The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham and it is ranked 5th in the UK in terms of number of students. In particular the project is for the new Centre for Sustainable Chemistry, housed in a brand new carbon neutral laboratory, the first of its kind in the UK.


The project was developed with Cool-Therm and specific requirements was set concerning very low environmental impact and high sustainability.

Located on the University’s award winning innovation Park, the new carbon neutral laboratory building provides unrivalled facilities for chemistry. The focus on sustainability is reflected in the building itself, which incorporates the latest technologies to allow it to be carbon-neutral over its lifetime. The building occupies 4500 m2 over two floors and in addition to laboratory space for around 100 researchers.


The project concerned the design and development of one 60 kW VHR radial fan ducted chiller with very low GWP refrigerant HFO-1234ze. The refrigerant HFO1234ze was chosen due to its very low global warming potential (GWP<1), which attracts additional BREEAM and LEED credits.

The unit is equipped with refrigerant leak detection and an automatic pump down system, to isolate the plant from the building in the event of a leak.

Given the educational setting, noise emissions were also to be considered during the design phase. Acoustic control is used on both the intake and discharge sides of the plant with special air intake louvres, designed and installed by the contractor on the project.


The project was delivered on time and met all specific customer’s requirements. In particular the use of HFO refrigerant satisfies specific requirements in terms of low carbon emissions and low environmental impact. At the same time, HFO1234ze provides great performance and high efficiency.