Global drinks brand innocent is on a mission to change the perception people have of factories and the issue of sustainability. The company has designed a new building called ‘The Blender’ in the Netherlands, which is a carbon-neutral factory run on 100% renewable energy from the grid as well as on-site solar panels and will be using energy from on-site wind turbines from the end of 2024. The new factory has a sophisticated HVAC Control system installed by Warrington-based system integrator eco-i, which features a range of Distech Controls products to provide occupancy comfort and energy efficiencies whilst helping innocent on their carbon neutrality journey.

With The Blender, innocent will be able to manufacture its entire line of beverages under one roof and will be a step closer to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2025.

eco-i was appointed to design, supply and commission an HVAC control system for 12 air handling units and 85 fan coil units, which needed to be connected to a site-wide smart building management system (BMS) which links all of the factory’s HVAC, power, refrigeration, production and despatch in one platform.

“The project had unique challenges,” comments Chris Roscoe, Sales Director at eco-i. “Construction of the factory started during Brexit and continued throughout the pandemic. We worked closely with the client’s team to ensure the high specification was met throughout the project and overcome the unique challenges.”

Leveraging the BACnet communication protocol, the factory’s BMS features the innovative Distech Controls ECLYPSE Connected System Controller, which is ideal for central plant and mechanical equipment control. It is modular and scalable, to effectively address any HVAC application and offers up to 320 points.

eco-i also selected the Distech Controls HORYZON-C interface for the project. It is installed within the engineers’ room and offers an easy-to-use occupant interface, leveraging pre-loaded visuals for simplified commissioning, operations and troubleshooting.

“Ensuring rigorous testing was critical to delivering this project under these difficult conditions,” comments David Morrison operations director at eco-i. “We carried out pre-despatch commissioning of the control panels, including a full client acceptance test, utilising the fully customised user experience with ENVYSION web pages and then despatched them to the Netherlands for a local electrical contractor to install.”

Each control panel was provided with Wi-Fi access points and extensive software logic was created including web graphics to allow the air and water balancing to be completed on-site without the need for BMS engineer attendance.

Within the office space, 85 Distech Controls ECY-PTU-208 controllers have been installed. The all-in-one controller combines power supply, server and targeted IO types for simplified wiring and installation. Each model supports BACnet/IP communication and is listed as a BACnet Building Controller (B-BC). eco-i pre-loaded, addressed and pre-commissioned software to each FCU controller prior to despatch to allow site commissioning to take place.

The office fan coil units are further complemented by the elegant and intuitive Allure UNITOUCH room device that allows users to control temperature, lighting, fan speed and sunblinds from an attractive-looking device. The ECO-Vue leaf pattern included on the occupant interface graphically indicates energy consumption in real time to promote an occupant’s energy-conscious behaviour. These devices also have the ability to connect to staff mobiles and tablets for remote comfort management.

David concludes, “During the project, our commissioning team attended the site to carry out pre-commissioning visits and then final commissioning visits. We were confident in the Distech Controls products and knew that we could pre-commission both the products and the software and then send them to the installer in Holland to install. It was vital that we had that peace of mind to complete the project. The products all work perfectly, and the client is delighted with the finished result. It is great to know our work is helping innocent in its quest for sustainability.”