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VRV 5 decarbonises Lincoln University

University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Decarbonising buildings: University graduates to VRV5 technology to deliver future proof HVAC comfort


The University of Lincoln is setting new standards in sustainable building management with the installation of a new R32-based VRV5 Heat Recovery air conditioning system from Daikin at One Campus Way, an administration and services building in the student village.

Not only does the new system combine greater comfort and efficiency, it also underlines the university’s commitment to environmental improvement and is a significant move towards its net zero targets.

Daikin’s VRV5 is a major step towards decarbonising the HVAC sector, marrying engineering improvements with a refrigerant of significantly reduced GWP. Compared to current VRF market-standard based on R410A refrigerant, R32 reduces GWP by 71%, is easier to recycle and reuse – and uses smaller piping diameters

The university’s engineering manager Jason Devlin – himself an experienced refrigeration and heating engineer – says: “I wanted to future-proof the building by not simply replacing the system with another R410A system. 




Fast track installation

The new system was installed over three weeks during the university’s summer recess by Airco Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Hull-based nationwide specialist and Daikin D1+ Partner.

The building houses three administrative departments – one on the ground floor and two upstairs – in mostly open plan offices, but with some separate rooms.


Flexible, energy efficient comfort

The total load of 33.5 kW is served via one outdoor system consisting of an 8hp primary unit and a 5hp secondary unit. This arrangement makes for more economical operating costs as the secondary unit runs only at times of peak demand for cooling or heating, while enabling continuous heating during defrost maximising comfort at all times.


"Some students may have climate anxiety, so it is important for us as an estates department to show that we care about the environment and that we’re installing the most energy efficient equipment we can get." 

Jason Devlin, Engineering Manager, University of Lincoln

Project requirements

Air conditioning
Air curtain
Air purification
Hot water

Year of installation


Installed systems

  • VRV5
  • Fully Flat Cassettes
  • Roundflow Cassettes
  • i-Touch Manager
  • VAM Heat Recovery
  • Madoka Controllers

Open plan office areas are served by Roundflow cassettes of four capacities, sized to suit room sizes and occupancies. Two smaller offices have fully flat cassettes, while a meeting room and another small office have wall mounted units. The indoor units as specially designed indoor units for R32, ensuring low sound and maximum efficiency.

Central Control 

Indoor units are individually controlled by Daikin Madoka wired controllers. Overall system control is delivered through a Daikin mini BMS comprising Daikin’s Intelligent Touch Manager and BACnet gateway.

Full peace of mind 

In addition to the sustainability benefits of R32, Daikin VRV5 systems incorporate Shîrudo technology which ensures safe deployment of refrigerants. Its branch selector boxes – which enable the three-pipe DX system to deliver heating and cooling simultaneously to different branches – have been specially designed for R32 and have factory installed automatic shutoff valves for each branch to prevent loss of refrigerant, providing all involved parties full piece of mind.

We were asked about the possibility of a more sustainable R32 system – and we said: ‘Daikin can do it’.” - Rob Murray, Airco

Jason Devlin says staff are pleased with the new system. “But I suppose they don’t really notice the difference. We have our own thermal comfort policy of heat to 20˚ C, cool to 23˚ C, so for them things stayed much the same. There have been no complaints – and the new system is much quieter. “They are all happy because alongside the VRV we also fitted some heat recovery VAM ventilation units, so we have supply and extract air in there as well to make it an all-round better system.”

The VAM units are rated at 350m3/hr with a sound power of just 51dB. The heat recovery aspect of the VRV and VAM systems improves overall performance and reduces operating costs by using outgoing waste energy to temper incoming refrigerant and airflows. 


VRV5 works with R32, a low GWP refrigerant which can be recycled and reused. Reduced piping requirements ensure fast, easy installation.

Generic building

Daikin Madoka wired controllers enable independent climate control to suit user preferences and to conform with space usage.

Building complex

Daikin’s advanced Round Flow Cassette with sensing and airflow control technologies reaches every corner of the office, delivering greater comfort and efficiency.

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