Commercial Installation

Commercial Installation

Installation of the Unico System Small Duct High Velocity (SDHV) system in the reception area at NSBRC

NSBRC Entrance with Unico Installation

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) is the country’s only permanent venue for independent homebuilding advice and showcases the best building technologies and construction methods. Since becoming an employee owned business in 2014, the facility has been continuously developed to ensure the optimum visitor experience for the 1000s of self-buiders, home improvers and building professionals who attend annually. The most recent initiative has been the installation of a new Unico System Small Duct High Velocity (SDHV) system in the reception area of the venue to welcome visitors with a comfortable indoor environment whatever the time of year or the weather outside.

NSBRC mock house

Air Craft, an indoor air comfort specialist and approved Specialist Partner for the Unico System, were responsible for the design and installation of the system.  Managing Director Darren Johnson believes that the all in one cooling and heating solution was the best technology to fulfil the requirements of the project. “ The beauty is Unico’s ability to provide cooling and heating from one compact  Air Handling Unit (AHU) and being able to match it with the latest environmentally friendly Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) energy source. In the summer, the 100+ square metre reception area, with its full width glazing, can be affected by elevated temperatures especially when many visitors can congregate there to register. Then in colder months the space needs heat and Unico can deliver that too.” says Managing Director Darren Johnson.

The suspended ceiling above the reception had plenty of space for the installation of a Green Series Unico MB4260H Air Handling Unit (AHU). It features the latest Variable Speed Control high efficiency fan, which is up to 62% more energy efficient than standard fixed speed motors, and Smart Control Board to ensure precise airflow control, easy commissioning and diagnostics.

One of the major advantages of the Unico System is its ability to be adapted for operation with the latest heat pump technology or other energy sources.  In this case it uses a Heat Pump coil and a Daikin Heat Pump outdoor unit, using low environmental impact R32 refrigerant with significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) compared with other refrigerants and A++ seasonal efficiency.

To ensure compatibility between the two technologies, Unico and Daikin cooperated to develop a customised control box interface.  Air Craft used their extensive experience to ensure the required loading and technical performance for the AHU and the ASHP were carefully matched.

Aside from ensuring optimum comfort levels all year round, the Unico System also had to meet a number of other specification criteria including low operational noise with minimal disturbance in the reception area, even temperatures and freedom from draughts as well as being a visually unobtrusive installation.

Cooled or heated air is delivered into the reception area through flexible supply tubing which culminates in thirty discreet small round outlets spaced equally across the reception ceiling.

The flow of air through the supply tubing and into the reception through the outlets generates minimal noise thanks to a sound attenuating construction with its nylon tube core wrapped with insulation which also helps to reduce thermal losses. With aspiration technology, once the heated or cooled air enters the space at high velocity it creates a draught free, even environment with minimal temperature fluctuations.

The system is controlled through a standard Daikin thermostatic control which is linked to the control box. “ Multiple traditional air conditioning units would have been a totally impractical solution, because of the number of units needed and the space required to mount them. The Daikin Altherma 3 Monobloc Air Source Heat Pump does not require an indoor unit ,” says Darren.

The installation was completed by Air Craft with minimal disruption in the day to day operation of the reception area. Following rigorous testing it was fully operational in time for the NSBRC’s series of open days in May 2022.

Improve indoor air quality with the Unico System

Unico & Mid Devon Case Study Icons

Residential Renovation

Residential Renovation

A core heating and cooling solution for a residential renovation

Aircraft - Renovation Kitchen Case Study

Installation background

  • Installation Date: Spring 2022
  • Property Type: Renovation of 1990s four bedroom detached family home in Dorset. Unico provides heating and cooling to first floor
  • Unico System: 1218BL1 Blower Module, Variable Speed EC motor, 1218 CL1 Heat Pump Coil
  • Energy Source: Daikin Altherma Low Temperature Split Air Source Heat Pump
  • Controls: Nest Home Automation System and Pro Learning thermostat
  • Additional Technology: Underfloor Heating System to ground floor, intelligent hot water tank for precise hot water delivery, energy saving battery storage utilising low cost overnight tariffs

Discreet climate control

Aircraft Renovation bedroom outlet
Unico - Aircraft Renovation bedroom 1
Unico - Aircraft Renovation bedroom 2

Solution

The specification of Unico System for the installation has demonstrated how this technology can form the core heating and cooling solution for a home renovation project based on renewable heat pump technology.
The property has undergone a complete renovation. Energy saving loft and cavity wall insulation was already installed and the owners wished to dispense with the ageing gas boiler, microbore pipework and wall hung radiators. These were to be replaced with a new system featuring renewables and electricity only. With the expectation of higher temperatures and hotter, less comfortable nights in the years to come, investment in an all in one system that can use renewable energy for heating, cooling, ventilation and indoor air quality throughout the year was the ideal solution.

The compatibility of the system with renewables was essential and a Daikin Altherma Low Temperature Split Air Source Heat Pump was selected as the matching energy source. The heat pump is linked to the space saving horizontal Unico 1218 Air Handling Unit situated in the loft and features variable fan speed motor, a Smart Control Board for precise airflow control and a Heat Pump Coil module. The main central duct connects to the air handling unit, feeds the flexible supply duct tubing before emitting conditioned air into the bedrooms through discreet round ceiling outlets.

To further maximise the energy efficiency of the installation, battery storage technology, running on low cost overnight tarrifs, stores electricity for lighter duty appliance power consumption during the day. To meet hot water demand precisely and exactly on time, an intelligent hot water tank has been installed.

The Unico System features air filtration to remove larger particulate from the indoor air. For additional continuous protection from airborne viruses and bacteria, complementary bi-polar ionisation technology has also been specified.

Space saving roof space installation

Aircraft Renovation loft space v2

Advantages

  • All year round heating and cooling solution
  • Convenient use of the loft space for the compact air handler, ductwork and flexible supply tubing is a key in retrofit renovation projects
  • Lightweight modular ductwork promotes safe, easy handling and time savings during installation
  • The air handler isolates noise and vibration with sound deadening insulation, allowing installation immediately above the main bedroom with no risk of noise disruption
  • The flow of air through the supply tubing and into the room through the ceiling outlets generates minimal noise
  • Wall space freed up with the removal of radiators
  • Once heated or cooled air enters the bedroom it creates a draught free, even environment with minimal temperature fluctuations
  • Removes 30% more humidity from the air compared with conventional heating and air conditioning systems, improving air quality and preventing the formation of damp and mould

Improve indoor air quality with the Unico System

Unico & Mid Devon Case Study Icons

UNICO Overview brochure available for download

unico system logo
UNICO overview Brochure Download

Our new UNICO overview brochure is now available for download. This is a brief introduction in to the UNICO System and how it is set to transform the way we HEAT and COOL our homes whilst helping to improve air quality and the environment.

UK home owners can now enjoy all year-round superior climate-control and comfort delivered by the discrete UNICO small bore system.

This brochure introduces the system and how it works and how to select the best system according to your life style and budget.

To download the brochure, clicking here or go to our Technical Information section and select Datasheets to view this brochure and other PDFs available for you to download.

New UK UNICO Website Goes Live

unico system logo
News Unico website home1

The new UK UNICO System website is now live

UNICO have now launched the new UK website in partnership Bell Plumbing Supplies. The new site is a comprehensive overview of the Unico technology and a complete resource for installers and partners.

News Unico website datasheet

The site covers completed installations showing the benefits together with components, technical information, data sheets and training.

Unico products are designed for both commercial and residential applications in both the new build, self-build and retrofit markets.

All UNICO products provide superior heating and cooling for all year-round climate control. The UNICO System provides a complete stand-alone solution but due to its modular design and construction it can also compliment alternative products such as underfloor heating.

Unico Training Workshop proves to be a success

Elements Training Logo
Unico System Workshop
Unico System Workshop

The initial Unico training workshop at Elements Training proved to be a great success.

Congratulations to all those who attending the first Unico System training workshop held at the ETA facility in Stourbridge.

Elements Training & Assessment provide all the necessary training courses for Plumbing and Heating Engineers with their first class facilities. Customers range from small local firms right through to large energy companies employing engineers across the UK.

Highly trained BPEC certified staff offer constantly updated training, keeping engineers one step ahead in this ever-evolving industry.

ETA work with a number of leading manufacturers such as Worcester Bosch, Viessmann Commercial, Honeywell and Ariston and can provide all the training required to fit the Unico System.

Fifteen Restaurant Cornwall

Fifteen Restaurant Cornwall

Superior Comfort

Unico System fifteen Restaurant

Benefits

  • Even, draft-free temperatures
  • Quiet operation
  • Zone control options
  • Discreet supply outlets
  • Flexible design and installation

“If there were a Michelin rating for comfort, the Unico System would undoubtedly receive 3 stars”.

Jamie Oliver, of Britain’s Channel 4 documentary series “Jamie’s Kitchen”, began the Fifteen restaurant brand in 2002 with a flagship location in London. The name is derived from the celebrity chef’s apprenticeship program of training fifteen disadvantaged youth in the culinary arts and service management industries.

Unico System Fifteen Restaurant
Unico System Fifteen Restaurant Interior

Overview

Fifteen in Cornwall overlooks the beach at Watergate Bay on the north coast of the county of Cornwall, UK. The restaurant offers slick, traditional Italian cuisine with a Cornish twist. The location features a high, open ceiling design and casual-chic interior with murals of pastel-colored surf scenes adorning the walls.

The developers of the property were determined to create a visual style for this new location as unique as that of Mr. Oliver’s approach to food. While adamantly determined not to copy the “faux-industrial” look of exposed metal ducting that has become so common in commercial locales, they were committed to adding a heating and cooling system that could deliver superior comfort as well as disappear into the background.

To meet these challenges, they turned to the Unico System.

Strategy

The very features that make the Unico System attractive to the old home and custom home residential markets make it an optimal choice for commercial-built applications as well. The modular air handling equipment, smaller main trunk ducting and flexible supply ducting allow it to fit where conventional heating and cooling systems simply cannot.

Air handlers and the main ducting were situated outside of the main dining area and Unico System supply tubes were snaked through the sloped ceiling’s cavities to discharge conditioned air from the high side walls. The versatility of the Unico System’s terminating outlets allow it to fit seamlessly into Fifteen’s open design. Available in a slotted, 1-inch x 8-inch configuration, this version was chosen over the round 2-inch inner diameter option as it better blended with the interior’s distinctive murals.

Air distribution with the Unico System provides two additional benefits. Conditioned air gently circulates within the room’s existing air currents, eliminating the drafts that often create guest discomfort in restaurants. This gentle mixing also eliminates the phenomena of stratification (that is, alternating hot and cold spots) associated with conventional forced air systems, instead maintaining even temperatures throughout the dining room.

Results

Not only does the Unico System practically disappear within the interior design of Fifteen, but guests and staff alike are kept comfortable during the ever-changing seaside weather. Kitchens can be frightfully hot places in which to work but, due to the open design plan and the superiority of the Unico System’s air delivery method, staff have remarked that Fifteen’s kitchen is the most comfortable they’ve ever experienced.

On the other hand, with hard-to-see visual evidence, no drafts and even temperatures, guests are hardly aware of the heating and cooling system and are not distracted from enjoying a wonderful, healthy meal in a beautiful setting.

If there were a Michelin rating for comfort, the Unico System would undoubtedly receive 3 stars.

Introducing the Unico Twist Fit System

Unico Twist Fit logo

Introducing the unico twist fit system – now available for 2″ flexible supply tubing it’s here… the unico twist fit system™ is now *available for 2″ (51mm) flexible supply tubing.

The new supply duct connection system reduces the steps and time involved in the installation process.

REDUCE SUPPLY TUBE INSTALLATION TIME BY AS MUCH AS 50%!

Consisting of lock-and-release tabs making it easier and faster to assemble, Twist-Fit couplings are attached to lengths of sound attenuator or standard supply tubing by threading the base of the coupling into the inner core of the tubing. The internal insulation and outer mylar jacket of the supply tubing are then tucked into the rim of the Twist-Fit and the connection is secured with UL-181B foil tape.

Matching Twist-Fit couplings are attached to the desired plenum take-offs, outlet registers, or additional lengths of supply tubing. To make a connection, simply line up the tabs to their corresponding slots and twist clockwise until a click is heard. At least one Twist-Fit connector must have a gasket to prevent leakage.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Lock-and-release tabs for easy assembly
  • Couplings attached to tubing at the factory
  • Change outlet faceplates in a snap
  • Compatible with high velocity products
  • Simplified parts list for ordering ease

Easy Hotel Climate Control

Easy Hotel Climate Control

Commercial Climate Control

Unico System Easy Hotel

Benefits

  • Even, draft-free temperatures
  • Quite operation
  • Zone control options
  • Discreet supply outlets
  • Flexible design and installation
  • Ventilation, heating and cooling

“Simple comfort, great value” might easily extend itself to the Unico System as well.”.

John Hearn, Head of Property Development for the easyHotel on Old Street in Barbican, had a problem: “The existing conventional ducted air systems were not able to accurately control temperature and we started getting complaints from our guests.” Quite a problem, indeed, when your motto is ‘’simple comfort, great value.”

Unico System easyhotel
Unico System easyhotel

Overview

easyHotel Group positions its properties as “super budget hotels,” maintaining inexpensive room rates by asking guests to sacrifice a little luxury space by offering smaller-sized rooms. easyHotels offer no frills – no on-site restaurants, bars, gyms, business centers or the like – allowing management and staff to focus on the maintenance and cleanliness of their utilitarian-yet-elegant accommodations.

Indoor climate control is a key factor to guest comfort. Two of easyHotel’s London locations, the flagship hotel in South Kensington and the Old Street site, use the Unico System to supply heating and cooling to their guests. The Unico System’s small duct attributes are especially suited to the budget hotel chain’s needs.

Strategy

Smaller rooms means smaller areas in which to house mechanical systems. In contrast to the bulky, rigid ducting required by conventional indoor systems, the Unico System’s main trunk line takes up one-third the space of traditional systems and its flexible 2-inch inner diameter supply tubing snakes through wall cavities, allowing conditioned air to be delivered specifically where it’s needed. Additionally, round Unico System outlets are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing and less noticeable than conventional grilles. They deliver quiet, draft-free indoor comfort – the guests don’t even know that they are there.

After a thorough evaluation of the Barbican site, installing contractor KBS Services removed the existing air handling, condensing units and controls and replaced them with eight Unico Systems with zone control to deliver indoor comfort to the hotel’s three floors and 95 rooms.

Similarly, the Unico System’s low profile made it the optimal choice for the concern’s first London venture in Kensington. The hotel in Lexham Gardens features 34 rooms within 5 floors of a converted row house, and installer HVAC Group of London recommended the Unico System specifically due to its smaller size and ability to provide superior comfort.

Results

easyHotel South Kensington’s Roger Powell states, “We needed the best for our customers within very tight budgets. The Unico System has given us just that – the best comfort solution and real cost savings over conventional systems.” The use of heat pump technology coupled with the Unico Systems’ long life expectancy also provides significant life-cost savings. Adds Mr. Powell, “The system also gave us the ability to ventilate effectively without employing a separate system” further reducing costs.

At the Old Street location, Mr. Hearn notes that the complete reconfiguration of control strategy through new thermostats and multiple temperature sensors “allows zone temperatures to be controlled by hotel management and [we] typically maintain a constant temperature of 72°F in each room” completely eliminating guest complaints.

“Simple comfort, great value” might easily extend itself to the Unico System as well.