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Article Date: 17th June 2016

Gilberts Supports Liverpool’s ‘Premier League’ Bid & Delivers Added Value

Exhibition Centre Liverpool - Air Movement Systems - Natural Ventilation

Gilberts - Exhibition Centre Liverpool

Liverpool is aiming to move into the ‘Premier League’ in exhibition venues, supported by local engineering excellence and expertise.

The new £66m Exhibition Centre Liverpool, built by ISG, is Europe’s only purpose-built inter-connecting Arena, Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre, providing 8,100m² of space in a complex that also includes the new four-star hotel Pullman Liverpool. Bob Pattey, chief executive of the ACC Liverpool, says "In football terms, it ill be like going from the Championship to the Premier League."

The vast space will remain airy and fresh, thanks to the expertise of Gilberts Blackpool, utilised by building services contractor Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services, from its northern regional team at Warrington.

Gilberts designed and supplied the air movement within the halls and main atrium, to ensure a comfortable environment is maintained throughout the halls and atrium, regardless of occupant capacity within and the weather outside. The air movement strategy further takes into account the impact of heat gain through the 135m long double-height fully glazed concourse, and the variation of height within the building- rising from 6m up to 9m.

"The Centre’s location, being partially south-facing, and the amount of glazing, meant it could potentially be a greenhouse!" observed Gilberts’ R&D manager Ian Leonard. "Our expertise in air movement, and our ability to computer model, meant we were able to run and test theories first, and ensure the air movement would deliver a comfortable environment in both the atrium and throughout the three halls.

"Originally, a double duct strategy was specified, with one set of ducts providing cooling and the other heating. We suggested a directional, single duct strategy, which delivered a better value solution- one of the project objectives! Even though it used components that were individually more expensive, it delivered significant savings to Briggs & Forrester and ISG as the overall amount of materials and labour was reduced."

The solution centres around Gilbert’s innovative DL drum louvres and GSJA/T patented thermal swirl diffusers with adjustable vanes on heating inset into a single run of ductwork at high level the full length of the atrium. When cooling, the louvres and diffusers work together so for cooling, they throw air out at high level to reduce the temperature in the rising warm air; when heating is required, the airflow is directed downwards.

To help satisfy all parties that the ventilation strategy would work, Gilberts’ technical team undertook CFD (computational fluid dynamic) modelling to ensure the selections provided would meet the required building ventilation.

The CFD results were analysed and discussed in depth with Briggs & Forrester, enabling finite adjustments to be made before installation began. Added Ian, "Our bespoke software enabled all options and variations to be effectively explored, tried and tested before actual installation, so the client could rest assured the end result would deliver. We ran several sets of tests, as discussions progressed, to ensure all eventualities and concerns raised by the client were addressed."

Gilberts’ drum louvres were purpose developed to distribute air efficiently through large open buildings, from auditoria to factories. Each drum louvre handles up to 675l/s, providing a long, powerful throw of air into the space. The GSJA/T swirl diffusers help mix the incoming air into the internal atmosphere. Innovatively, the GSJA/T features linked adjustable blades within the circular housing, which provide a variable horizontal to vertical throw pattern without the need for actuators or controls.

All Gilberts’ systems are engineered to order, in the UK. Founded over 55 years ago, privately owned Gilberts is unique in having its own, on-site (85,000ft²) manufacturing facility, producing engineered solutions, with an in-house test centre.

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