At the almost legendary eighteenth century coaching inn, Jack Straw's Castle, on Hampstead Heath, luxury apartments are being developed. These include two penthouse suites, one a show residence. Using the Unico System, developer Barry Angel of Albany Homes is demonstrating to potential purchasers that homes with air conditioning are viable and the installation does not have to be noisy, expensive or unsightly.
The Unico System provides air conditioning and central heating through the same outlets and it was this combination which was a major attraction to the developer. There was no need to install mains gas and its costly infrastructure for heating. To provide both cooling and heating using a heat pump, the system features just a heat pump coil. Air is pulled across the coils to provide either cool or warm air. This reaches the room outlets through flexible miniducts which pass through existing cavities within the walls and ceilings of the apartment. They absorb sound and provide quiet airflow, resulting in virtually noiseless operation.
The only visible sign of the installation are small outlets points in the ceiling just 13.3 cm in diameter. From an interior design point of view, the Unico System has provided total freedom. No wall or floor space is taken up by radiators or air conditioning cassettes, giving much greater flexibility. The occupants will be assured of draught- and noise-free air conditioning in the summer. In the cooler seasons they will get exactly the desired heat levels with an even temperature throughout every room. There will be none of the variations resulting from cold spots or from ceiling to floor temperature differentials experienced with traditional water based radiator systems.