Joint winners (l to r): Cathy Newman (tv broadcaster), Chris Vallis (director at AB Group), Julie Hirigoyen, Roger Olsen, Nico Stillwell (associate director at Arup), Imogen Cust (M&S), Rick Holland (innovation lead for infrastructure systems at Innovate UK), John Field (president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers).

UK: A hybrid fan coil, jointly developed by Airedale and consultants Arup, was selected as joint winner at the Ecobuild and M&S Big Innovation Pitch finals on Tuesday.

The Big Innovation Pitch, now in its third year, stems from M&S’ Plan A commitment, which aims to help protect the planet with responsible sourcing, reduced waste and community support.

Airedale and Arup battled for the accolade alongside four other retail engineering innovations at this week’s EcoBuild 2017.

“We’re so pleased that we’ve been chosen as a winner,” said Arup associate director Roger Olsen. “Our solution could be used in many building sectors to make air conditioning much more energy efficient.”

His co-developer, Airedale MD Tony Cole, added: “To win such a coveted award and receive recognition from an international, multi-channel retailer such a Marks and Spencer, shows great potential for the Artus hybrid fan coil unit.”

The Artus is described as a fully-packaged, plug-and-play, single-supplier system with a host of benefits. These include self-access, reduced ceiling clutter and minimised ceiling void heights. As the unit is fully-packaged, there is no need for the specification of ancillary controls, valves, diffusers or spigots. The developers claim that the Artus combines the flexibility of traditional fan coil units with the low-energy usage of chilled beams at a cost comparable with FCUs. It is expected to be available on the market from July.