Helimed House is Flying High as EAAA Headquarters Wins CIBSE East Anglia Awards Project of the Year

Breathing Buildings is delighted that East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) charity headquarters, Helimed House, has won Project of the Year at this year’s CIBSE East Anglia Awards. This follows hot on the heels of Breathing Buildings celebrating winning the Collaboration of the Year category at the HVR Awards for the same project a week earlier. At the HVR Awards the company scooped the accolade for its collaboration with EAAA and the project team to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and the working environment at EAAA’s new headquarters. At the CIBSE East Anglia Awards Helimed House was recognised once again for its merit with the project team presented the award at the Region’s Annual Dinner held at the University Arms, Cambridge on 7th October.

The award was presented by Laura Mansel-Thomas of Ingleton Wood the Awards sponsors to Paul Bird of Johns Slater and Haward, the Senior Mechanical Engineer for the project. The EAAA headquarters was entered into the CIBSE East Anglia Awards by M&E consultants Johns Slater and Haward a key member of the project team. The CIBSE East Anglia Awards: Project of the Year category recognises a notable improvement of mechanical and electrical services on a building’s overall performance either in energy use or end-user satisfaction. The judges look for solutions that push the boundaries, either through developments in conventional approaches or the use of novel methods or technology with merit given to projects that seek an integrated design approach. Collaboration at all levels must also be demonstrated throughout the project.

Louise McHugh, Operations Leader at Breathing Buildings commented: “We are delighted that EAAA’s new headquarters Helimed House has won the CIBSE East Anglia Awards Project of the Year. We are thrilled the project has been recognised again following winning the Collaboration of the Year award in the HVR Awards so recently! The whole project team worked closely together to achieve a sustainable building that also provided a good working environment. Our ventilation solution for EAAA provides good indoor air quality and good thermal comfort and ticks all the right boxes for a comfortable work environment for employees.”

Eric Benton, Project Director for Johns Slater and Haward said: “We are very pleased that Helimed House has won the Project of the Year at the CIBSE East Anglia Awards. We chose hybrid ventilation for this project as it provides good indoor air quality and comfortable internal temperatures without the need for mechanical cooling, thus reducing the energy use of the building. We had to thermally analyse the building and the resulting loads using dynamic thermal modelling and worked closely with the client, design team and Breathing Buildings to integrate the solution into the building. I believe what we have achieved will work well using the fresh natural Norfolk air to provide a good ventilation solution and maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year.”

East Anglian Air Ambulance CEO Matthew Jones commented: “It is great news that EAAA’s new headquarters Helimed House has been recognised again. Overall, we are pleased with the performance of Breathing Buildings’ hybrid ventilation system and the many benefits it has brought to Helimed House. There was an excellent collaboration by the project team which means we can now offer current and future employees a healthy, comfortable working environment – essential for attracting and retaining excellent people who can help us raise the required £17m every year to continue to deliver this essential emergency medical service and do the very best for every patient and their loved ones.”

A spokesperson from architects Feilden+Mawson said: “It’s fantastic to hear that the EAAA HQ has won the CIBSE East Anglia Awards Project of the Year! From inception through to completion and interior fit out the main objective was always to ensure we created an enjoyable, relaxing hub that could support the needs of the entire EAAA team as a whole, seeing the HQ providing this is absolutely wonderful. All members of the F+M team that have been a part of this project have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone involved and seeing it win another award is such an amazing reward for everyone’s hard work. Congratulations all!”

Helimed House ticked all the right boxes for the Project of the Year Award. With sustainability at its heart, the EAAA HQ project extended and largely rebuilt EAAA’s original facility at Norwich Airport as a base for their operations, including the Helicopter Emergency Medicine Service (HEMS), which was able to be extended to 24-hours per day, ground support, fundraising and training. Ventilation was an integral part of the project with Breathing Buildings collaborating with the team on the ventilation for the brand-new section of the building, which features Breathing Buildings’ NVHR 1100 natural ventilation with heat recycling units together with S1500L e-stack ventilation units.

Designed by architects Feilden+Mawson, the brief was to create a practical building that was a great place to work while being sustainable and it had to offer payback in terms of running costs. After working on some initial designs, they were joined by Johns Slater and Haward (M&E) and Canham Consulting (Structures and Civils) where they were able to drill into the detail. Having successfully used Breathing Buildings’ hybrid ventilation over a number of years in new build schools, it was the M&E Consultant Johns Slater and Haward who recommended Breathing Buildings’ hybrid ventilation system as the ideal solution to provide good IAQ and comfortable indoor temperatures using low energy solutions.

This ventilation solution was presented to EAAA who were keen to learn more. To do this they visited the Breathing Buildings factory in Soham along with the FM team, Architect and Project Manager. After seeing the evidence of its performance and benefits, EAAA gave the go ahead to proceed.

Breathing Buildings’ NVHR® offers energy efficient hybrid ventilation with almost 50% reduction in energy and so operating costs. NVHR® comprises both natural and mechanical ventilation. Allowing low-energy hybrid natural ventilation, even in buildings with limited facade and roof space, highly efficient mixing fans mitigate cold draughts in winter and provide a ventilation boost in summer. Fitted with external and internal temperature sensors and an intelligent controller, the system monitors conditions to create an ideal indoor environment, boosting both productivity and wellbeing. NVHR® optimises indoor air quality, comfort and efficiency by automatically switching between natural, hybrid and mechanical ventilation, maximising benefits.

The NVHR® hybrid ventilation system’s ultra-efficient facade-based mixing ventilation allows enhanced natural ventilation in deep plan spaces whilst making the most of internal heat gains to deliver superb thermal comfort and indoor air quality. Hybrid ventilation focuses on the vital balance of indoor air quality, thermal comfort and efficiency. The NVHR® tackles energy efficiency and environmental issues and provides excellent indoor air quality. This makes NVHR® ideal for a wide range of applications including schools and offices.

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