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UK and Ireland dominate Panasonic awards

UK: Projects in the UK and Ireland were predominant amongst the winners of the inaugural European Panasonic PRO Awards.

Introduced to highlight the best installations of Panasonic air conditioning or heat pump systems, the independent award judges were looking for the projects that demonstrated the most flair and innovation, as well as showcasing sustainable design, efficiency, cost effectiveness and aesthetics.

Among the winners, the UK’s Nottingham-based contractors FWP and Panasonic distributor Oceanair won the award for the Best Restaurant Project for their work at Carluccio’s Italian restaurant chain.


Looking to reduce its energy bills and its carbon footprint, a new Carluccio’s site in the Sheffield Meadowhall shopping centre was chosen as the ideal location for the installation of a Panasonic Aquarea air-to-water heat pump system. Previous restaurants in the chain had been fitted with a more traditional 12kW boiler system.

FWP installed a 12kW Aquarea T-CAP mono bloc unit which would allow for the free air from the kitchen roof space to be transferred through the condensing unit providing hot water at the optimum temperature.

The Panasonic Aquarea at Carluccio’s restaurant in Meadowhall

Subsequent energy usage comparisons showed considerable savings. To heat the water for their Leeds restaurant cost £3782 whilst at the Meadowhall site the comparable cost was just £951. As a result, the return on investment was about 2 years.

Projects in the UK and Ireland were awarded prizes in three other categories: Best Residential Project in a Multi-dwelling, Best Residential Project in Social Housing and a Special Award for Best Contribution.

Ireland-based distributor, Heat Merchants was awarded Best Residential Project in the multi-dwelling category for the Mulberry Properties’ Straffan Manor Development in Kildare, Ireland. Installed by Mick O’Shea Heating and Plumbing, the project was judged as a great example of how heat pumps and PV can work together to deliver energy savings.

South East renewables company, Ecosphere Renewables was awarded Best Residential Project in the Social Housing category for its ambitious Wealden District project. Education and communication with tenants lead to the success of the project, as Ecosphere Renewables ensured that the benefits of heat pump systems were widely known within the community.

A Special Award for Best Contribution was awarded to Dublin-based Tech Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Ireland for their three outstanding entries in the Commercial Air Conditioning category; the Smurfit Kappa, Savills HQ Dublin and Google Block R projects.

ECOi VRF units are craned into the Europa-Park hotel resort in Rust

The Best Hotel Installation went to German contractor BS-Klima for its installation at the Europa-Park hotel resort in Rust, Germany. Freiburg-based BS-Klima installed Panasonic’s ECOi VRF systems to a total of 293 rooms during renovations of the El Andaluz and Castillo Alcazar hotels.

Over a short time-scale, and in two phases, a total of 14 outdoor units in sizes from 22.4kW to 45 kW with a total cooling capacity of 500.8kW were installed – nine in the El Andaluz and five in the Castillo Alcazar.

The PRO Award winners in full:

Best Residential Project (single dwelling)
Procyon, Poland – H3 Grande

Best Residential Project (multi-dwelling)
Heat Merchants,Ireland – Straffan Manor Development

Best Residential Project (social housing)
Ecosphere Renewables, UK – Wealden District

Best Hotel Installation
BS-Klima, Germany – Hotel Europa Park

Best Retail Project
Hydra Ingenieria SL, Spain – Lo + Fit

Best Restaurant Project
FWP and Oceanair, UK – Carluccios

Best Commercial Air Conditioning Project
Vini Thermo Consulting, France – Maîtrise des Temp Vinicole

Special Award for Best contribution
Tech, Ireland – Smurfit Kappa, Savills HQ Dublin & Google Block R

Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town

The winner of each category receives a trip to Japan, which includes a visit to the Panasonic global headquarters and to the ground-breaking Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town. Located 37 miles from Tokyo and a model for an environmentally-minded urban area, Fujisawa houses about 400,000 residents in a smart town-within-a-city, built on the vacant lot of a former Panasonic factory. The development demonstrates energy efficiency measures such as solar power generation and battery storage systems, and showcases the synergies between cutting-edge technology and a ‘greener’ way of living, making it a fascinating and unique place to visit.

Commenting on the announcement, Marc Diaz, UK and Ireland country manager for Panasonic Heating and Cooling said: “We were hugely impressed with the high standard of entries received from PRO Partners across Europe, which showcase real passion for sustainable design and renewable energy. The winning entries demonstrated imaginative use of technology, great integration skills and commitment to delivering effective, bespoke solutions which result in best-in-class projects.”

The winners were selected by an independent international judging panel, made up of experts from across Europe covering areas of architecture, building services and the heating/cooling industry.

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