Last edited 19 Apr 2016

Integrated service module

Integrated service modules (ISM), sometimes referred to as multi-service chilled beams (MSCB), are a form of factory assembled modular chilled beam that incorporates other services in addition to cooling.

Chilled beams are supplied with chilled water pumped through copper cooling coils bonded to aluminium fins that cool air, primarily by convection. They are generally distributed regularly across the ceiling of a space. They can be active or passive. Passive chilled beams rely on buoyancy to circulate internal air through the beam whereas active chilled beams have ‘fresh’ outside air injected into the beam through nozzles which induce air circulation from the room below. See chilled beams for more information.

Chilled beams can also include a heating coil to provide a warm air supply when required.

Integrated service modules can also include services such as;

  • Direct and indirect lighting.
  • Speakers and public address systems.
  • Voice and data cabling.
  • Sprinklers.
  • Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors.
  • Photocells.

Because integrated service modules are fabricated off site, they tend to produce less waste, have a better build quality, have fewer defects and are faster to install. This can also mean that fewer trades and less storage is needed on site.

They can be delivered to site pre-tested and ready to ‘plug and play’. They can be selected from a range of standard modules, but are commonly custom designed to suit particular needs. They can be installed flush with a suspended ceiling but are often fixed to or suspended from an exposed soffit.

Integrated service modules can allow the thermal mass of the floor slab to be exposed, moderating peaks in thermal conditions. However, this can mean that additional acoustic absorption measures are required to compensate for the exposed mass, and this might only be possible on walls and floors.

Integrated service modules can permit reduced floor to floor heights, and so can be suitable for spaces with limited height, such as refurbishment projects, where they allow more free space and also give a better perception of space than a full suspended ceiling.

However, their distribution can place some restrictions on the flexibility of layout in the spaces that they serve.

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