The Space Centre – Reducing Costs and Improving Sensory Experience

Space Centre Preston Heating & Cooling System

The Space Centre Preston

Initial Challenge

The Space Centre in Preston exists to provide a place where those with physical, learning and emotional difficulties can more easily acquire skills and enjoy experiences usually denied to them.

GOS Heating worked closely with The Space Centre and found that the temperature of the room can be used to enhance the experience in the rooms. On inspection it was found that the equipment was obsolete, expensive to run, supplied unfiltered fresh and recirculated air and room temperatures were uncontrollable for heating and cooling.


Various options were considered for installing different systems, including just fresh air, fresh air and extract and fresh air extract air complete with a cooling DX (direct expansion) system.

Several designs were put forward to the client and after the review process went with the best option of introducing full room control with both heating and cooling capabilities all controlled by an open protocol Building Management System (BMS). All the controls are displayed on a 10 inch informative touch screen showing all plant conditions and allowing for temperature and air changes. The function of air changes became apparent when the client explained that some groups like the room to be as quiet as possible with very little activity, and some other groups are a lot more active which involves a cooler room with increased air changes, ensuring better atmospheric conditions.

The Project

The original system that was installed was a direct gas fired heating system connected to ventilation duct work, within the sensory room were 3 split air conditioner systems totalling 30 Kw of cooling, the installation had to be carried out while still using the original duct work as this would of caused disruption to the room and would of increased the cost above the project budget. We looked at the design parameters and the space that we had to work with, this was all measured up and a new AHU (air handling unit) was specified to allow for 6 air changes per hour. The unit was installed within the plant room using the existing support lowering the height of the floor by 150mm. This allowed us to install the unit and connect the supply duct work to the existing entry points, variable speed control was installed to control both the supply and extract fans the control of the room temperature and air volume was configured in a way that utilised as much of the room’s extracted heat (in winter) and cooling (in summer) while still controlling the rooms fresh air input. Installing the DX unit within the AHU mean that the control would not allow for the heating and cooling systems to be operated at the same time saving a considerable amount of energy. The control of the room is all displayed on a touch interface showing all plant conditions this was designed with the client in mind.  The controller that was installed is an open protocol system allowing any modifications to be carried out using the freely available software having no licence fee or service charge.


After the installation was complete the system was demonstrated to the client. A key objective of the client was the ability to be able to change the sensory rooms atmosphere between sessions. The client was delighted with the fact that they now control the rooms temperature from one source of control and not 2 separate systems that potentially were fighting each other to control the rooms temperature.

The Space Centre has made considerable savings and can now also enhance visitor’s sensory experience as the room temperate can be easily controlled and so colder or hot climates can be simulated to support the visual experience.

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