British American Tobacco is an international tobacco company with more than 200 brands sold in over 200 markets worldwide. Established in 1902, the business has more than 1,000 leaf technicians supporting some 90,000 contracted farmers worldwide and employs more than 50,000 people, with many more indirectly employed through its supply chain.
The maintenance for British American Tobacco's European headquarters at Globe House in Temple Gardens, London, was contracted to Johnson Controls Global Workplace Solutions (GWS), which has since been acquired by CBRE. An annual maintenance survey by GWS revealed that the premises' cooling equipment was ageing and unreliable and that the chillers were in a poor state of repair.
Johnson Controls was engaged through GWS to replace the cooling equipment at Globe House, which was located in a plant room on the eighth floor roof. The old chiller was encased in steel framework with limited space to work, which would have required road closures and incurred considerable cranage costs. However, the equipment, including compressors weighing up to two tonnes, were dismantled onsite in the plant room and carried down in sections by Johnson Controls owned company Preston Compressors of Sutton Coldfield.
Johnson Controls supplied and built new chillers that were lighter than and designed to fit within the exact footprint of the old equipment. All the major components were replaced, with Johnson Controls equipment including 16 condenser coils, 12 scroll compressors, two electrical control panels, two electronic expansion valves, six certified pressure relief vales, 12 electrically rewound condenser fans, with new bearings, surrounding ductwork, insulation to pipework and evaporator tube, supporting framework steelwork struts and aluminium support plates, wiring looms, two electronic variable speed drives and high voltage extension cables for each chiller.
Johnson Controls delivered energy efficient YORK YLAA chillers that utilise scroll compressor technology to regulate the chillers so that they work only as and when needed. The YORK YLAA chillers limit the amount of refrigerant emitted into the atmosphere and minimise power plant CO2 emissions. They use HFC-410A refrigerant, which has zero ozone depletion potential and no phase-out date, and microchannel condensers and brazed plate heat exchangers enable the refrigerant charge to be substantially reduced. YORK YLAA chillers also reduce utility CO2 emissions with intelligent controls that turn off unnecessary compressors and cycle the condenser fans for maximum energy efficiency, making them smart and connected and future proofing the building's cooling requirements.
Following the first phase of the project, which began in 2014 and took 26 weeks, the first machine installed impressed British American Tobacco with its operational efficiency while cooling the entire building, and maintained climate control throughout phases 2 and 3.
Following phase 1 and the sale of GWS to facilities management service provider CBRE, Johnson Controls was informed that CBRE had its own preferred contractor to undertake not only planned preventative maintenance, but also mechanical upgrades and project work. However, British American Tobacco was highly impressed with the first phase of the upgrade project and, after weeks of negotiations with CBRE, British American Tobacco instructed CBRE to issue Johnson Controls with an instruction to proceed with the phase 2 and phase 3 upgrades.
The estimated saving on running costs of approximately £12-15,000 per month should mean that British American Tobacco will receive a return on its investment in three and a half years.