This year was a little different... The Pie & Pint has traditionally been a showcase of the latest and greatest that Ability have to offer. However, given the number of game-changing developments currently in progress, we’re going to hold a bigger event in 2018 to present this next generation of Fan Coil Units and Control systems.

The exact dates will be posted as soon as they are known...

World Projects

'Soft Landing' and Matrix - Perfect Partners


"Buildings don't crash quite as spectacularly as aircraft, and fortunately without the casualties, but they do crash in their own way, often doing a lot of environmental damage in the process". This is the first paragraph of the introduction to Soft Landings written by BSRIA in their publication called "Pitspopping".

Soft landed projects are projects where the handover of a building to an occupier or owner is planned for and performed over a period of time rather than a point in time, generally Friday afternoon at 3pm! The reason this new approach has become seen as necessary is a growing awareness that buildings handed over conventionally are often rushed and therefore either need urgent post occupancy attention or left alone never reach the full potential envisaged by their designers.

A Soft Landed project is managed in five stages.

  1. Inception and Briefing - Clarify operational outcomes in the client's requirements
  2. Design development and construction - Review past experience, agree performance metrics, agree design targets, regularly reality check.
  3. Pre Handover - Prepare for occupation, train FM staff, demonstrate control systems, review monitoring strategy of occupants and energy use.
  4. Initial Aftercare - Support staff in the first weeks of occupation, be resident on site to respond to queries and react to emerging issues
  5. Long term aftercare - Monitor, review, fine-tune, and perform periodic feedback studies for up to three years to reach performance targets.

Why are Ability fan coil units and Soft Landings made for each other? Ability fan coil units (particularly Matrix) are supplied with sensors that are not provided on other Fan Coil products. These sensors include both supply and return air temperature sensors, can include current draw sensors and if specifically needed, even flow and return water temperature sensors. Because Matrix units also know their own air volume and the position of their control valves at any moment the unit, in combination with the sensor readings, can calculate and report deficiencies and or anomalies.

Typical examples might be:-

  1. On FCU 3/36c, Why is there no airside temperature difference when the cooling valve is open? Has the valve actuator been left off or is it broken?
  2. Why is the valve on FCU 4/42a more often at 100% but the room is rarely at its design condition? Has the room load gone up beyond design because the client has changed the use?
  3. Why does the 3rd floor West Face always takes longer than expected to reach the design temperature in the morning? Could it be that a branch bypass has inadvertently been left open?
  4. Why does FCU 5/12b show an airside temperature rise with the cooling valve operating? Was the actuator returned to wrong valve after servicing?

These are all real scenarios which can be identified without going anywhere near a single fan coil. So in the first weeks of occupation, when the client is trying to get used to his new building, there is no need for armies of engineers trooping round the building, taking tiles down and generally disturbing everyone because, everything you need to know about every fan coil is available remotely. This means that rather than aimlessly searching for a problem, physical corrective measures can be targeted. Better still, changes to flow rates, air volumes or for that matter any design value can be changed remotely also.