2004 December

Variable-speed drives for pumps are generally accepted — but how can their benefits be maximised — especially when several pumps are installed in parallel. WAYNE ROSE discusses the issues to be considered.
water heaters
PAUL YUNNIE discusses why energy-efficient water heating can bring savings independent of those accrued by applying the latest Building Regulations for selecting boilers in commercial buildings.
A plastics-based alternative to metal ball valves for chilled-water applications is available from Durapipe. The EV valve is of ABS construction and supplied with EDPM seals. It is available in sizes from 1/2 to 2 in or 20 to 63 mm with solvent-weld socket or BSP threaded ends.
Glasgow Science Centre
Scotland’s newest visitor attraction, the Glasgow Science Centre, is heated by an underfloor installation based on the IPPEC Pexatherm UFH system, which is effective in high-ceiling glazed areas without excessive use of energy. It was specified at the initial construction stage and uses FlexPex, which is easy to lay in conjunction with the established Pexatherm pipe-in-staple system.
The savings in installed cost of Yorkshire Fittings’ XPress range of press-fit pipe fittings and System tube have led to it winning the status of Hills Preferred Product 2004. This awards scheme is operated by contractor Hills Mechanical & Electrical.
The conversion of existing basin taps into push-operated water-saving tamps for washrooms can be achieved using Aqualogic’s Plushtap. It is made from brass and is a size-for size replacement of the mechanism, leaving the tap body and spout in place — reducing cost and removing the risk of damage to the basin or sink.
Heat exchanger
The combination of variable-speed pumping with plate heat exchanger in the Vari-E-breeze range by Rycroft gives closer control of hot-water output and greater speed of response — enhancing energy efficiency and achieving lower running costs.
Albion Riverside
SAV commissioning modules are speeding up the commissioning of the fan-coil air-conditioning system in Albion Riverside, an 11-story building of luxury apartments on the River Thames between Albert and Battersea Bridges. Over 600 fan-coil units have been installed by Meica Building Services. They were commissioned in groups using equipment in an enclosure in the hallway ceilings.
pipe fittings
The Stourflex range of stainless-steel products from pipework-expansion specialist J&P Supplies is WRAS approved and has passed the BS6920 tests for extraction of metals and odour flavour tests for water.
Butterfly valve

Butterfly valves

12 December, 2004
Belimo has expanded its valves for HVAC applications with a range of butterfly valves in sizes from DN50 to DN350. They are motorised using various rotary actuators, including the new SY range of the larger sizes.
Although plastic pipes have many benefits, requiring less thermal insulation is not one of them — as we found out from GEOFF WRIGHT.
JOHN COOPER explains why thermal balancing is much better at responding to safety and performance issues in domestic-hot-water systems than static balancing.
The very low fire risk presented by plastic pipes in real situations is not in doubt says the Plastics Pipes Group (PPG) of the British Plastics Federation in response to tests carried out in Germany indicating that the use of plastics-based pipes for above-ground drainage aids the spread of fire (Modern Building Services, November 2004, page 32).

Chilled water challenges VRF

11 December, 2004
In Italy, chilled-water air conditioning has resisted the onslaught of VRF by continuing to innovate — and the benefits are being made available in the UK.
CentraLine has been launched as a Europe-wide brand for the energy-efficient networked automation of HVAC systems in small and medium-sized buildings. It is available through a network of partner companies and can be tailored precisely to the individual requirements of commercial, public or mixed-use premises.
To integrate the control and monitoring of different manufacturers’ technical equipment in buildings, Bosch has extended its range of building-management systems with the launch of a new building-integration system.
It is not a paradox that intelligent buildings cost less to run than those with disparate control systems, but also cost less to build. RICHARD HIPKISS explains.
Andy Haynes

Capturing the opportunities

11 December, 2004
The capability of achieving intelligent buildings exists — but the industry has to stimulate its uptake. ANDY HAYNES encapsulates the main threads from a recent major conference.
absorption chiller
A distribution agreement between Sanyo Electric and Carrier will see Sanyo absorption chillers being sold with both companies brand names on the product through Carrier distribution channels in Europe, North America and South America. The agreement will combine the resources of both companies to promote sales of these chillers in parts of the world where sales have been low compared to electrically driven alternatives.
Airedale has developed a range of remote-air-cooled chillers with high energy-efficiency ratios and cooling capacities from 75 to 450 kW. The 15 models are optimised for R407C.
AC unit

Water-cooled vertical packages

11 December, 2004
The 13 models in Hushon’s H range of water-cooled vertical packages cover capacities from 7 to 135 kW and are available as water-cooled air-conditioning packages or as water-to-air heat pumps.
Tricool is experiencing a surge in sales of free-cooling chillers, which sales director Martin Storey puts down to 35%-plus increases in the cost of electricity.
One of York International’s largest single orders in its history is for 59 chillers to meet the cooling requirements of Dubai International Airport. They will have a total cooling capacity of 410 MW.

Chillers under control

11 December, 2004
JULIAN MILLER believes that many chillers are allowed to operate very inefficiently and suggests approaches for reducing their energy consumption. There is little logic behind many control strategies for chilling. By applying some, significant savings could result.
The potential for applying Priva’s Comforte CX room control unit to integrated systems is provided by native BACnet capability. This combines the advantages of RS485, such as simple wiring and standard converters, with the versatility of BACnet.
Alan Tyson
ALAN TYSON warns that value engineering should not be confused with cost cutting or trimming the specification as a project progresses.
Chelsea Bridge Wharf
An installation rate for ductwork of three times the planned productivity for the first phase of Chelsea Bridge Wharf enabled 10 to 12 flats a days to be completed. That feat for this riverside residential development by Berkeley Homes was achieved using Kingspan’s Koolduct system.
The Salon
Ease of installation and relocation, as well as ability to cope with high heat loads, were factors leading to the selection of Fujitsu air conditioners for the set of Channel 4’s programme ‘The Salon’. Constant changes to the set design have required a number of the 12 units to be moved several times.

BSRIA helps B&Q get airtight

05 December, 2004
BSRIA is providing air-tightness services for B&Q’s building-development programme over the next three years. The work involves the successful warehouse and mini-warehouse formats.
Lighting that complies with the latest CIBSE LG3a guidelines is provided in new offices of London Underground by over 200 Miela-SG luminaires from RIDI Lighting.
The very quiet operation of Unico’s heat-pump mini-duct heating and cooling system has led to its installation in the Confetti School of Recording Technology in Nottingham, which has recently moved to new premises.
Faced with not being able to upgraded its air-conditioning system because of the phasing out of R22 products, Yaskawa Electric of Cumbernauld has replaced and upgraded it with one based on Daikin VRV II equipment using R410A.
Retail park
As part of a strategy to reduce energy consumption, PIR and microwave presence detectors from CP Electronics have been installed throughout non-retail areas at the McArthur Glen designer outlet in Cheshire Oaks. They have replaced manual light switches as part of a wide-ranging project to improve energy efficiency.
Music academy
A host of system-design and installation challenges have been overcome by a combination of Toshiba’s SMi VRF technology and the skills of long-standing accredited installation Consort Group of Newbury.
Grundfos factory
So important was it to Grundfos to continue making its own pump motors that production of a whole range of motors was transferred to Hungary.
Andrew Eastwell
With the move into a new building and the co-ordination of all its capabilities on one site has come the capability for BSRIA’s staff to interactive more effectively with one another and with the building-services industry.
Dave Hampton
The thought of all that carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels is a source of growing concern — for a growing number of people. DAVE HAMPTON believes the ultimate solution needs to be both radical and simple, and that ‘contraction and convergence’* is exactly that!

Tackling CO2 issues

05 December, 2004
Dave Hampton’s concerns about the way we continue to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (click article on the navbar to the left; it is the first article) can, as he says, be believed or disbelieved — but the issue will not go away just because it is ignored.

Time to think off-site

05 December, 2004
Events organised by BSRIA have the knack of picking a significant subject and highlighting the reasons why that subject is significant. The turnout for last month’s annual briefing on off-site production, also known as prefabrication, shows that many agree and were confident they would not be let down. From the attention paid to the speakers, one hopes for a surge in the use of off-site production to improve the pace of projects and their quality.
Television personality Sue Barker presents a regional training award that is part of a national training awards scheme organised by the UK Skills Council, to the training manager of Dalkia Mike Perry (right) and training officer Derek Matthews in recognition of Dalkia’s excellence in energy-management training.
prefab modules
Prefabricated modules combining both mechanical and electrical services are being installed for the first time by SES at the flagship Education Development in Darlington. The school will have pupils from nursery to seniors, including special-educational needs and PMLD children.
solar roof
Integrated into the roof of the National Railway Museum at Shildon in County Durham is an array of solar PV panels that can generate up to 35.4 kW of electricity. They will power interactive display points around the museum, which was recently opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair, who highlighted the importance of solar energy in the design of new buildings during his address formally opening the new museum.
School-standards Minister David Miliband has welcomed the addition of a BREEAM standard for schools to BRE’s portfolio of environmental assessments. The scheme will help schools and local-educational authorities set environmental targets for new and refurbished buildings and help designers improve the environmental of school buildings.

Steam boilers qualify for ECAs

05 December, 2004
Burners with ECA approval are now offered with Fulton’s RBC range of horizontal wet-back fire-tube boilers, qualifying them for Enhanced Capital Allowances.
Grundfos Pumps has won the Environmental Business Award of the National Business Awards — established three years ago to recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation in the UK business community.
Paul Adlam
An initiative to boost productivity and reduce costs in the market for air terminal devices launched by the Association of Ductwork Contractors & Allied Services (ADCAS) is aimed at rationalising the enormous range of sizes and variations that are used.
Daikin is to invest over £150 million on a major new R&D centre in Osaka and build a 16 000 m2 compressor factory in Brno in the Czech Republic.
Airedale International has devised an apprentice scheme leading to management development and, ultimately, a supervisory role in the company. Two of the first apprentices on the scheme are David Smithson, 20 (right), and Elliot Cater, 21 (centre), pictured here with team coach Richard Connell receiving instruction on an automated sheet-metal-punching machine which is programmed via CAM. They are on a 3-day release to Leeds College of Technology. The scheme embraces the whole manufacturing process during its four years.
Software to address the needs of facilities managers in small to medium-sized enterprises is available from Mass Systems. FM Desktop is a computer-aided facilities-management system built from a suite of scalable products using industry-standard components (AutoCAD and Microsoft Access) to help manage facilities drawings, data, assets and occupants, graphically.
Derwent boiler
Potterton Commercial has enhanced its Derwent range of high-efficiency atmospheric boilers with the Derwent Prestige Plus.
Ocean ac unit
York’s Ocean air-conditioning range comprises mini-split and portable units.

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Manufacturer helps equip skills centre

Ideal Heating has helped to equip a new £500,000 green energy centre in Merseyside which is seeking to attract fresh talent into the heating industry.

Acoustic solutions suite with easy access to services at University of Birmingham

A suite of ceiling and wall acoustic solutions have been specified for The University of Birmingham’s new landmark Molecular Sciences building, which will provide a hub for research and academic work.