Exclusive St James nightclub

Refurbishment of a London nightclub to accommodate smoking regulations.

Contract Value: 330,000
Date: 2010
Local Authority: Westminster, London


The nightclub wanted to create a smoking area to cater for its patrons following the start of the smoking ban on July 1, 2007. To accommodate the smokers it was necessary to move the air conditioning condensing sets. It was not possible to relocate the existing units due to their age and the fact they operated on R22 refrigeration gas, which with following introduction of the F Gas regulations, made replacement the logical solution.


The designer had to create a location for the air conditioning equipment within the boundary of the property’s restricted roof space.

Consideration had to be given to noise levels due its close proximity to a hotel as well as to the length of the refrigeration pipework, which measured from the roof to the Basement was at the limit of design.

There was also a simultaneous demand to heat one area and cool another.

In addition, the client requested the equipment was energy efficient and fault tolerant.


The nightclub's designers identified an external lightwell, which was being used for refrigeration equipment and an air handling unit (AHU), as the site for the smoking area.

Due to the height and complexity of the space, Consolux used the latest 3D optical technology to scan the area - a narrow laser beam scans objects to produce a 360-degree, 3D ‘point cloud’ of survey information. A 3D image is then created using computer-aided design (CAD). The use of this technology eliminated several days in surveying time.

Consolux then devised a Variable Refrigeration Volume (VRV) 4 pipe system, which was fed from the upper floor roof into the ground and basement areas of the nightclub's fan coil units. In conjunction with the manufacturers, we designed an AHU, which fitted into part of the lightwell space unoccupied by the smoking area.  

To ensure it was energy efficient and fault tolerant we designed a system that was divided between two condensing set units with half of the room units serving the dining area and the other half serving the dance floor. Should a fault occur in one of the condensing set units, the remaining unit would still be able to function. The system was designed with built-in diagnostics and equipped with remote access so engineers can view in real time equipment status and diagnose any faults or operating temperatures. In certain circumstances, engineers can reset the equipment remotely avoiding an engineers site visit.

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