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Aircoplus provides chocolate warehouse with sustainable heating and cooling

Barry Callebaut’s new chocolate warehouse will have no less than 12,000 metres of pipes once the work is completed in the spring of 2021. The company Aircoplus is currently working hard to complete the sustainable heating, ventilation, and cooling systems in the building. “And all with the greatest possible energy neutrality.”

Aircoplus is a renowned specialist in the installation of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. The company has an important role in the development of the Callebaut warehouse, where the right storage temperatures are very important. We always work according to strict BREEAM standards, which guarantee the sustainability and energy efficiency of the building.

Heating and cooling thanks to BES field

“A large borehole energy storage (BES) field containing a closed hydraulic circuit has been placed next to the building,” says Koen Peeters of Aircoplus. “Thanks to 100 drilled wells of up to 150 metres deep, we have installed a loop of vertical heat exchangers, which will exchange heat and cooling. In summer, natural cooling is extracted from the ground to cool the office building; in winter, the reverse is done and the pumps extract heat from the ground.”

The HVAC work in the low bay is currently in the second of three phases. “We are now mainly working on distribution pipes for cooling and heating, and the installation of air filters for the distribution of cold and hot air. The last phase is planned for early 2021. In the meantime, some 70% of our work in high-rises is completed, so we hope to be operational in both sections by February,” explains Peeters.

Unique project

The Callebaut warehouse will be the largest chocolate warehouse in the world, which makes it a special experience for Aircoplus. “It’s large scale makes this is a unique project for us. It’s not every day that we have to deal with dimensions like these. But don’t worry: we have enough experience to bring everything to a smooth conclusion.”

According to Aircoplus, the fact that the work is going so well is also due to the excellent communication between the various parties. “We meet virtually with all the parties involved during a weekly BIM coordination,” says Peeters. “There is constant consultation between AAVO architects, the contractor Alheembouw, WDP, Elektriciteit Steen, sprinkler installer Altebra, and shelf builder SSI Schäfer. This project is a great example of streamlined coordination and optimal communication!

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