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Wantage Care Home

Case Study

Project Overview

Calmec recently completed a full heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) project at a care home in Wantage. This luxury care home has been built on a thriving new housing development located near the fields of Kingsgrove. With its high design philosophy and the environment, the residents will be able to live a comfortable retirement.   

 The new building contains 68 bedrooms with associated communal living areas, a café, kitchen, laundry, hair salon, cinema and office spaces. We were asked to install a comprehensive HVAC system that would be energy-efficient and ensure a comfortable environment for the residents at all times.  

 While designing the system, we had to ensure that every aspect complied with various regulations, so we worked closely with the client to understand the space we were working with and the surrounding areas.

Proposed Solution

We designed a solution that included four parts and culminated in rigorous testing and commissioning.  

Starting with the kitchen, we looked to supply a kitchen canopy with fans and fire-rated ductwork.  

To ensure temperature control and comfort year-round, we recommended Toshiba VRV air conditioning systems on each floor in the communal areas.  

We were also tasked to install a ventilation system that would maintain high air quality and ensure fresh air circulated through the home. For this, we proposed Nu-aire extractor fans in all ensuites and changing rooms. On top of this, we suggested mechanical ventilation with heat recovery in all the rooms that were unable to be naturally ventilated and MVHR equipment for communal areas, which allows fresh air to be brought into rooms while extracting air. 


Having worked closely with the client throughout the design process, we were confident we had an appropriate solution. The manufacturing and installation were split into four different parts of the project.


The implementation process started with manufacturing the kitchen canopy and fire-rated ductwork in our in-house factory, allowing greater speed and accuracy onsite.

The canopy was then installed and now provides a cooking facility with fresh air directly blown downwards, all the while extracting cooking fumes.

The canopy included fans (S&P TCBBX2/TCBTX2), which are made from galvanised sheet steel, fitted with two aluminium contra-rotating fans to provide desired air changes, which, along with a heater coil on the supply duct, tempers the air +12°C from the outside.

These IP65 fans also have a motor which is equipped with thermal protection for safety purposes. They were also fitted with fan speed controllers to adjust the fan speed, which allows the client to easily amend the settings to best suit the working conditions.

Compliance is always at the forefront of our work. The Firemac wrapped duct installed in the kitchen was tested to BS 476: Part 24 1987 and EN 1366: Parts 1,8 &9.


To provide heating and cooling throughout the home, we installed a Toshiba VRV system on each floor.

The communal rooms were fitted with individual split systems, with the entire HVAC system supplied and installed to meet several relevant regulations.

Firstly, all air conditioning systems meet F-gas regulations.

Secondly, we ensured that we facilitated a certification for EPC, which has become a lawful act for larger buildings with habitable space of more than 500m2 – this was a major consideration at the design stage and had a large impact on the system that was recommended and installed.

We also needed to ensure we complied with The Energy Performance Buildings Directive, which now places a responsibility on businesses to organise inspections to prove the air conditioning’s efficiency.

A final consideration taken for all care homes we work within was noise pollution from the condensers. On this project, we were able to land all the air conditioning equipment on the roof of the building, thus not needing to install any acoustic housing. Working alongside the client we were able to work out the decibels and distance to the nearest neighbours to ensure we would have no noise complaints from the surrounding area.


Ventilation was a significant portion of the project, as it is important that the care home has fresh air across the entire home from an efficient ventilation system.

The regulation Part F now features directly in all our works. On this site, this culminated in us fitting Nu-aire extractor fans in all ensuites and changing rooms. These were individual ceiling-mounted fans discharging locally to the atmosphere.

There were a number of occupied rooms that lacked the opportunity for natural ventilation due to no opening windows. To overcome this obstacle, we installed mechanical ventilation with heat recovery within these rooms.

Additionally, the communal areas were fitted with MVHR units, which allowed for the correct air changes to be met as per requirements. MVHR equipment allows fresh air to be brought into the room while extracting air. This setup is a highly efficient method, and once all the grilles are balanced, it provides a self-sufficient system lasting years.

The team at Calmec designed the ductwork to minimise the overall length of the duct and resistance and to ensure it is appropriately sized to suit the airflow rates.

Where required on the top floor, the use of plastic ductwork was installed alongside fire collars, all by the DW154 requirements.

The laundry rooms were fitted with additional equipment in the form of exhaust air and ducted to the atmosphere in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations, along with an independent make-up air system using a local intake air louvre.


Throughout this project, the use of fire dampers were used in compliance with the fire strategy, which illustrated every time ductwork passed through a fire compartment, a damper was to be installed as per DW144. With all dampers installed, our ductwork comes with the classification of BS13501-3 and complies with BS EN1366-2.


The final stage of our work was to test all of the systems. When it came to testing, we began the process by visually inspecting the works completed and then placed the equipment in test mode before balancing from the furthest grille to the closest. The ventilation rates were tested using a UCAS-accredited flow test instrument, which is in accordance with Part F of building regulations. These readings were then submitted to building control, and the certificate was left with the client as part of the O&M pack.


The outcome of this project is a luxury care home that has year-round temperature control through an air conditioning system installed, plus air flow ensuring high-quality air within the home from a ventilation system and a safe kitchen thanks to our canopy and fans.

The mechanical services have been specified following the production of a preliminary SBEM. The proposed detailed design undertaken by the Mechanical Contractor satisfied the requirements of Part L2A 2013 and as-built compliance SBEM / EPC for building control approval.  

Our priority is to provide innovative, cost-effective and bespoke solutions, which is achieved through our CAD design system and in-house manufacturing process. 

With over 35 years of experience, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience that allows us to deliver exceptional services for a range of projects, no matter how complex. 

For expert and bespoke HVAC design and installations for your care home, contact our team. Call us on 01202 070 280 or complete our contact form.

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