The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association has seen its fair share of triumph and adversity in its first 100 years. Modern Building Services sought out some presidents who played key roles in a century of contracting to see if the lessons of the past could inform the future.
On the technical front, building services has changed more in the last 25 years than in the previous 75 years. Commerical and economic problems ,however, remain stubbornly persistent.
Can it really be as late as the 1960s before legislation for minimum standards of heating in offices, shops and factories was passed? How much longer might we have to wait for legislation on excessively high indoor temperatures?
Despite the economic difficulties of the 1930s and 1940s, building services grew in importance — and air conditioning was installed in a number of prestige buildings. Education and training needs received serious attention.
With new and developing technologies to provide better-serviced buildings came conflict between the traditional skills of plumbers and the new breed of heating engineer. It was the need for representing the special interests of contractors that led to the formation of the forerunner of the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association.
The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association is making much of its centenary in June, with a major centenary convention in Harrogate. The first president, David Nesbit, will be there (played by an actor).
For the many, many people with deep roots in the building-services industry who will not be at this convention, our commemoration of the centenary of the HVCA will bring back memories and give an insight into this history leading up to building-services engineering as it is today.
Our thanks to the CIBSE Heritage Group for making photographic material available from its archives and to HVCA for its support.
Having regularly experienced long power cuts lasting up to 48 h, mechanical, electrical and maintenance contractor Resource Environmental Services has tackled the problem by installing a standby power system from Scorpion Power Systems. The turnkey package includes generator, UPS, full electrical installation, testing and commissioning.
Self-regulating electric floor heating in the Turkish Embassy in London is achieving energy savings in excess of 20% compared with an unregulated system.
The installation of 350 thermostatic radiator valves in student accommodation at the university of Essex has reduced gas consumption by 8% in the five months since they were installed. That equates to an energy saving of nearly £2000 in a full year.
The task of installing power and IT cables in refurbished offices in the Civic Centre of the London Borough of Harrow has been achieved using Marshall-Tufflex Sterling Profile 12 trunking.
Modular prefabrication based on wooden structures for one of the UK’s newest Travelodges at Leicester provided an ideal application for the use of Yorkshire Fittings’ XPress Copper range of plumbing. Because of the wooden structure, no hot work was permitted.
A relationship stretching back over 20 years between installer Air Conditioning Economics in Derby and Airedale International Air Conditioning has continued with the supply of an Ultima Compact chiller to maintain accurate temperatures in offices and laboratories of International Laboratory Services in Derby.
Carbon emissions are being reduced by over 840 t a year following the installation of a CHP scheme serving some 5000 properties in Portsmouth, including hoses, bungalows and high- , medium- and low-rise blocks of flats. The Charles Dickens District Heating Scheme is also expected to reduce annual fuel bills by about £120 per household on the Buckland estate to the north of the city centre.
To help the industry respond to the recent 80% reduction in exposure limits to electromagnetic fields, BSRIA provides surveys of electromagnetic fields to assess current levels and make practical recommendations to solve problems. The National Radiation Protection Board says that the safety thresholds for exposure to power lines, mobile phones and radio transmitters should be reduced to bring Britain into line with international guidelines.
CIBSE has confirmed that its 2004 national conference will go ahead — despite the cancellation of the Clima Expo exhibition that was scheduled at the same time this Autumn. The new venue is the International Hotel, Marsh Wall, next to Canary Wharf in London. The dates are unchanged — 29 and 30 September.
SES electrical apprentices Paul Hanna and Darren McMahon take time out on the completion by SES of its £3 million building-services contract at The Hurlingham Club in London to learn the sport of croquet.
The Leeds office of consulting engineers White Young Green, as part of the QED consortium set up by Wates Group, has reached financial close on a £25 million PFI scheme to build 10 primary schools in Leeds. The other consortium partners are Watson & Batty Architects and Hyder Business Services providing facilities-management services. Day-to-day project management is by Education Leeds, an arms-length company wholly owned by Leeds City Council.
Bristol-based electrical contractor Avon Combined Electrical Services is enjoying the benefits of partnering after completing one of several major projects — a health centre in Bristol — with main contractor Pearce Construction, consultants, G. K. Salters & Associates and manufacturers Hager and Sovereign.
Power support company Merlin Power Management, has acquired the specialist service and commissioning company Powercall as part of its strategic expansion programme to provide its customers with a totally integrated power solutions service.
Mitsubishi Electric has opened new air-conditioning training facilities to serve Scotland and the north of England. Located in the company’s factory at Livingstone near Edinburgh, the facilities complement those at Hatfield, which have already provided guidance and education for over 2000 engineers in the last two years.
Daikin has acquired one of the UK’s fastest-growing air-conditioning suppliers, MacQueen Air Conditioning.
A chartered accountant employed by McQuay has won an award for her dedicated voluntary work on a community project in Northumberland.
A 25 to 30% improvement in the energy performance of buildings over present ratings can be expected when revised Building Regulations come into effect by the end of 2005, according to Alan Aldridge, executive director of the Energy Systems Trade Association. He was speaking at the London event of a series of nationwide seminars organised by ESTA ‘Keep your eye on the ball’.
Emap has acquired the 50% shareholding in Interbuild that was formerly held by Montgomery Exhibitions. Formal ownership starts on 7 July.
CIBSE has enlarged the scope for membership by being able to accept competent building-services engineers as corporate members without demanding that they meet the narrower requirements of the Engineering Council at the same time. The changes that the Privy Council has approved are in line with developments in other engineering institutions. Candidates for corporate membership will still be required to meet CIBSE’s own competence standards.
LB Lighting’s new website provides specifiers with a clear understanding of LB’s expertise in the design and manufacture of bespoke luminaires. It includes a wide range of examples to illustrate the benefits of bespoke designs in practice.
Guidance on comprehensive on-site and technical services for consultants and contractors has been published by air-conditioning supplier Mitsubishi Electric.
The latest ‘Trade price guide’ from national distributor Pipe Center runs to 128 pages and provides a reference for specifiers and installers. It gives the latest information for pricing and specifying on the company’s complete range of pipe and fittings, valves, plumbing and heating and ancillary equipment for commercial and industrial environments.
CIBSE has expanded and updated its guidance to Part L of the Building Regulations dealing with energy efficiency in buildings. One of the most significant additions to Guide F is the comprehensive data on energy-consumption benchmarks by type of building and type of room/area in a building or complex. Other checklists include one on why buildings fail on energy on energy. Practical enhancements include a design checklist and how to carry out an energy survey.
Three of Airedale’s chiller ranges are listed on the Energy Technology List, so that they qualify for Enhanced Capital Allowances.
JS has launched two electrode-boiler humidifier packages for contractors. The ELMC Plus package includes all the elements needed to supply 5 or 10 kg/h of steam directly into a room or to a duct.
A family of modular wiring systems from Apex Wiring Solutions is described as providing a faster and more flexible alternative to conventional wiring for lighting, underfloor power and ‘buswire’ distribution systems.
As part of a complete product relaunch including three new ranges, Yorkshire Fittings has rebranded its PressFit plumbing products as XPress.
Vapac has launched a customised maintenance package designed to maximise the reliability and energy efficiency of humidifiers.
Axair Climate has introduced an upgraded range of air-to-air heat-pump systems using R407C.
Ferroli has enhanced its Pegasus range of atmospheric boilers with the introduction of a high-low burner design to boost efficiency. These burners are used on all boilers in the range, which cover 12 outputs from 51 to 289 kW.
Endurance long-life luminaires from Chalmor have a working life of 60 000 h before replacement is required — equating to 20 years of operation at 10 h use a day.
In readiness for higher efficiency levels for commercial boilers expected in the 2005 update of the Building Regulations, Ideal Boilers has added floor-standing condensing boilers to its Imax range. Six boilers provide outputs from 80 to 280 kW, and boilers can be installed in multiple formation to provide larger outputs.
Simple and effective control to switch off lighting when there is sufficient daylight and to dim and brighten lamps as light levels fluctuate is provided by the LightSpot photocell from Ex-Or.
Five models of heat-recovery air-handling units from Exhausto cover airflows from 400 to 7700 m3/h. Units in the VEX100 range are compact in size so that they can be sited virtually anywhere. The largest unit has a footprint of just 2.7 m2.
Claimed to be the most efficient solar cells commercially produced in Europe are the Saturn 7 series of power modules from BP Solar.
Pipe Center has expanded the range of Sabiana fan-coil units that it distributes with the addition of the Futura designer-cased version. Their enclosures have rounded corners suitable for professional offices, surgeries and similar locations where image is as important as functional performance. A vandal-resistant version is also available.
Control of warm-water underfloor heating systems from simple to sophisticated is provided by a specially designed control module from Coster Environmental Systems.
Titon is adding powered ventilation products to its portfolio. The company is well known for its trickle ventilators and window fittings.
Trane has introduced a fan-coil unit that is suited to the requirements of the hotel market.
Lockable 13 A socket outlets have been added to the Ultra flat-plate range of wiring accessories from Eaton MEM. They are suitable for commercial premises and public areas where the use of socket outlets needs to be restricted.
Bitzer now offers from stock the most popular models from its range of air-cooled Euroscroll LH condensing units. These popular units are initially available with 2 to 9 kW nominal motor power and include various options to suit customer requirements.
The Wefatherm pipework system from Durapipe is based on polypropylene-random, so it can be completely recycled or disposed of in landfills, where it behaves in a neutral and non-toxic manner.
Following over 20 years in commissioning, engineer Duncan Selby has developed an electronic commissioning device for piped services that is said to provide the ultimate in accuracy, reliability and convenience.
Managing risk on construction projects can be a nightmare. The newly developed COMPASSure scheme provides a means of transferring risk to those parts of the supply chain that are best equipped to carry it. Alan Kennedy explains.
Without close teamwork and the extensive use of prefabricated services modules, 10 weeks would have been added to the installation time for a new hospital in Coventry and nearly 20% to services installation costs.