Technical & Airflow; Technical & Airflow;

Artus - The low energy fan coil unit, London/Leeds

From innovation to installation in your ceiling-scapes

Artus hybrid FCU (fan coil unit) is an innovative new air conditioning product invented by Arup, and developed through our Venturing initiative. It is the result of thinking about how we can do air-conditioning better; saving energy, money and space. Artus has been brought to the European market through a partnership with manufacturer Airedale, and is now being specified and installed on building projects.

We design building services on projects all around the world, comparing the rival merits of different air conditioning systems. Often having to compromise on either performance, energy or space, we had an inkling that an extra low energy and compact system should be possible.

These thoughts consolidated into the invention now called Artus, with a completely redesigned heat exchanger and fan configuration, finding an optimum balance between comfort and cooling performance, energy usage and space-take. None of the components are ‘new’ in the industry, but how they are assembled is a radical re-think of the status quo. Going back to first principles, we were able to deliver a product which can be adopted on projects even at the later stages of design.

Our Architects have given the product a perspective on interior aesthetics. Artus is one element of a building’s architectural solution and by fitting into both hung ceilings and exposed soffits, it can fade into the background or come forwards as a visual element.

Project Summary

5 Industry award wins

10-15%Reduction in HVAC energy consumption compared with traditional FCUs 

5UK building installations complete to date

How it works

Artus is a water-based air-conditioning system which, like fan coil units and active chilled beams, provides comfort cooling and heating for occupants spaces such as offices, hotels and labs.

The fan is mounted horizontally, wrapped on 3 sides by the heat exchanger. The shapes of the fan blades enable the air to be discharged straight from the blades, mixing perfectly in the space below without the need for directional vents. EBM Papst were integral in the fan assembly design, enabling the low noise and optimal air swirl effect for efficient cooling.

Because Artus fits into a 600 x 600mm ceiling tile and has a hinging front face, all components can be accessed for maintenance without the need for unsightly access panels in an otherwise seamless hung ceiling.

A smarter, smaller approach to air conditioning

The innovative air conditioning unit benefits all stakeholders, as detailed below:

Staff and building occupants
'Invisible' to occupants due to excellent air distribution low noise and clean aesthetics.
Flexible control zones enable close comfort control to suit occupants.
Low space-take, resulting in less ceiling void clutter and the option to reduce service zones. It is therefore perfect for constrained retrofit applications and in a new-build context, where developer may be able to fit 13 storeys into a typical 12 storey building with FCU's
Customisable aesthetics suit any architectural concept.
Contractors   A factory-ready, pre-commissioned ‘plug-and-play’ package which greatly simplifies installation
Facilities Managers All key components are accessible through the front face, making maintenance hassle-free
Developers Impact on Capex will vary based on the details of the installation, and the comparative system, but studies of a ‘model building’ show a 5% decrease in HVAC system costs, when compared with a system using traditional FCUs. Due to the lower energy consumption, up to 3 BREEAM points can be gained
 Tenants The operational cost may be 10-15% lower. The lifetime of the product is designed to be on a par with alternatives, and the product may also have lower embodied carbon.

Artus is maintained via a hinged facia, eliminating the need for

"Arup’s vision and insight into developing Artus has been outstanding. The Arup team looked at what the industry has and the shortfalls and then came up with a remarkable solution."                                                                              Duncan Wisley, Product Manager, Airedale International Air Conditioning Limited

"The Arup team have set new benchmarks in acoustic and energy efficiency and delivered some innovative ideas in an industry that is slow to change."                                    Geoff Lockwood, Director, EBM Papst

"The Hybid Fan Coil Unit is an innovative British idea that deals with the shortcomings of almost all the existing cooling and heating technologies available."                    George Hannah, Technical Director, Airedale International Air Conditioning Limited

Artus is an Arup registered trademark and has two Arup patents pending. Arup has licensed the Intellectual Property in Artus to Airedale for sales in Europe, and receives royalty payments in return.

Artus was funded by Arup Ventures: an internal initiative to foster the development of novel solutions to real world challenges in the built environment.