We Put the ‘Air’ in ‘Flair’

The Blackhorse Mills Case Study


We were approached by the upmarket, lifestyle brand, Blackhorse Mills in early 2020 for ventilation and air conditioning solutions specifically due to our individualistic process.

Contracted to implement systems in their restaurant and bar, our client’s concern was to ensure effective heating, cooling, and ventilation without compromising on the look and feel of the building.

Feasibility Study

Through our visit for our feasibility study, we found that both sites were on the ground floor of a newly constructed high-rise apartment building.

During the visit, we identified routes for ventilation and extraction, along with cooking extract routes, and the additional pipework routes for the air conditioning systems.

Fortunately, the building construction has adequate services routes to the roof. Initially, a concern, as it is a 16-storey building.

We advised that ventilation air in and out should be through the shopfront louvres – both, for function and aesthetic appeal.

Per our process, we ensured that during our visit, we were able to meet with the operator to get an idea of the finish and feel of the bar and restaurant as well as to identify the type of air conditioning system they want. We queried whether the units they required were to be concealed or on show and whether the ductwork was to be on display.

We then continued our discussions with the designers and architects to further our understanding of what the vision for the building may be, and our role in it. Of course, our role extends to coordination with the catering contractor, the electrical contractors, and the shopfitters so that our HVAC services align with all involved parties.

We then moved on to the initial design feasibility for this project.

Design Feasibility

The restaurant and bar for Blackhorse Mills attract both, public and residential clientele. For this, we had to consider the thermal characteristics of the building, such as the height of space, and the projected number of people making use of the facilities at peak times.

Our evaluation looks not only at high-occupancy but also at energy-saving initiatives at lower occupancy rates. We thus sized the heating and cooling loads accordingly per the calculation of air volume based on supply-and-demand of occupancy.


Through our factors of nuisance procedure, we understood that our client would like to ensure that the HVAC systems do not create a noise problem for the customers of the restaurant and bar. We also considered the comfort for neighbours and residents of the apartment building.

As the kitchen requires extraction fans and ductwork, our nuisance procedure further factored in aspects such as odours in addition to the noise – and we worked this into our proposal by suggesting roof installations to discharge the kitchen extraction.

Unit selection

For the restaurant, we selected direct expansion air conditioning systems to all front of house and kitchen areas. Heat recovery is through fresh air supply or extract ventilation and specific toilet and kitchen extract systems.

For the bar, we suggested a similar set-up.

Design proposal and specification

We submitted our design proposal in March 2020.

Our design proposal and costs were accepted by the client which meant we could go ahead with the full design specification.

Our in-house team then set to work on producing the various HVAC construction drawings and equipment specifications. We collated all the necessary documents for approval and only after sign-off from all parties involved, did we begin the installation phase.


Installation works began in Spring 2021.

Since then, we’ve been continuing the installation and maintenance of all air conditioning fan coils and pipework as well as the manufacture and installation of ductwork and insulation.

The nature of the building meant that we had to carefully coordinate high-level access through the 16-storey building via communal residential areas for roof access for the plant equipment.

Upon completion of the installation, we began our rigorous testing of airflows, air temperatures, electrical characteristics, etc.

Finally, we issued a full service operating and maintenance instruction day with the operator of the site to ensure they are fully aware of the day-to-day operation of their newly installed heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems throughout the premises.

Continued support  

We offered a full ongoing maintenance package for our client’s peace of mind, and we offer continued support per our agreement.