Mitsubishi Electric support refurbishment of The Ship

  • 6 Mar 2017

The owners of one of Plymouth’s most iconic buildings were in need of a team of installers able to hit the ground running when looking to refurbish and upgrade the derelict office within weeks.

In addition, they needed a flexible heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that would still deliver the energy savings needed.

Rob Monroe, Managing Diretor of owners Burrington Estates explained that new tenants were keen to move in so time was limited to make the drastic changes that were required.

A company that would be able to design, install, commission and maintain a far more energy efficient and sustainable system and be able to do this in a very short space of time, was required.


Managing Director at JCW Energy Service Ltd, Kurt Hedgley commented that normally for a job like this, the timescale for completion would be three or four months, not ten weeks. Furthermore, the client wanted the company on site just seven days from the date of receiving the purchase order.

Consequently, the company built a team from a number of its nationwide offices and called upon the technical and logistical support of manufacturers Mitsubishi Electric.

The Ship was built in 1993 and was once home to The Herald and Western Morning News but has recently been left empty and considered for demolition until Burrington Estates acquired the building.

Renamed Spirit of Enterprise, it is now being restored to its former glory with hundreds of jobs being created by the businesses that will take up residence.

Renowned for its sympathetic development of historic sites in the region, Burrington Estates felt it was important to reduce the building’s energy consumption, according to Kurt Hedgley.

“Mitsubishi Electric provided us with innovative support to ensure the most suitable system that could be designed, installed and commissioned within the tight deadline specified,” Kurt explained.

12 City Multi Variable Refrigerant Flow outdoor condensing units and four Mr Slim split air conditioning systems were installed to serve 89 individual ceiling units, for the first phase of this impressive project.

With the ability to be installed in a modular fashion, City Multi was chosen to provide JCW engineers with the flexibility needed to work around the other elements of the refurbishment.


Hedgley explained that as the VRF system only uses two pipes rather than the usual three, it was ideal in a job with such tight deadlines and came with intelligent controls, making it easier to interface with the Building Management System.

It was vital that JCW engineers could work alongside a large number of tradespeople and engineers with the whole building under refurbishment. Equally, working around existing equipment was also a challenge with regard to integrating systems and negotiating new pipework around old.

Furtherore, with some units being fed through over 150 metres pipe runs due to the shape of the building and positioning of the plant, this put added pressure on the system.

Even with the architectural challenges of the building, a regular temperature needs to be provided as part of the final solution. A system that can be easily controlled, provide the best energy ad be sustainable was also demanded.

With the design providing effective, simultaneous heating and cooling, the energy rating will drastically improve immediately and offer substantial savings on the annual running costs.

A complete planned preventative maintenance programme has also been prepared to run alongside the seven-year warranty.

The restaurant and gymnasium will be completed as part of the next phase, for the use of the staff within the offices. Then finally, the Board Room will be completed.

This will see the completion of the plan to restore the building to its former glory and become a major hub for business in the area.

Mitsubishi Electric Living Systems,
Travellers Lane,
AL10 8XB
United Kingdom

Visit Mitsubishi Electric Living System's website

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