for your project.

Recent project experience has provided the team with the opportunity to use leading edge products to satisfy the client requirements as outlined below:

1. Landlord refurbishment of a listed office building, Bristol.

A project Bulb successfully tendered for with a requirement to provide excellent environmental credentials whilst being sympathetic to a quality refurbishment of a listed building.

Located in Queen Square, a prestigious business addresses in Bristol & home to many of the city’s most prestigious companies in the professional and financial sectors.

The landlord refurbishment works are of the highest standard using the new Mitsubishi Hybrid VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system. Hybrid VRF is next generation technology from Mitsubishi Electric, the world leader in VRF.

This unique 2-Pipe Heat Recovery VRF System is designed to use low global warming potential R32 refrigerant from external condensers to each floor & then replaces refrigerant with water between the HBCC (Hybrid Branch Circuit Controller) and the indoor units.

This revolutionary design removes the need for expensive and on-going leak detection servicing and is specifically designed for occupied spaces giving a quiet, energy efficient, simultaneous heating and cooling system. The system provides summer cooling & winter heating via the water-based elements of the system.

The installation is faster and simpler than the traditional VRF system as the pre-insulated PVC pipe is used from the HBCC to the fan coil units, with the added advantage that this pipe work is continuous end to end, with no joints on smaller systems and on larger systems the pre-insulated pipe uses mechanically crimped fittings.

The pipe work is installed along cable tray containment as is the traditional VRF system refrigerant pipe work, without brazing and negates hot works.

2. Tenant conversion of London city offices to CL 2 laboratories

The client brief required close control air conditioning & ventilation to several laboratories. The building had a very restrictive ceiling height & limited external plant area available. There were similar restrictions relating to any works to the façade.

Image 2 - VRV slim line ducted fan coil unit

When assessing the actual above ceiling void available and the services required for the facility, more than detailing and coordination were required. The Bulb team was tasked with looking for solutions whilst achieving the required air changes and level of environmental control.

Bulb, supported by their mechanical sub-contractor, proposed use of a Daikin VRV (Variable Refrigerant Volume) system using Daikin slim line ducted FCUs and the Daikin modular L Air Handling Units for the heat recovery ventilation, and a combination of ducted VRV fan coil units and VRV cassettes for heating and cooling.

The Daikin system is designed to fit within shallow ceiling voids, the VRV slim line ducted fan coil units have only a 245mm deep chassis and the VRV cassettes only require 300mm from ceiling to slab, the Daikin modular air handling units have a shallow chassis whilst still delivering the ventilations rates.

This solution along with the use of slimline LED panel lighting, regular coordination meetings and production of detailed drawings produced a fully integrated scheme within the limitations of the building, without compromising the engineering requirements.

Both projects called on the latest technical developments by two of the leading industry specialist manufacturers.

Any new refurbishment will generate its own individual requirements which the Bulb team, led by our Technical Services Manager, Andy Hambridge, will be pleased to explore with you to achieve your project ambitions.

Andy Hambridge

07775 574801


Laboratory benching forms a central part of any laboratory and procuring the laboratory benching to suit your equipment needs and budget is important to us.

If you prefer fixed, robust benching or modular benching that offers flexibility and reconfiguration, our laboratory furniture manufacturers can deliver the perfect solution.

furniture fittings benching


Depending on your research focus your worktop design requirements might change to allow:

  • Chemical resistance
  • Bacterial resistance
  • Water & moisture resistance
  • Durability & scratch resistance
  • Ease of cleaning
  • High impact

Trespa Toplab Base is the industry favourite, but we can offer alternative worktops such as Corian, Stainless Steel, Epoxy Resin, Hardwood, Phenolic Resin to match your needs.

furniture fittings worktops


We offer both wall mounted and benchtop shelving for reagents, typically in either 18mm MFMDF or 16mm Trespa Toplab Base. Wall shelving is mounted on a bracket system, while benchtop shelving is typically supported by fabricated steel frame.

furniture fittings worktops

Fume Cupboards & Extract

Properly ventilated Fume Cupboards offer a safe way to handle chemicals and solvents in laboratories.

From ducted to portable ductless Fume Cupboards, our specialist and experienced partners are at hand to advise and install the right solution.

We provide Fume Cupboards manufactured and installed to meet the industry requirements (e.g. BS EN 14175) in various sizes (External Width 1000mm - 1200mm - 1500mm - 1800mm - 2000mm), Specifications and types (Bench Mounted, Walk In, Double Fronted, Integral Scrubber, HF Type, Thin Wall Bench Mounted) to meet your requirements and safe extraction.

Unsure of what type to go for? Our lab furniture suppliers can help, just get in touch.

furniture fittings worktops

Safety Cabinets

If you prefer fixed, robust benching or modular benching that offers flexibility and reconfiguration, our laboratory furniture manufacturers can deliver the perfect solution.

Whether you need Class I, II or III to handle Hazard Group 1 to 4 pathogens we can recommend suitable furniture suppliers.

furniture fittings worktops

Specialist & Other Requirements

If you have any specific needs such as Cold Room or Clean Room installation services, Industrial Gases, Liquid Nitrogen, Non-ionising Radiation (LASER), Plumbing, Temperature & Humidity Control or other, we can help.

furniture fittings worktops