GEMS American Academy is a school that prides itself on its quality teaching and earning, engagement and results, which opened its doors to 2,300 students from Pre-K (3-year olds) to Grade 8 in September 2011. The teachers aim to inspire excellence in academics by building an enriched American curriculum, promoting student achievement, encouraging integrity and nurturing a desire to learn. In order to do this, the school is based in Khalifa A, one of the newest and most progressive areas in Abu Dhabi, the facilities at GEMS American Academy support world class performances across a wide range of ages and activities. The school spans across three "oors and general classrooms enjoy natural light and are very spacious with specialty classrooms for science, technology, visual and performing arts, including a state of the art planetarium.
As part of its sustainability program, GEMS American Academy decided to adhere to the criteria of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Rating System, Estidama ahead of the mandatory deadline. The initiative was developed and promoted by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), an internationally recognized large-scale sustainable urban planning and rapid growth. It aims to constantly improve the quality of life across four sustainability pillars: Environmental; economic; social; and cultural, whilst preserving and enriching Abu Dhabi’s physical and cultural identity. The most important factor for GEMS American Academy is the care and wellbeing of their students. They therefore provide children with a comfortable, cool environment suitable for learning but with high quality air and ventilation. As a result, significant consideration and investment goes into the filter systems as well as the maintenance requirements and costs. From a design aspect, there were particular limitations whereby the machines on the roof of the school were not allowed to be visible within a 10 meter radius, to ensure the look of the school met with its Arabian environment. A further prerequisite also included the need for affordable solutions to ensure the best use of funds across the wide spectrum of schooling requirements and an energy-efficient HVAC solution that had a total output of no more than 5000kW to avoid installation costs. Mehul Dasani, Manager Mechanical, Trinity Engineering Services worked closely with the team and believed that “the whole LG team was with us on the project from the initial design phase and was always available to provide us with the support we needed, whether we required consultation, technical information, or support. Their readiness and commitment to this project is highly regarded.” Finally, and one of the biggest challenges for the project, was the need for a solution that could be delivered in less than five months, in time for the school to open and accept students for the new semester.
When the LG team met with the Chief Engineer at GEMS, they proposed changing the design from a chiller system to LG’s Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system to provide the school with the highest measure of efficiency and meet the Estidama criteria. With the increased demands of advancing technology, the LG air filters allow a high level of efficiency at a low replacement cost. The air filter systems are designed to ensure long life between maintenance intervals and the 3 stage filtration system eliminating virus and allergy makes to achieve a high level of clean air in spaces such as schools. The easy to install and versatile system allowed the roof units to be no higher than 2.7m, by splitting the units into two separate units that manage to work as one unit, adhering to local regulations. Multi V III systems installed at the site comprise 124 outdoor units as well as 304 indoor units. The total capacity of the system is 4,396kW.
The LG Multi V system saves approximately 14 percent in energy savings compared to the previous systems This increase in efficiency is a result of the VRF system incorporating High Pressure Oil Return (HiPORTM), a new technology that is used with the systems inverter compressor, called the V-Scroll. The V-Scroll inverter compressor is 11 percent more efficient than a conventional compressor. They also have easy washable filters making it easy to maintain high quality air for the 2,300 students. The Mechanical Manager for Trinity Engineering Services, Mehul Dasani advised “the “flexibility of use derives from the versatility of Multi V system itself, a wide range of indoor models can be mixed and matched with outdoor units proving that Multi V is successful for school building structures in addition to office buildings. Without LG’s exceptional support on this project and meeting the tight deadline, the school would have not been completed in time to accept new students.” Moreover, 55,000 CFM LG Multi V units were delivered in less than five months meeting the set deadline and allowing the school to open on schedule. LG provided a solution utilizing Multi V units throughout the structure with a total output of no more than 4800kW so no installation costs were enforced. The overall cost efficiency proved to be between 25 and 30 percent.”