mock-up
Fully instrumented mock-ups of spaces and their services in BSRIA’s workshop facilities before work starts on site helps ensure that the project will be right first time.

Applying BSRIA’s expertise

Knowing in advance that an engineered solution will work by testing a mock-up is good news for everyone involved in a project. Mock-ups can also help identify performance problems, as WILLIAM BOOTH explains.

Solving challenging heating projects

Engineered heating solutions can answer the challenges of installations that are not suitable for off-the-shelf products. They offer the flexibility required to meet the heating needs of ‘problem’ buildings, JOE KIERNAN explains

Zetters
Water-cooled VRF air-conditioning in the Zetter Hotel in London saves space and increases energy efficiency. The hotel is served by seven Mitsubishi Electric WR2 heat-recovery air-conditioning units. The system was designed by Buro Happold and installed by JCW Air Conditioning. Energy is rejected to and extracted from water drawn from an aquifer

VRF air conditioning adopts water-cooled technology

The scope of VRF air conditioning has been opened up enormously with the development of water-cooled condensing units.

Sage
Trox’s design and mock-up capabilities for chilled beams were a key element in meeting the design criteria for Sage’s new complex at Gosforth.

Trox meets design challenge in Sage project

A mock-up of the air-conditioning system for the £70 million office complex of business-software company Sage at Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, using almost a thousand chilled beams revealed that the design of the ceilings needed to be modified. The design was altered before work started on site, and the tests demonstrated that the beams would do what the manufacturer Trox said they would do.

Exploring the benefits of prefabricated wiring

The profile of prefabricated wiring solutions for electrical services was highlighted at a recent seminar launching the new guide to electricity in buildings by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

box
Planning for the future of cable containment means selecting floor boxes with enough space for Cat6 cables. This box has sufficient space under the data plate to accommodate a 50 mm bend radius and space above for the longer boots used with Cat6 cables.

Planning for the future needs of cable containment

As the development of IT systems continues to match the demand for increased speeds and greater network capacity, high-tech structured wiring and cabling networks are becoming commonplace. Although providing new opportunities for contractors and installers, it is essential that the containment for these latest-technology installations can meet future as well as current requirements. STEVE DAVIS explains.

Floor box
Prewired desk units can be configured to whatever is required for the application and have integrated tap-offs for plugging directly into powertrack at any position.

The flexibility of busbars under raised floors

Quick to install and quick to respond to changes — that is how ALAN POTTERTON perceives the benefits of flexible prewired systems under raised floors.

Guide
Invaluable to design and construction professionals — CIBSE’s new guide to electricity in buildings.

CIBSE publishes new guide to electricity in buildings

The new guide to electricity in buildings published by the Chartered Institution of Building Services will be invaluable to design and construction professionals requiring easy access to information on electrical services.

Shop
Using a plug-in connection system for lighting gin House of Fraser’s new Croydon store reduced labour time by about 60%.

House of Fraser benefits from fast-fit lighting

Hager’s Klik LDS flexible connection system has provided the lighting-control solution in the new 15 000 m2 House of Fraser store in Croydon. The system helped electrical contractor DIS meet tight installation deadlines,with pressure for the store t open quickly and generate revenue.

cable tray
The ease of forming and installing Cablofil cable tray has led to several kilometres being installed in schools in Wrexham and Exeter.

Cable tray is miles ahead

Cablofil cable tray is being used to carry mains, data-communications and low-voltage electrical wiring and cabling in refurbishment work covering nine schools in England and Wales.

Academy

Stylish cable management for futuristic academy

A range of equipment from Mita is used to carry provide power and data services in the £15 million Unity City Academyin Middlesbrough. Designed by Hickton Madeley, it has been designed as a centre of excellence and features a large amount of IT equipment.

Ex-Or
Time savings of of up to 70% for installing lighting and the Ex-Or MLS control system can be achieved using the Connect Digital box.

Faster light

The MLS Connect Digital quick-connection system is described as a quick and easy way of installing lighting-management systems in larger offices.

OPERATING THEATRE
Air filtration should be at the forefront of dealing with indoor air quality in hospitals, with high-efficiency filtration being crucial in areas such as operating theatres.

Let air filtration take the strain

What you cannot see in indoor air is what you should be concerned about. GRAHAM BENTLEY explains the role of the wide variety of air filtration that is available.

FIG 1
Fig. 1: Evaporative cooling can significantly reduce the indoor air temperature in UK weather conditions.

The air-quality benefits of evaporative cooling

Hot, dry air is not at all comfortable, which is why ALAN BERESFORD argues that evaporative cooling has an important role to play in increasing indoor air quality.

Getting to grips with IAQ issues

Problems with indoor air quality are preventable, asserts WILLIAM BOOTH.

System cleanliness is next to indoor air quality

Good system hygiene increases efficiency, improves IAQ – and saves money. VERN KLEIN explains why – and offers essential advice on preventative maintenance.

Treatment system
Designed for apartments, this unit from Diffusion Air Treatment provides ventilation with heat recovery, air filtration, heating and cooling.

Single unit maintains environment in apartments

An integrated unit for dwellings to provide heating, cooling and ventilation has been developed by Diffusion Air Treatment. The Lifebreath IVS (Integrated Vertical Stack) provides fresh-air ventilation with energy recovery. It uses heat from the DHW source and can recover up to 86% of heating energy that is normally lost to atmosphere.

Air exchanger
Designed to deliver high-quality air, Hitachi’s Air Exchanger.

Hitachi responds to IAQ challenge

The Air Exchanger series is described by Hitachi as a major step forward in its continued efforts to help improve indoor air quality. This 2-way ventilation system incorporates high-air-quality filters.

Filter
Designed to remove a wide range of contaminants from air — LG’s NanoPlasma system.

Air quality delivered by air conditioners

LG’s NanoPlasma system is said to help remove microscopic contaminants, dust, house mites, pollen and pet fur. It is installed in the company’s air-conditioning products and also helps eliminate bad odours such as cigarette smoke by trapping the odour particles.

Survey highlights consultant perceptions

A significant proportion of consultants in the building-services industry generally have a progressive view of the future, according to research commissioned by the organisers of the exhibition H&V 05 at the NEC from 1 to 3 March.

HVCA puts training top of its 2005 agenda

Apprentice recruitment and training in the building-services sector has been declared the top priority for 2005 of the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association. There will be a renewed effort to convince employers that there are real commercial advantages to be gained from investing in training new entrants.

Private sector leads construction growth

Construction work last year rose by 4% in volume, despite a decrease in infrastructure work, according to the latest figures from the Department of Trade & Industry.

Factory

Trox ramps up production to meet delivery demands

Trox boosted its production rate to two-and-half times its average level to satisfy the delivery demand for fan boxes for two projects at Canary Wharf. Output swelled to £325 000 a week, so that in just three weeks, Trox supplied nearly £1 million-worth of fans boxes for buildings for BP International and Morgan Stanley.

Get your share of £20 million

Mitsubishi Electric has reminded customers not to miss out on a share of a £20 million tax rebate by forgetting to claim tax relief on new air-conditioning equipment installed in the past year.

College

South Birmingham College building for the future

Europe’s largest and further-education development dedicated to training and education in construction is now open in Birmingham. The South Birmingham College Centre for the Built Environment represents the biggest-ever investment in skill development for the region’s construction industry. The building covers 13 200 m2 on a brownfield site in Bordesley Green.

Jasun tackles environmental issues

Jasun Filtration has been award ISO 14001 environmental-management standards for its two factories at Bridgwater in Somerset. The company makes air filters, and director Graham Bentley explains, ‘In creating these products, we cause an impact on the environment. By setting up new standards through ISO 14001, we aim to reduce these environmental effects as well as reducing our own costs.’

Acquisition takes SEC into eastern England

Southern Electric Contracting (SEC) has acquired BPS, the electrical-contracting business of what was previously Eastern Contracting, from Alfred McAlpine. As part of the deal, Scottish and Southern has acquired the Eastern Contracting name, which is no longer used by Alfred McAlpine.

Court
This new magistrates’ court on the Spinningfields development in Manchester is one of three major buildings commissioned by Commtech.

Commtech’s expertise on trial in Manchester

Three of the main buildings in Manchester’s huge Spinningfields development have had their mechanical and electrical services commissioned by Commtech. Northern-region director Nigel Hersee says, ‘This development was a fast-track project, so keeping to the schedule was critical to the success of the undertaking. We were very proactive in our involvement and worked closely with other members of the construction team to complete the project on target.’

Indoor air quality as an environmental issue

Stories about absenteeism from work abound in broadcast news bulletins and in newspapers. The cost to business of that absenteeism is apparently known right down to the last pound, but the reasons are less understood. News journalists love health issues that might be the cause of such absenteeism, but they generally seem much less concerned about the boring details of putting things right.

Consultants start to adapt

It is two years since Terry Wyatt as CIBSE president urged the building-services industry to ‘Adapt or die’ — or find itself out-of-date and unwanted. He was particularly concerned with the role of and future of consulting engineers, for which he saw much of their traditional workload disappearing.

Paul Adlam
Any size you like... One of the issues being addressed by ADCAS is the waste and inefficiency arising from non-standard sizing of air-terminal devices. The association’s president Paul Adlam says that as many as a million different sizes of diffuser, grille and plenum could be required if specifiers continue to order variations of just 1 mm in height and/or width. On the basis of information for manufacturers on the most frequently requested product sizes, a list rationalised standard sizes has been compiled for grilles, diffusers and plenums. Details are available on the modbs web site. Type ‘ADCAS’ into the archive search box.

Ductwork industry works to enhance its reputation

Recognising that ductwork is an important service in buildings, an industry association has been working to increase the expertise and reputation of this sector – as PAUL ADLAM and ALAN WEIR told us.

Of the wide range of services that are required in buildings today, both new-build and refurbishment, the ductwork that distributes air is growing in importance. With the latest Building Regulations requiring a high degree of air tightness, leakage can no longer be relied on to provide adequate ventilation, so ductwork is necessary.

Paul Adlam, president of the Association of Ductwork Contractors & Allied Services, asserts, ‘Ductwork is a necessary requirement in most buildings these days. When ductwork is required, the installation is a large part of the services package.’

Unfortunately, the adversarial approach adopted by many contractors during the 1980s and 1990s led to many people leaving the industry.

Adding to that loss of skills and experience is the steady and inevitable loss of older people. And as ADCAS secretary Alan Weir, explains, there was a long period when there was very little investment in youth and training in the ductwork sector.

Issues

Something clearly needed to be done, and as an association of a large proportion of installers, manufacturers and suppliers in the ductwork industry formed eight years ago, ADCAS, has seized the initiative. Paul Adlam says, ‘Ductwork installation is a specialist discipline within building services. As specialist companies, ADCAS members had to address training issues — both for the benefit of their own businesses and for the assurance of clients, consultants and contractors higher up the project chain that projects would be executed competently and professionally.’

Academy

The training programme by ADCAS was initiated a little over four years ago, and rapidly gathered momentum. Its success has prompted Paul Adlam to put on his presidential agenda the establishment of a skills academy for ductwork apprentices. ADCAS presidents hold the office for two years, and Paul Adlam is not yet halfway through his term, so he has hopes that the foundations for the Academy can be laid during his tenure.

At the last ADCAS annual general meeting, he said, ‘This industry faces a critical shortage of skilled labour. If we don’t do something about training and make ductwork an attractive proposition for school and college leavers we won’t get the young blood we need. I believe that the creation of a ductwork academy that would teach students everything from draughting/CAD and manufacture to installation, testing and balancing is a very practical solution to a very real problem.’

By taking the initiative and developing an implementing a comprehensive training programme, ADCAS is aiming to instil confidence that choosing a member company will contribute to the smooth running of a project and a problem-free installation.

Maturity

Part of the ADCAS approach to addressing recruitment and training needs has been to raise the age for intakes from member companies from 16 to 17. Alan Weir tells us, ‘Recruits aged 16 dropped out very quickly. Raising the intake age to 17 has improved stability; that single year gives a remarkable difference in maturity.’

The approach to training is based on National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), which are based on ability to do the job, rather than purely on knowledge.

NVQ2 and NVQ3 qualifications have been developed; there is no NVQ1. Bexley College in Kent is the centre in the south of England, with Alliance Learning of Bolton covering the north. The courses are accredited by City & Guilds, with assessors from Bexley College and Alliance Learning.

Gaining an NVQ2 qualification for installing ductwork on site takes two years. NVQ3 is geared up to foremen and supervisors, and nearly half of people with an NVQ2 are progressing to the higher qualification. Long-standing staff receive appropriate accreditation for prior learning.

Management skills

To develop and accredit a company’s management skills, a diploma course in project and management skills has been established There are six modules, each taking a day and spread over a period of about six months. This diploma is aimed at key people in a company. A 2-day site-supervision course complements the package.

‘The benefit of the ADCAS training programmes to the building-services industry at large and clients is,’ says Alan Weir, ‘that a trained workforce gives uniformity across the trade. Installation work is carried out in the same way — the correct way.’

He used to be with building-services contractor Barratt & Wright in Norwich and is thus experienced at the sharp end. He describes himself in his new role as ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’.

Both Paul Adlam and Alan Weir are pleased with progress, but their enthusiasm is not waning. Both want to see even more progress towards developing professionalism in the ductwork sector.

Paul Adlam in particular believes that the industry needs an all-encompassing qualification covering all elements of the skills needed by a modern ductwork company — estimating, manufacturing, CAD, management and working on site. He believes that the result will be more-rounded people who understand their part in an entire project — both for the benefit of the project and fully exploiting their own capabilities.

Better buildings

The ADCAS initiative followed 15 years of very little investment in youth and training in the ductwork industry. Its success can only be for the good of the building-services industry as a whole and lead to better buildings.

Elements of partnering — the COMPASSure scheme is based on elemental building packages supplied on a supply-and-fix basis by pre-assembled supply-chain modules.

Delivering the practical benefits of partnering

The Construction Manufacturers Partnering Association (COMPASS) is moving on with it pioneering programme to more efficiently integrate suppliers and sub-contractors into the construction process. ALAN KENNEDY reports on progress.

Collage
Total expertise in steam for hospitals — five companies have teamed up to form the Steam Alliance to cover the use of steam for hot water, sterilising and heating.

Five companies pool expertise in steam

Five companies have teamed up to form the Steam Alliance — a one-stop shop for the complete range of steam systems for the NHS hospital-building programme.

FM contractor stimulates partnership initiative

George S. Hall recently joined forces with business school Ashridge to create a new team partnering initiative. Aimed at pushing back customer-service boundaries in the facilities-management market, the 3-day event was held with key clients at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle in the Western Isles.

Innomech
Faced with managing and controlling the services in this extremely environmentally friendly building, GB Innomech chose an industrial-grade system based on Mitsubishi equipment.

Industrial control meets nature in green building

Faced with controlling one of the most innovative ecological buildings in the UK, GB Innomech decided that industrial-grade equipment would give a far better performance at much lower cost than a standard environmental control system.

Ultrasonic flow measurement identifies scope for 84% energy saving

Using a Micronics ultrasonic non-invasive portable flow meter in a process application has led to a 75 kW pump being replaced with an 11 kW unit. Annual energy consumption has been reduced from £5698 to £926 for a capital cost of £1500 — a payback of just four months.

Boiler room
A £3000 saving in fluing costs compared with a fan-dilution system system and lower running costs have been delivered for Anchor Trust at Edgewood Court in Birmingham by a partnering arrangement with ATAG Heating.

Partnering arrangement delivers savings for Anchor Trust

Faced with a 20% increase in fuel costs in a year, Anchor Trust has embarked on replacing and maintaining central-heating and hot-water systems across all its properties based on a partnering arrangement with ATAG Heating. Anchor’s fuel bill stood to rise by about £1 million across its 700 retirement properties and over a hundred care homes. 40 plants are scheduled to to be replaced each year.

Waterfront Studio
Heating for 88 business units in this new development in east London is provided by seven small plant rooms with local control based on Oventrop valves.

Oventrop valves help provide local control of business-unit heating

As part of individually controlled heating systems served by seven centralised plant rooms, Oventrop valves have been used for isolation, regulation and commissioning.

The time-saving benefits of bespoke AHUs

By supplying four bespoke packaged rooftop air-handling units to match the footprints of the plant they replaced, Weatherite contributed to the installation of new air-conditioning equipment at Havering magistrates’ court in London being achieved two weeks ahead of schedule. The work was part of a major refurbishment, including a complete reroofing, that had to be completed without disrupting court business.

Kitchen

Air conditioning makes kitchen Haven of comfort

Comfort cooling for the staff in a busy kitchen at a holiday park near Weymouth is provided by air conditioning specially designed to cope with the demands of kitchens supplied by Mitsubishi Electric. Features of the unit include an external casing of stainless steel that is resistant to oil and smoke and easy to clean. Andrew Air Conditioning installed the unit, which was chosen because it includes a high-performance oil mist filter.

Hangar
Halving heating costs, radiant-tube heating in this RAF hangar provides six zones of heating.

Fuel costs dive in aircraft hangar

Fuel consumption has been halved in an RAF hangar on the island of Anglesey following the installation of radiant heating to replace an HTHW system dating from the 1960s.

Ferroli de-rates boiler to serve new eco-house

A single Ferroli Tempra boiler de-rated from 24 kW to just 5 kW meets the total heating and hot-water requirements of a new eco-house near Stroud in Gloucestershire. It is claimed to be the most energy-efficient domestic building anywhere and looks just like a typical Cotswold stone house.

Citygate
Over 500 chilled beams were made and supplied by Trox for Phase 2 of the Citygate development in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Trox takes chilled beams to Newcastle

When the internal layout of Phase 2 of the Citygate project in Newcastle upon Tyne changed, Trox adapted the specification of its chilled beams and enabled them to be called off floor by floor, minimising redundant kit.

pipes
Durapipe’s Friatherm pipework has been used in the refurbishment of Leeds Blood Transfusion Centre.

Plastics pipe sustains the flow at blood bank

To meet contemporary performance and hygiene standards, Durapipe’s Friatherm pipework has been used in the refurbishment of Leeds Blood Transfusion Centre as part of the upgrading of all hot- and cold-water services.

Tree house
Underfloor heating for some 200 m2 of the Tree House at Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland is provided by an Even-Heat underfloor system.

Even-Heat branches out into unusual underfloor heating

Heating for one of the major attractions at Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland, the world’s largest tree house, is provided by an Even-Heat underfloor heating system.

servicing
A new services from EWS can undertake a wide range of refurbishment projects and maintenance and replacement and repair work.

EWS introduces refurbishment service

EWS has launched a new service to undertake a wide range of refurbishment projects, replacements, repairing and installing. Work can include air conditioning (comfort and close control) public health, electrical, fire detection, ventilation, water treatment and controls — including building-management systems.

chiller
New options for Daikin water- and air-cooled chillers improve heat-recovery capabilities.

Daikin improves options on large screw chillers

Optional extras for Daikin’s large screw chillers now include heat recovery, inverter fans and fans with high external static pressures. Daikin has also fitted standard filters for both water- and air-cooled chillers with plate heat exchangers.

Thermal camera
Non-invasive monitoring of building structures — Flir’s Thermacam B2 thermal-imaging camera.

Entry-level thermal-imaging camera

A thermal-imaging camera that is a derivation of Flir’s proven E-Series provides a quick and easy non-invasive method of monitoring and diagnosing the condition of building structures. It allows the user to image entire rooms, inspect areas that are difficult to access with moisture meters and discover damp behind tiled walls and wallpaper that does not readily water-stain. Leaks can be tracked to their source and the drying process monitored.

sensors
A new range of competitively priced thermostats from Sontay covers a wide variety of HVAC applications.

Sontay launches HVAC thermostat range

Sontay’s latest range of plant thermostats covers a wide variety of typical HVAC applications and is competitively priced.

Water heater can also provide space heating

The latest Econostor storage water heater from Stokvis operates on the tank-in-tank principle for maximum efficiency.

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Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

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