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AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd)

AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd) Contact Details

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01342 310401
Mr G Blake-Thomas
201-203 London Road
East Grinstead
County West Sussex
RH19 1HA
England UK

About AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd)

AET was founded in 1993 as a principal worldwide distributor of the “Hiross” Flexible Space underfloor air conditioning system, taking ownership of production in 2010 under AET Manufacturing Ltd, and developing the AET Flexible Space brand.

With over 300 projects worldwide and a portfolio of notable world class developments, AET are the undisputed authority on underfloor air conditioning technology. We have the widest equipment range on the market and can help design bespoke systems to meet client requirements.

What is UfAC?
Underfloor air conditioning makes use of the space beneath a raised access floor for the distribution of air, eliminating most ducting and pipework.

Zonal downflow units, or “CAM” generate conditioned air which is delivered into the supply plena. Fan terminal units, or “Fantiles” supply the conditioned air into the workspace. Systems can be designed to receive spent air either at floor level (CAM-C system), or at high/ceiling level (CAM-V system).

How UfAC works
Underfloor air conditioning (UfAC) systems make use of the plenum beneath a raised access floor to create the air ventilation zone, eliminating the need for ceiling based services and associated duct and pipework.

Each floor is divided into zones of up to 300m2 depending on the potential use and occupancy density of the area.

Why use UfAC
Our systems are proven to offer solutions to unique design challenges, and that’s not all. UfAC systems are inherently flexible, modular in design and equipment is installed at floor level, making it easy to maintain and re-arrange to suit the demands of today’s commercial workspace.
  • Space saving
    Less waste, a better use of space is our ethos. By eliminating ceiling based services and ductwork our systems have helped achieve around 10-18% reduction of building height in new build projects, and increase floor to ceiling heights in height restricted refurbishment projects, helping to achieve British Council for Offices (BCO) recommended standards.

  • Flexibility
    UfAC systems are inherently flexible, modular in design and equipment is installed at floor level, making it easy to install, maintain and re-arrange to suit the demands of today’s agile workspace. The plug and play Fantiles can easily be relocated, offering huge savings when reconfiguring and adapting workspace.

  • Sustainability
    UfAC systems are sustainable by design, with prefabricated and modular fan air terminals and zone downflow units. As there is no ductwork, individual zones operate at very low pressure, encouraging energy efficiency.

  • Comfort cooling
    “I’m too hot or I’m too cold” is a commonly heard complaint about air conditioning, as well as complaints of draughts and cold feet. Underfloor systems create minimal draughts, and feature high levels of filtration and individual control of temperature and fan speeds, creating comfortable and adaptable working environments.

  • Design freedom
    In older buildings, historical and architectural features can be retained by locating all services under the floor, leaving ceilings fully exposed. Planning constraints can be overcome by reducing new building heights, or by preserving listed features and the inherent flexibility of UfAC systems satisfies unusual layouts and configurations.

  • Healthy workspace
    We believe in cooling people, not machines. Underfloor systems constantly filter air to provide the optimum, most comfortable and productive working environment. Personal control puts decision making on cooling levels literally in the hands of the individual to create a healthy indoor environment.

  • Speed of fitout
    Modular “plug and play” equipment and the reduced need for duct and pipework allows for much faster installation, reduced worker time on site and as a result, can attract earlier rental income. Adapting space from Cat-A shell space to Cat-B for tenant occupancy is fast and easy, making UfAC an ideal option for speculative and multi-tenancy developments.

  • Construction cost savings
    Buildings with UfAC systems have in the past demonstrated in the region of 5-7% saving in total construction costs. These savings are typically realised through building height savings and the subsequent reduction in construction materials and reduced time on site.
Fitout & Maintenance
Underfloor air conditioning can easily accommodate workplace changes due to the modular, flexible design and with the trend of office and tenant leases becoming increasingly shorter term, lease renewal and refurbishment is often preferred over securing new lease terms and moving to new space. The Flexible Space system is the ideal solution to meet the demands of today’s agile workspace.

Reviews & Testimonials for AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd)

5 star review
August 10, 2021
The AET underfloor AC system provides a competitive cost alternative to the more traditional AC solutions while maintaining a clear soffit and optimal floor to ceiling heights. AET’s collaborative approach when assisting at early stages of design enables us to give our clients robust cost advice.
Testimonial by
Wade Pasfield | MEP Associate at Exigere
5 star review
April 09, 2021
We have now worked with AET on two large commercial projects, and whilst they were working via our mechanical subcontractor rather than directly for DDC Ltd, we have found them to be very proactive in terms of design development, reaction to changes in the clients or architects brief, and in working with the M&E consultants to achieve best results for our client.

We would have no hesitation in recommending them or their systems, and although it is early days in terms of having achieved handover on the one project and only partial completion of the other, we have had no teething problems with the completed project, and have found MES to be very agreeable to work with.
Testimonial by
Liz King | Project Manager at DCC Limited
AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd). 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.


Flexible working, flexible office: A hybrid of the future

Prior to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, companies with a flexible working policy were relatively rare. But as 2020 has shown us, many businesses have been forced to become more agile, more flexible – not just how they work, but where their people work.

Flexible working used to be seen as a benefit for employees, but pre pandemic, a trend was emerging amongst forward-thinking companies. These businesses were seeing the benefits of flexible working, including increased productivity, and this trend has been accelerated by enforced remote working due to the pandemic.

Most businesses still need an office, but not necessarily a desk for every employee. The office now holds more significance than being somewhere employees must go to every day. It’s the place where employees can host client meetings, teams can collaborate, share ideas, and socialise. The office still plays a fundamental role.

Businesses need offices for their employees to come into every day if required, but they need to become more flexible. Since COVID-19, we are seeing a rising numbers of companies, both big and small, looking for ways to integrate both flexible working and agile working by embracing flexible hours, processes, and finally – workspaces.

Facts for the future

A recent study from recruiter Robert Walters, ‘A Guide to Hybrid Working: Obstacles and Solutions’ which surveyed 2,000 UK professionals in order to identify the symptoms of dysfunction in hybrid working, found that 85% of UK professionals now expect as standard more flexibility to work from home post-pandemic – with 78% of professionals stating that they would not take on a new job until this was agreed upfront with their prospective employer.

Chris Poole, Managing Director of Robert Walters UK commented: “It’s not surprising to hear the call for more office time given that 85% of professionals recorded a decline in their wellbeing in 2020.

Added to this, studies have found that employees working mainly from home were less likely to receive a bonus, get promoted or receive training than colleagues who spent more time in the workplace.”

The report suggests that younger workers could be particularly impacted by the lack of time in the office, with 75% of workers aged 18-26 year (Gen Z) stating that the workplace is their number one source of meaning and social connection. In fact, 54% of Gen Z workers have said they are likely to leave their employer within 12 months if a workplace culture does not return.

Poole added: “Our research shows that the diminishing social capital accessible through the hybrid or fully working from home model could turn the younger staffers into a ‘flight risk.’ Additionally, talent retention is at its highest levels when employers invest time and effort in building and maintaining a workplace culture that prioritises social capital for employees.”

Quite clearly the office is here to stay, but it must adapt to the growing importance of being able to provide comfortable and adaptable working space – key to employee wellbeing.

An underfloor answer to workplace wellness

It’s clear to see why here at AET, we are seeing an accelerating trend towards more flexible, future-proofed, and sustainable office space. This has led to an increasing demand for our underfloor systems for some time, but the pandemic’s lockdowns have certainly made more people consider the end-users of this office space, and how they can be best served.

Workplace wellness is an increasing concern and is quite clearly a key element for workers coming back into the office. The Workplace Wellness Study conducted by Future Workforce found that workplace environment is more important to employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity than most organizations realize. 67% of employees said they are more productive in workplaces that promote a healthy environment. One-third said they lose at least an hour of productivity each day due to office environments that don’t support their daily health.

Beyond the inherent flexibility of underfloor air conditioning systems, they also offer high levels of energy efficiency, sustainability, and air quality. As there is no ductwork with an underfloor system, individual zones operate at very low-pressure encouraging energy efficiency. AET’s systems have helped attract LEED, BREEAM, and other Green Building points, and can provide up to 30% savings in energy costs and a 29% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to ceiling-based systems.

Having been around for nearly 30 years, underfloor air conditioning remains a relatively untapped resource. However, over the past 5 years, and due to the increased demand for the flexible space that the post pandemic office requires, the industry has been set alight to the concept. An increasing number of developers, architects, consultants, contractors, and occupiers are all discovering the many benefit
BLOG: A-Void-ing Change by Karl Stauss

I recently read a thought-provoking article by Nuveen Real Estate titled “The Office Is Dead. Long Live The Office” which outlined four key outcomes the pandemic will have on the workspace once life returns to the office.

The most poignant outcome, in my opinion, refers to the demand for supplementary flexible space and the need for operators to evolve their market offering. This led me to think just how easy it will be for occupiers and landlords to adapt their office space once life returns to normal, and at what cost?

Having been submerged for the past 6 years in an industry where ceiling-based systems are pretty much the norm has always led me think – are static, 4 pipe fan coils, chilled beams and VRV/VRF systems really the answer? Or is the industry just avoiding change?

Having attended numerous industry seminars and panel discussions I have heard countless experts talk about ‘the need to look for new and innovative technologies’ and the ‘growing importance of being able to provide adaptable working environments’ however, the majority never really seem to carry this through.

By definition, the word innovation is ‘a new method, idea or product’ and adaptability is ‘being able to adjust to new conditions’ which is something we’ve all had to do over the past 18 months. So, has the pandemic jolted the industry out of its slumber and will it start to think outside the box?

By using the void beneath the raised access floor, this allows conditioned air to be easily distributed and subsequently delivered into the space via active Fantile units. In doing so gives landlords, operators and end users a truly flexible and adaptable solution as well as providing numerous benefits throughout the design process and life cycle of the building.

Having been around for nearly 30 years, underfloor air conditioning remains a relatively untapped resource. However, over the past 5 years the industry has been starting to wake up to the concept with a number of developers, architects, consultants, contractors, and occupiers, all decided to “fill the void” with conditioned air – allowing them to avoid costly and lengthy reconfiguration works and provide a quick, simple and adaptable market offering once life returns to normal!

By Karl Stauss
Sales Manager at AET Flexible Space

AET Newsletter August 2021

At AET, we welcomed 2021 with cautious optimism, as the construction industry seems to have proven itself fairly resilient against the twin challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit. Happily, the 2021 lockdown has proven to be far less disruptive to the construction industry than the first lockdown, and we have been able to continue working to deliver our underfloor air conditioning systems to our growing project portfolio.

Award winning innovation

We were thrilled to finish off 2020 with some great news, that we had won the ‘Retrofit Project of the Year’ at the H&V News Awards for our work on the 24 St James Square project. The expert judging panel particularly highlighted the innovative use of our underfloor air conditioning system to address “the challenge of a historic site with low ceiling height and extensive period features.”

Our underfloor systems really do give a huge amount more flexibility and scope when working on historic and period projects, as they can be designed to enhance the existing features, rather than cover them up. You can read more about our work on 24 St James Square here.

The future is flexible

Along with everyone else, we have been looking at the potential long-term impact of Covid-19 on the workplace. We know that physical workspaces are still going to play an important role in the future, but that doesn’t mean that they are not going to look radically different.

Although many of us have embraced home working in the past year, we have all struggled with being less productive than we are in an office, and when we return to the workplace we are going to want a space which prioritises productivity and flexibility, to allow us to make the most of our time in the office. Many people have also missed the chance to have contact time with their teams, and collaborative spaces within workplaces are going to be vital for a return to the office, especially if fewer people are at their desks full-time.

The good news for us and our partners is that our underfloor air conditioning systems are ideally suited for these new, flexible, ever-changing workspaces. Unlike ceiling-based systems, which are highly disruptive and costly due to time, high level working, and materials required – our underfloor systems can be altered within minutes with little to no disruption and at a fraction of the cost compared to ceiling based. We have been working on some exciting projects throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, and we can’t wait for the end-users to start enjoying these stunning workspaces.

The ‘green’ recovery

Sustainability is also rightly at the top of the agenda for 2021, and the construction industry is facing growing demands to prioritise retrofitting older buildings, rather than new builds. This has long been a puzzling area of policy, as there are more incentives for knocking down existing buildings and building from scratch, than there are for working to preserve our existing building, but it is great to see that the tide is starting to change on this.

There is still some scepticism amongst some about the suitability and hidden costs of renovating existing buildings, especially when it comes to creating modern, light, and energy efficient office space. However, a recently completed project of ours should alleviate many of those concerns. With growing concerns over climate change and the finite nature of construction resources, it is vital that as an industry we reduce our environmental impact and embrace the advantages of new technologies to improve sustainability and adaptability.

Harella House, a 1930s warehouse and former clothing factory, has been transformed into six floors of premium office space. Not only did this project achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, but it is also estimated that the refurbished building achieves a 47% reduction in carbon emissions. The project has now also led AET to a nomination for the Sustainability Award at the EG Tech Awards 2021, and the H&V News Awards Retrofit Project of Year – both of which we are incredible proud of. Read more about how our underfloor air conditioning system boosted Harella House’s sustainability here.

The Sustainable Answer by Matthew Edney

What is sustainability? Well, that’s the question we should all be looking to answer, right?

Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

For years developers have been progressing their projects using tried and tested methods, but those methods are now being put under the spotlight. Why? I hear you ask. Because in most cases, these tried and tested methods of building have been proven to be unsustainable.

When we think of sustainability in a building, most think about the components and materials used in the construction of said buildings. What is often overlooked is everything else associated with the build, including the manufacturing, transportation, and volume of materials required. For example, when a development begins there is often hundreds of lorry loads being delivered to site, and this will continue until completion. This in turn means the pollution levels are vastly increased for years at a time, both air and noise. But what if we could reduce the number of loads being brought to site?

Timber building and modular building is fast becoming an area of interest for many developers, and the reason for this is that many aspects of the build can be assembled and completed prior to delivery. Thus reducing the number of deliverables to site.

Many, if not most commercial office buildings are designed with ceiling-based air conditioning systems but are they truly sustainable? When new buildings are erected they are fitted out at CAT-A stage – ready for new tenants. Next, the new tenants go to CAT-B and change the design and layout of the offices to suit their requirements. In most cases this requires moving the pre fitted systems, and adding additional duct and pipework, and in many cases, this results in tearing down the original equipment and starting from scratch. This produces an expendable amount of waste, which is often unable to be recycled.

AET Flexible Space offer a very simple answer to this problem, as we do not require the same duct or pipework required by ceiling based systems. AET systems use the floor void as a plenum and are inherently flexible. This means developers can fit out the building at CAT-A stage safe in the knowledge that when the new tenants take ownership they can re configure the existing equipment in a matter of minutes.

Another key advantage of utilising the AET underfloor system is that developers can reduce the height of the building without reducing the number of floors. This in turn reduces the volume of building material, meaning fewer loads being delivered to site, creating a lot less air and noise pollution.

In a nutshell, AET’s underfloor air conditioning system is the sustainable option.

By Matthew Edney
UK Sales Manager at AET Flexible Space

AET’S underfloor air conditioning technology shortlisted for Sustainability Award

AET Flexible Space have been shortlisted for the Sustainability Award at the EG Tech Awards 2021. Underfloor air conditioning technology is a sustainable alternative to traditional ceiling-based systems, and the judges were particularly impressed with the results of using it in a redevelopment project of a 1930s Clerkenwell factory, Harella House. Some of the key sustainability benefits seen in the Harella House redevelopment include very high energy efficiency, and significantly reduced CO2 emissions.

AET’s underfloor air conditioning technology offers very high levels of energy efficiency, sustainability, and air quality, and as there is no ductwork with an underfloor system, individual zones operate at very low-pressure encouraging increased energy efficiency. The systems can also be easily maintained at floor level, reducing the need for costly and unsustainable refits.

Following completion in late 2020, Harella House received a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, and it is estimated that the refurbished building achieves a 47% reduction in carbon emissions. AET’s underfloor air conditioning technology has also previously helped to attract top LEED and BREEAM ratings, and can provide up to 30% savings in energy costs, and a 29% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to ceiling systems.

As well as reducing buildings’ energy consumption and carbon emissions AET’s underfloor air conditioning technology also allow for original ceiling heights and windows to be preserved during refurbishment or redevelopment. One of the main advantages of underfloor air conditioning technology is that all equipment is installed beneath the existing raised access floor, removing the need for high-level services and suspended ceilings.

Another key sustainability aspect of AET’s underfloor air conditioning technology is that it can easily support flexible working models and adaptable workspaces. AET’s unique Fantile™ units sit within the raised access floor and can be repositioned within minutes, to suit ever changing office layouts, without the high costs associated with moving or altering ceiling-based systems. This flexible approach gives the end-users of office spaces complete control over how they are used, and ensure a longer lifetime for the air conditioning system.
Game Changing Active Air Filtration for Commercial Offices by Matthew Edney

In light of the current world wide pandemic there have been many people speculating on the future of Commercial offices, and whether or not it will ever be safe enough to go back full time. Great efforts have been made throughout the industry to change how commercial property is developed, including how to achieve net Zero Carbon and how to futureproof buildings.

One thing is clear, COVID-19 isn’t the first and will most certainly not be the last virus that we face. So, what can we do to ensure the safety of people who work in an office environment? Most of us will know that when a hospital is designed and built, the HVAC systems are usually heavily filtered so as to reduce any infections being spread, but the same cannot be said for commercial offices. For the best part offices are designed with traditional ceiling based air conditioning systems, and while it is safe to say, these systems have been specified for decades they do not safeguard against airborne pathogens. They are also very difficult to keep clean, as dust particles can build up inside the duct.

A recent government article asked the question “is air conditioning providing a way to spread viruses” There is no simple answer to this question, as there are many different systems on the market. Some systems work by recirculating the air in the space, whilst other systems help to introduce fresh air. Many HVAC manufacturers are now looking at ways to upgrade their offering in an attempt to combat current and future virus issues. Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd are no exception, with the development of our Active Air Filtration, which can be easily retro fitted to our systems already in situ, or be specified for new projects looking to adopt an underfloor option.

Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd or AET Flexible space as we’re more commonly known have been supplying underfloor air conditioning for over 30 years, and have been installed in some of the most iconic buildings around the world. AET Flexible Space systems offer a vast range of benefits that include increased head height by eliminating the requirement for false ceilings in refurbishment projects, height saving for new buildings, and in some cases can achieve additional floors within the same height, at no extra cost to the developer. Our Active Air Filtration development will be a real game changer, as it will futureproof the building and offer a far safer method of supplying fresh treated air into the office space

AET Flexible Space systems introduce air vertically into the space via active fantile units in the floor, by supplying in this way air (including possible infection) is pushed up and away from the occupants. It is then returned to the CAM (downflow) unit, where it is treated by the Active Air Filtration system. High grade filters catch any particles, and any infection is eliminated by the UVGI lighting. Coupled with the fact that AET Flexible Space systems are inherently flexible, as they do not require the vast quantities of duct or pipework that is associated with ceiling based systems, they are a more sustainable choice.

By Matthew Edney
UK Sales Manager at AET Flexible Space
AET’s ground-breaking underfloor system wins ‘Retrofit Project of the Year’ award

Underfloor air conditioning pioneer, AET Flexible Space, has won the ‘Retrofit Project of the Year’ at the H&V News Awards 2020 for its work supplying its system to the refurbishment of 24 St James Square.

The judges commented that the project was “an innovative use of building services [which] addressed the challenge of a historic site with low ceiling height and extensive period features.” They also particularly highlighted the benefits of the flexibility of AET’s underfloor air conditioning technology.

One of the key challenges presented by the refurbishment of the grade-2 listed 24 St James Square was the need to simultaneously preserve key architectural features of the building, whilst at the same time providing flexible, modern, premium office space that would suit the requirements of incoming tenants.

The remodelling of the office interiors at all levels was driven by seeking to maximise floor space and take full advantage of views from the double aspect interior, as well as providing flexible air conditioning at each floor plate. This would simply not have been possible with a conventional ceiling-based air conditioning system.

M&E Consultant for the 24 St James’s Square project, Vic Holloway, from Edward Pearce LLP commented, “At the outset of the design process it was clear that the refurbishment delivered significant challenges in delivering fully serviced accommodation whilst maintaining respectable floor to ceiling heights. The AET downflow units promptly stood out as the obvious candidate for several reasons, including having the absolute minimum requirement for floor void height, and offering excellent distribution of cooling, heating and ventilation evenly across the whole floor, whilst reducing energy consumption.”

AET’s underfloor air conditioning CAM-V system was perfectly suited to this complex project, because it makes use of the space beneath a raised access floor to create the air ventilation path, eliminating the need for ceiling-based services and associated duct and pipework, thus maximising floor to ceiling heights. The high floor to ceiling heights and preservation of the windows and original ceilings have also created a brighter and more airy office environment.

Refurbishment of existing buildings has been identified as a key way to increase the sustainability of the construction industry, especially in densely built-up cities like London. However, converting residential buildings into class A office environments is often a major challenge. AET’s underfloor systems are perfectly adapted to this challenge, as they require minimal adjustments for installation, and provide all the necessary heating and cooling for a commercial building.

The 24 St James project has already won the “Best Office Architecture London” award at the 2019 International Property Awards, and the space is currently being let as Grade A office space by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
AET Newsletter March 2020

As restrictions in the UK tighten and the effects of the global pandemic become ever more real, my thoughts go out to the Italian nation which is suffering the most at this time. I have been closely associated with Italy since 1986, and now have part of our manufacturing based right at the epicentre of this truly devastating virus.

Whilst everyone is looking to Governments to find the solutions and fund everyone during the process, we must remember that our economy relies on production and sales. If there is a dramatic reduction in these activities the money supply will soon dry up.

Everyone needs to consume less and waste little and take guidelines seriously. It is a very worrying time for everyone, but we need to adapt to our new circumstances quickly, particularly as it seems that we must expect at least 6 months, and more likely 12, before there can be any chance of a return to normality.

At AET we are continuing to meet our commitments contractually, and I am very grateful to all the team for their determination and dedication. No doubt the situation, in London particularly, is going to get more difficult and we will continue to review our procedures in line with recommendations.

Looking back over the past few months, AET has worked on a number of really exciting, and some award-winning, retrofit projects, which have breathed new life into existing buildings whilst still preserving their historical charm. Not only does this have a reduced impact on the environment, but it also preserves the beauty and heritage of our streets.

We also have a number of exciting new retrofit projects on the horizon, including the refurbishment of Citygate House, the old Bloomberg building. We actually fitted our UfAC system into Citygate House nearly twenty years ago, and it was great to hear that they were so pleased with the system that they wanted to update it and include it in the £60m refurbishment.

We wish everyone a safe and swift return to normality, and hope that our journey over the coming months will be as painless as possible.
Products & Services

Air conditioning

Underfloor air conditioning


Name Role Email Telephone
Karl Stauss Sales Manager 01342 310400
Matt Edney Sales Manager 01342 310400
Edward Blake Thomas Operations Director 01342 310400

AET Flexible Space (Advanced Ergonomic Technologies Ltd) General Description

Air Conditioning, Underfloor air conditioning
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