More than just a luxurious five-star hotel, The Grove is also one of the UK’s most prestigious spa and golf venues. Set in 300 acres of Hertfordshire countryside, owners Ralph Trustees have continually invested in new facilities and services to ensure all overnight guests and day visitors have a truly unforgettable experience. So when the time came to create its newest space, the 205 square metre Cedar Suite, nothing was overlooked. As part of a truly inspirational interior design from award winning designer Martin Hulbert, a small duct (sdHVAC) Invisible.AC air conditioning and heating system, designed and supplied by IBD Distribution, was specified as a vital integral element to meet comfort cooling and heating requirements throughout the year.
In specifying the Invisible.AC system, Ralph Trustees’ Group Facilities Director Robert Kenworthy took advice from Martin Evans of Building Consultants, Malthouse Consultancy. Their outstanding experience in hotel projects was vital, discussing all aspects of the Cedar Suite project from the overall expectations and aspirations of the owners to the desired guest experience. Recommendations were made on the effectiveness of all the potential heating, cooling and ventilation systems and his familiarity with the features and performance of the Invisible.AC system proved invaluable.
Following a successful trial installation at sister Runnymede Hotel and a presentation by Malthouse to Ralph Trustees’ owners and lead M&E Design Consultants Anderson Green, the Invisible.AC system was chosen. Designed by IBD alongside Anderson Green, the installation includes three 25kW Invisible.AC vertically mounted water coil systems with low temperature hot water (LTHW), heating and chilled water cooling coils. Two of the air handlers are used to feed conditioned air to the highly discreet AC 25mm wide and 450mm long linear grill and slotted outlets located around the inner coffered ceiling of the Cedar Suite. One of the most frequent causes for complaint from seated diners can be the draughts caused by the air conditioning and the design by Anderson Green ensured there would be no blown-air draughts anywhere in the room.
Although the specification of Invisible.AC was based on a number of factors including energy efficiency and its facility to provide even temperatures throughout, its ability to complement perfectly Martin Hulbert’s interior creativity was paramount. The design took inspiration from the hotel’s surroundings to create the three spacious meeting rooms and break-out spaces with a private entrance that make up the highly flexible space of the Cedar Suite.
Whether used for meetings, events or celebrations, natural daylight streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows to creates a dramatic indoor environment. The Invisible.AC room outlets live up to their name and blend in seamlessly with the new stunning glass oval space and there is no need for radiators or unsightly heating or air conditioning grills to detract from the ambience.
The third air handler supplies forced air to Invisible.AC’s latest 66mm round ceiling outlets which have been carefully positioned around the periphery of the room and directed down the full length glass panels. Tempered fresh air is also supplied into the room via the same grills and outlets.
Robert Kenworthy, Ralph Trustees’ Group Facilities Director, has been delighted with the installation: “This summer the system really proved its value by ensuring a perfect room temperature at all our Cedar Suite functions. In terms of serviceability, no high levels of maintenance are required and any work required is done from the plant room. It is, however, not just about high performance and the Invisible.AC system is a designer’s dream – visually discreet, very quiet and unnoticeable – the perfect complement to Martin Hulbert’s vision.”