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Passivent Airs Unique Library Facility


Published by Angela May for Passivent Ltd in Local Government and also in Environment

passivent ventilation in huntingdon library passivent ventilation in huntingdon library

A new library and archive complex heralded as being the first of its kind in the country is achieving the correct ambient conditions for both users and contents with help from Passivent.


Huntingdon Library & Archive Centre, developed by Cambridgeshire County Council at a cost of £4.6m, brings both facilities under one roof and gives 50% more space than the previous library. It is the first archive collection in the UK to be managed by barcode. The facility’s uniqueness extends through to its ventilation- primarily Passivent natural ‘passive stack’, utilizing the company’s latest innovation, iWAC, or intelligent window actuator controllers, which are helping the building achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.


The Passivent passive stack concept harness natural air movement –convection, where warm air rises, and the venturi effect whereby air at higher levels moves more quickly, drawing the internal air out of the building through roof terminals. Passivent ventilation reduces energy consumption over air conditioned buildings by up to 50%, yield 15% savings on capital costs, 75% savings on maintenance costs, and eliminate the need for a separate plant room: in one installation the Passivent system is being calculated at reducing energy demand by up to 80%!



At Huntingdon Library, almost 100 LM300 chain window actuators automatically open and close low level windows, singly or synchronized, according to internal air temperature and quality, to draw fresh air into the central atrium and ensure a constant, comfortable 24°C. Passivent Aircool insulated louvres help transfer the air round the building, with the warm, ‘used’ air being extracted by high level Passivent Aircool wall units. In the community room and IT suite, Passivent Airscoops channel wind from any direction down through the units’ windward chambers into the building, and exhaust warm, “used” air out through the leeward chambers, giving continuous gentle movement of air.


The entire system is managed by Passivent’s 12 zone temperature and CO2 controller, which enables ventilation throughout the building to be minutely adjusted to attain the ‘perfect’ internal ambient conditions, and optimize energy efficiency.


A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council explained, “Core objectives of the Council are to enable people to thrive, and to manage the challenges of climate change and enhance the natural environment. The new Library & Archive Centre is leading the field is helping meet both of those objectives, whilst demonstrating our commitment to preserving our written heritage for future generations.”


Passivent is a founder member of the NatVent EC/EU-funded project co-ordinated by the Building Research Establishment to develop practical natural ventilation solutions for the commercial sector, and is developing “smart” solutions to promote adoption of natural ventilation. The company is the UK’s leading designer and supplier of natural ventilation systems for both domestic and commercial applications. The company has contributed to the BSRIA guide BG2/2005 Wind Driven Natural Ventilation Systems, as well as being a member of the DSCF steering committee on ventilation guidance for schools, Building Bulletin 101.


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