The £10 million restoration project

Hadrian Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Ltd. of Washington, Tyne and Wear has installed a Daikin VRV Heat Recovery system supplied by Space Airconditioning plc, at Saltwell Park for Gateshead Council as part of a £10 million restoration project.

Known to the local community as the "People's Park", Saltwell Park was first opened to the public in 1876 and was designed to provide a haven for the working people of Gateshead to visit. Standing in 55 acres of landscape, woodland and ornamental gardens, the Gothic mansion Saltwell Towers lay in ruins for many years.

With funding agreed between the Heritage Lottery Fund and Gateshead Council it was decided to restore Saltwell Towers and Saltwell Park to their former Victorian splendour.

The £10million project started in 1999 with the complete restoration of the mansion. Gateshead Council wanted to provide an Interactive IT Activity Centre that was bright and modern within Saltwell Towers, but this had to be achieved within the strict regulations of a Grade II listed building.

The comfort of visitors was very important, Hadrian Air Conditioning & Refrigeration were asked by Gateshead council to design a system that would offer climate control in the most cost effective way but that would blend in with the internal fabric of the building.

Alan Unsworth of Hadrian explained, "the Daikin VRV Heat Recovery system was chosen due to the internal restrictions of a Grade II listed building. Daikin ducted fan coils offered excellent performance in the heating/cooling duties and noise levels required as well as being able to integrate with the Architect's vision of the aesthetics required internally. In addition , the high performance Heat Recovery system enabled extremely efficient heating during the winter months, offering a complete all year solution."

Alan continued "the installation of the air conditioning system took five weeks to complete and was carried out as part of the full refit, so co-ordination with all parties involved was essential. A crane lift was required for the positioning of both the condensing units and the ventilation air-handling units, which had to be done simultaneously. The condensing units were located on a flat roof, sited so as not to be visible from ground level. The parapet wall of the building's structure effectively shielded the units from view. The entire installation took careful account of the building structure given it's historical status as a Grade II listed building."

The restoration project has now been completed and Gateshead MBC were delighted to win two awards for the project.

  1. 'Civic Building of the Year' awarded by SCALA, The Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities.
  2. North of England Heritage 'Building of the Year' awarded by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors)
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