The office space at The Corniche building in Lambeth, London, has recently undergone a substantial refurbishment that includes an entirely new Building Management System (BMS). The new platform includes multiple Distech Controls products including the innovative ECLYPSE Connected Terminal Unit Controllers (ECY-TU/PTU), which were used to connect to the buildings new fan coil units.

As part of the building’s full refurbishment, the M+E contractor specified a new BMS to improve overall efficiency and controllability. Each floor of the building was to have a different leased tenant and it was critical that they would be able to set their own HVAC parameters. This required that the new BMS solution had to be both flexible and adaptable. Energy & Technical Services worked closely with the M+E contractor to ensure the right platform was installed to meet the requirements in terms of operation and cost.

Paul Martin, senior technical consultant at Energy & Technical Services, comments, “When we read through the specification, we noticed that it specified that the BMS had to be open and use the BACnet protocol. We suggested utilising Distech Controls products as they would provide the flexibility and controllability the end user required. I have undertaken Distech Controls training previously and knew they would work perfectly in this situation.”

Once the specification and the products were determined, the next challenge came into sight as Paul explains, “Just as we were going to begin work on this project the world went into lockdown, and we needed to re-evaluate how we could supply and install the product as gaining access to the site was a problem. We have been working on a project in Norway that involves utilising a plug-and-play system that is being engineered in the UK and delivered to site. This gave us the idea for how we could achieve the same result on this project.”

Distech Controls worked with Energy & Technical Services to deliver the products to their offices, allowing them to set up and commission the ECLYPSE Connected Terminal Unit Controllers (ECY-TU/PTU) remotely.

The ECY-TU/PTU unit is designed to control terminal units such as fan coil units, chilled beams, ceilings, and heat pumps. It integrates a control, automation and connectivity server, a power supply, and dedicated I/Os in one convenient package. Each model supports BACnet/IP communication and is listed as a BACnet Building Controller (B-BC). On this project, the ECY-TU/PTUs are connected to 48 fan coil units.

Energy & Technical Services Ltd removed the ECY-TU/PTU straight out of the box and was able to configure the pre-loaded application at their own offices and then download to all the units using Distech Controls’ unique ‘QR code addressing system’ and ‘Network Utility Companion App”. The team used cat 6 cables to daisy-chain batches of 10 PTUs all networked, commissioned and ready-to-go.

Energy & Technical Services then delivered the products to the electrical installer who was able to attend safely onsite armed with a controller that was ready to work right out of the box.

Paul continues, “We trained the installers how to use the Distech Controls QR codes and they were able to install all the products safely and correctly. Once we are out of lockdown, we will be able to run a demo for the end user, but other than that the system is fully up and running. This whole project demonstrates how we can work in different ways to achieve the same result. Distech Controls has helped us think smarter about this installation.”

It is not just the installation process that demonstrates the ease of use and innovative aspects of the Distech Controls solution, the on-going maintenance and control showcases just how smart the system can be. For Energy & Technical Services utilising the ECY-TU/PTU controllers meant that they were able to pass on future control and maintenance to the client with minimal training. With these controllers, the end-user team simply need to download an app and they are in control. It allows them to monitor and adjust the water and air flow when required as well as continue regular maintenance with less disruption and expensive call outs.

“It allows us to work smarter,” says Paul. “For the client, it gives them control over their building and confidence that their team can manage maintenance and resolve any issues that may arise. For us, it means we can provide a day’s training on the system and hand the building over, allowing us to concentrate on our future work and delivering more successful projects. Before this project, I hadn’t picked up a Distech Controls product for around three years, but the company makes it so easy, I was able to use the solution and train others. It is all about smart control and developing smart buildings that are future-proof, this is our goal as a company and Distech Controls products help us do that.”