2008 July

NG Bailey, one of the UK’s largest building-services providers, has been awarded a £20 million contract to provide the category A mechanical and electrical fit-out for a grade A specification office in the City of London. Work starts on Drapers Gardens, to the north of the Bank of England, in July. This 25 000 m2 development for Canary Wharf Developments and Exemplar Developments is designed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating.
National distributor BSS Group has reported a 27.4% increase in revenue for the year to the end of March 2008 and a 23.3% increase in profit compared to the previous year.
Building-engineering provider Birchall has installed the mechanical services for the largest modular healthcare scheme in the UK. The Acute Admissions Unit at Watford General Hospital has been built using 142 steel-framed modules.
Energy Technique has reported a 9.3% increase in sales for the year to 31 March 2008 to £9.19 million and profit before tax up 34.8% to £530 000.
Housing starts for 2008 are forecast to be the lowest since 1945, according to the latest forecasts for construction output from the Construction Products Association. Little more than 147 000 new housing starts are expected in Great Britain this year, 27% down on 2007 and the smallest number since 1992. In addition, the social-housing programme is failing to grow in line with the Government’s plans for 45 000 new homes a year by 2011.

CORGI to be replaced

07 July, 2008
Capita has been named as the preferred bidder in the competition to provide a new registration scheme for gas installers in the UK. It will replace the scheme currently operated by CORGI. The announcement comes from the Health & Safety Executive.
Solar-heating specialist Riomay is installer of the year in the British Renewable Energy Association awards for what is believed to be the largest solar-thermal heating system in the world.
The 2006 Building Regulations are starting to have a major impact on large-scale regeneration projects, as demonstrated by Temple Quay Central in Bristol.
With energy-hungry filament lamps soon to be history and low-energy bulbs growing fast in popularity, it is time to revisit the subject of selecting contactors for switching lighting loads — as Steve Rickard explains.
Nearly every home and many offices have panel radiators, but they are usually ignored and unloved. Dean Chughtai from MHS Radiators takes an alternative view and celebrates a true classic — that still has a key role to play in an era of renewable energy.

The future is variable

07 July, 2008
In just five years the number of porjects using variable-speed pumps has shot up from 10% to 90%, posing new challenges for commissioning engineers — as we found out from John Coppin
John Armstrong shares his practical experience of maintenance and refurbishment.
Consequential improvements was a new line of thinking in the latest Building Regulations. Malcolm Jeary offers guidance on what it all means.
Alldales variable-speed drives have been fitted to the master extract system of the O2 leisure and entertainment venue in London. They were commissioned by building-automation consultant TAC Systems as part of an upgrade and refurbishment arising from the fitting of a new integrated Building Management System and bring to 16 the total number of inverter drives supplied by Alldales since the former Dome site reopened.
The low profile of two Tricool chillers installed as part of the replacement of the air-conditioning and ventilation systems for the Hilton London Green Park Hotel in Mayfair was a key element in obtaining planning permission.
Durapipe’s SuperFLO plastic pipework system has been installed as part of the renovation of a data centre owned by ATOS Origin, avoiding the need for hot works.
Easicult dipslides from Kamco provide an easy way to determine the total bacterial count in cooling-system water without having to send samples to a fully equipped laboratory. These dipslides can be used, for example, to check water for bacterial activity in cooling towers, evaporative condensers and hot and cold water systems.
Fuel costs for boiler plant at Withington Girls’ School in Manchester are expected to be reduced by up to 40% following the replacement of 30-year old boilers on the recommendation of Belfry Maintenance Group, which had maintained the old boilers for many years.
With the involvement of CIBSE, the scope of facilities management is growing to include operational and engineering aspects — and Geoff Prudence, chairman of CIBSE’s FM Group, believes that the time is ripe for further progress.
A downtime of just half a day was achieved when boiler plant serving the heating system in sheltered housing in Alnwick, Northumberland, was replaced. That feat was achieved using a Paraskid 120 condensing packaged boiler plant from Potterton Commercial to replace the previous plant.

HCFCs awareness

07 July, 2008
Guidance on regulations governing the use of ozone-depleting substances, such as some refrigerants, is available from the British Refrigeration Association. This guidance has been prepared as there is critical timing associated with phasing out refrigerants under the ‘Ozone depleting substances regulation’. It is important that everyone involved with the distribution and use of HCFCs, including R22, is fully aware of the issue.
Trox has supplied and installed exposed multi-service chilled beams in the refurbished office of hydrocarbon contactor M. W. Kellogg Ltd in Greenford. The initial contract was for one floor, with a potential rolling programme covering four buildings and 30 storeys.
To reduce the cost of replacing existing boiler plant with a fuel-efficient condensing model Broag-Remeha has introduced the Gas 110 Eco floor-standing boiler which has been specially developed to fit into the same floor area as one of the most popular traditional boiler designs of equal output. One of the major savings is avoiding much of the cost of modifying pipework and associated fittings. These boilers also pass through a standard doorway. Their footprint is 600 x 663 mm, the difference in output being due to height. The range of features of these boilers also makes them ideal for new-build.
The occurrence of a problem with a building-services system is not the time to start finding a specialist to put it right. The appointment of a service and maintenance provider is a much better approach — as Chris Trotman explains.
Steel prices are expected to reach £1000 a tonne by the end of the year, according to a survey carried out by the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations among a hundred member companies of the Association of Ductwork Contractors & Allied Services — a rise of 50% in just 12 months. The survey also found that while prices had risen by about 20% since December, they were expected to soar by over 30% in the following six months. There is also no sign of when the upward trend will peak.
Daikin distributor Space Airconditioning has a dedicated and experienced spares department to support all Daikin equipment, both current and older models. Space has over 27 years’ experience with Daikin equipment.
Glynn Williams is concerned that like-for-like pump replacement fails to exploit the benefits of modern pump technology.
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Many complex construction projects are likely to be finished more than six months late, due to poor time control, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Building.
Representing an investment of about £1 million in the factory of Polypipe Terrain at Aylesford in Kent is a new HDPE extrusion line and three additional injection-moulding machines — giving a significant increase in capacity. Additional storage capacity has also been created.

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