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Waterloo helps boost MMU’s green credentials

Waterloo Air Products plc is meeting the air distribution requirements of Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) £75m Business School and Student Hub.

Waterloo’s perforated face diffusers, airline linear grilles, louvre faced diffusers and over 1,273 floor swirl diffusers have been used extensively throughout the award winning building.


The 20,000sqm jewel-shaped building along the Mancunian Way comprises three separate administration and teaching blocks ranging in height from four to eight storeys which are linked by two full-height atria. At the upper levels, bridges connect the blocks, providing additional teaching and break-out spaces.

Sustainability was a major criteria and is reflected in the design, which ensures as much natural daylight as possible enters the building. Solar panels are widely used along with heat pumps and a water harvesting system enabling rain water to be recycled.

The internal environment and comfort of the building’s occupants were addressed using a low energy solution that adhered to sustainability requirements.

The building’s cooling and heating requirements are met using a controlled ventilation system whereby free cooling is achieved for most of the year using displacement ventilation and integrated slab cooling.
“Building regulations are increasingly influencing building design as well as encouraging increased efficiencies,” says Rick Edmondson, Chairman of Waterloo.

“Architects are favouring more natural ventilation solutions and the effectiveness of a well-controlled internal environment can be determined by the correct specification of the appropriate air terminal devices.”

Waterloo’s air terminal distribution systems feature throughout the building combining functionality with aesthetic requirements to ensure that air supplied into the environment causes no discomfort to the building’s occupants.

Using an extensive range of two-way and four-way perforated face diffusers, particularly suitable where there are high air change rates and high cooling differentials, Aircell polymer floor diffusers, linear grilles and louvred face diffusers has resulted in a very effective ventilation system that is helping MMU to meet its energy saving targets. (Energy usage at all MMU sites is monitored via a university-wide scheme whereby data is evaluated and best practice shared).

MMU was named in 2013 as one of the most environmentally sustainable academic buildings in the UK by People and Planet.

The MMU business school is part of the university’s campus consolidation programme to reduce the number of sites from seven to two and to significantly boost its green credentials. MMU is looking at a 35% reduction in carbon by 2016 and 50% by 2021.

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