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.
Integrated service modules can also include services such as;
- Direct and indirect lighting.
- Speakers and public address systems.
- Voice and data cabling.
- Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors.
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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air conditioning.
- Air handling unit.
- Building services.
- Building services engineer.
- Chilled beam.
- Chiller unit.
- CIBSE Case Study Angel Building Refurbishment.
- Fan coil unit.
- Mechanical ventilation.
- Natural ventilation.
- Phase change materials.
- Suspended ceiling.
- Thermal comfort.
- Thermal mass.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Read about Belgrade's Brutalist landmark - the Western City Gate.
Read about the measures that can be taken by individuals to protect and minimise exposure to outdoor sourced air pollution.
Government announces leaseholds on new-build houses will be banned.
Transport Secretary announces public consultation into London's funding of Crossrail 2.
Have a look at some of the most impressive concert stage designs of all time, including Pink Floyd, U2, Rolling Stones, and more...
What is the Home Quality Mark? Find out how it can help you when buying/renting a new home.
Business Secretary launches £246m Faraday Challenge to establish UK as world leader in battery technology.
Government announces new plans for regulations to improve safety and security awareness of drone users.
Read our introductory article to the various different types of fuel.
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.