2005 January

Architects like glazed façades on commercial buildings, but how can aesthetics and environmental performance be combined? KAI LIM has the answers.
PETER GAMMON explains why a programme of water treatment is so important for modern low-water-content boilers.
The key to reducing carbon emissions from boiler plant is efficient boilers in well designed systems. STEVE HILLS explores the issues in the context of the revised Part L of the Building Regulations.
PAUL MASSEY is concerned that the commercial-boiler industry is being called on to convert to condensing-only technology too quickly and that the existing Part L2 consultation document overlooks vital issues.
PAUL COOPER shares his views as an off-site manufacturer of the wider issues addressed by the concept.
As examples of the space-saving benefits of prefabricated equipment, skid-mounted units supplied by Rycroft for six Royal Navy destroyers are the ultimate. Not only is a multitude of equipment packed into the minimum footprint, but all components are accessible from the front for ease of servicing.
SHARON KULIGOWSKI reviews the benefits of fitting inverters to burners and their place in the specifier’s energy-efficiency toolkit.
While the factory end of off-site production (prefabrication) is a smooth processes, there are many on-site issues to be considered. MARCUS DICKS explains.
Individually designed rigs built by Keston for a large housing project combine a boiler, hot-water cylinder, underfloor heating panels and mains transformers, including electrical switchings for domestic appliances.
Prefabricated services modules have saved one week per floor in installation time in a refit of three floors of 10 Exchange Square in the City of London. Phil Mardle, construction manager with M&E contractor Bancroft Group, says, ‘This was our first exercise in the use of off-site prefabricated services in this manner, and we therefore used it on a fairly limited scale. We will almost certainly, however, expand the scope of its use on future projects.’
Psychrometric charts with a wipe-clean reusable surface are available free from JS Humidifiers. These A3 charts can be kept on the desk ready for immediate use.
In response to customer demand for replacement fans that will fit the footprint of Vortice’s Record range, it has been made available again, making it unnecessary to retile, redecorate or re-axtex rooms where fans need to be replaced.
Compact backflow preventers to ensure that contaminated water cannot flow back into the public mains supply are available from Honeywell as the BA295 series. They use the proven RPZ (reduced-pressure-zone) principle used in Honeywell’s existing products — with a thorough redesign to simplify servicing and greatly reduce spares holding.
Control panel
Temperature detection and integrated control of HVAC, lights and blind)s in a single room control aimed at designed-oriented facilities is provided by Thermokon’s WRF08 operating panel. The frame can be of high-grade glass or natural stone.
Quiet operation is a key feature of Vent-Axia’s Solo Plus range of centrifugal extract units for bathroom, toilets and utility rooms. They are designed to cope with the added resistance of extended ducting runs, but still have a sound output of less than 40 dB(A) at boost speed and 20 dB(A) in normal running. They are claimed to be the quietest fans of their type on the market.
Daikin has introduced a range of heat-pump and cooling-only wall-mounted split pairs of air-conditioning units using R410A. Three sizes of unit provide cooling capacities from 2 to 3.4 kW and heating from 2.7 to 4 kW.
floor box
Mita’s latest floor box for power and data communications is compatible with Category 6 requirements for structured cabling. It is available with three and four compartments to accommodate Category 5e, Category 6 and fibre applications.
Honeywell has launched self-calibrating wall sensors for carbon dioxide and carbon-dioxide/temperature that are more cost-effective than the existing AQS series. The styling, dimensions and mounting of C7110 series sensors are identical to the established T7460 and T7560 wall modules.
Following a study of the requirements of hotels, Ability Projects has developed an upgraded version of its hotel fan-coil system.
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.

Earth-leakage relays

16 January, 2005
Electronic earth-fault relays introduced by Hager provide earth-fault current protection for conductors protected by devices of up to 800 A.
Jasun Filtration has introduced a disposal service for air filters to relieve its customers of this task. The company is registered to carry and dispose of waste and has engaged a specialist team to be responsible for the collection, recycling and, if necessary, the safe and legal disposal of its filters.

From steam to hot water

16 January, 2005
Rycroft’s SteamBreeze provides an interface between an existing steam main and DHW or heating systems. Based on stainless-steel plate heat exchangers, the standard range provides for heat loads up to 1.1 MW, which in DHW services can provide a flow of 5 l/s.
condensing unit
With cooling capacities from 30 to 450 kW, Airedale’s Ultima Compact range of condensing units offer up to three times the capacity of the company’s existing range.
The staged installation of a Fujitsu VRF air-conditioning system in a 1020 m2 call centre for Cox Insurance has now been completed. The VRF system serves cellular offices. There are also a number of Multi-type split air conditioners in open-plan areas, with up to four indoor units served by one outdoor unit.
Gas bills for a youth centre in Devon have been cut by 80% following an upgrade of the heating systems, including the installation of Honeywell controls. The savings amount to nearly £300 a year, and the electricity bill has also been reduced.
water heaters
Energy savings of nearly 20% in the provision of hot water for a holiday park in Somerset have been achieved following the installation of Rinnai Infinity continuous-flow water heaters to replace a 12-year-old storage system.
Moor House
Every luminaire in the 19-storey 3000 m2 Moor House development in the City of London can be addressed from a central supervisory computer, which also provides for local controls to be added to meet exact tenant requirements.
A 80% reduction of limescale on heating surfaces has been achieved following the testing of an installation of WaterMatic’s KalGuard+ electrolytic scale inhibitors at Cranfield. This new scale inhibitor is based on the company’s proven zinc-anode electrolytic design and incorporates electronic controls to precisely match the levels of zinc to the hardness of the water. Testing was carried out in parallel with extensive field trials in commercial and industrial applications and found to control limescale in numerous areas with very hard water.
The closed-circuit cooling system in the Bishops Square office development in Spitalfields, London, is protected by CSF sidestream filtration units featuring Cobra cyclone separators. The sophisticated automatic control systems in the chilled-water air-conditioning systems of this 74 700 m2 office complex dictate that system cleanliness is paramount.
When researchers from the Sunday Mirror discovered how low the passive-smoking effect was in this wine bar in Folkestone compared with others nationwide, they failed to note the reason — three Honeywell air cleaners to remove smoke, volatile organic compounds, dust, smoke, allergens and other pollutants. The report in the newspaper said, ‘For some reason, Harvey’s Wine Bar fared better than the rest. Several friends did their best to blow smoke in my face during our visit, but the reading “only” registered the equivalent of one cigarette in three hours.’ The effect was less than a third of other typical ‘smoking’ bars visited.
Flexible cooling and heating for a new college building on the Isle of Wight designed around an atrium to minimise the need for air conditioning is provided by Toshiba VRF and split systems.
Health centre
The long-term perspective taken by critical-services-support-provider GSL for new ‘one-stop’ health centres being built under the NHS’s LIFT initiative has resulted in the specification of Novar Trend equipment to provide a standard approach to BMS.
BSRIA has installed a mini-CHP (combined heat and power) system to serve its buildings in Bracknell. Fuelled by natural gas, the DACHs unit generates 5.5 kW of electricity and 12.5 kW of heat. The installation includes a condenser to recover additional heat from the exhaust of the CHP engine. It was supplied and commissioned by Baxi Technologies.

Mowlem maintains New Look

16 January, 2005
A 3-year maintenance contract for the 520 stores in the UK and Ireland of fashion retailer New Look has been awarded to Mowlem Technical Services.
tin man
To celebrate the opening of its new Liverpool Ductshop last month, Senior Hargreaves has set up a charitable link with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. To symbolise the relationship, the company has created a Tin Man, which will be a key feature in a themed garden at the hospital.
Toshiba has signed two new major distribution agreements. One is with AMP, which has offices in Welwyn Garden City, Bristol and Bournemouth. The other is with Cool Designs, based in the north east. Both are experienced companies with reputations for supporting consulting engineers and major contractors.
Inviron Facilities Management & Service has won a long-term manned-maintenance contractor for The Lowry at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester. The contract marks a progression from a ‘mobile’ maintenance contract that has been renewed every year over the last four years. It was won in competitive tender, and Inviron’s bid was considerably enhanced by its in-depth knowledge of the site and its previous performance.
Contributing to the classification by Waitrose’s Food Illustrated magazine of this new Simpson’s restaurants on Highfield Road in Edgbaston as a ‘sassy, grown-up restaurant’ is air-conditioning provided by Mitsubishi VRF City Multi equipment. McDowall Air Conditioning specified a 20 hp Big Y outdoor unit to serve 15 wall-mounted indoor units providing 54 kW of heating and 51 kW of cooling, via a 2-pipe system.
Efficient Air
Efficient Air has moved from Eastbourne to a recently converted mill in Uckfield. Managing director Darren Bryant explains, ‘Our intention is to convince more and more large organisations which consume most of the 22% of UK energy used by electric motors driving fans that there are real savings to be made.’
ACE, the Association for Consultancy & Engineering, has backed London’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Ideal Stelrad’s centenary year, 2005, is destined to be very special, says John Colling (group marketing director) and Martin Smith (UK sales director of parent company Caradon Plumbing).
The total volume of new construction work in the year to the third quarter of 2004 rose by 7% compared to the previous 12-month period and was 1% higher in the third quarter than the previous quarter, according to figures from the Department of Trade & Industry — despite a 12% fall in infrastructure orders for the 12 months.
Andover Controls and TAC have merged to become Tour Andover Controls, a global operator in building automation and security with an expected turnover for 2004 of £363 million.
The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association has welcomed the requirement in revised terms of Part L2 of the Building Regulations that a building logbook must be provided for every new and refurbished building in England and Wales. They must also be prepared when ‘controlled services’ such as heating and air-conditioning equipment is upgraded or replaced.
Better understanding of the interaction between the design of services for buildings and their operation is signalled by an agreement between The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Issues on the boil

16 January, 2005
The powers that regulate the construction industry and make the legislation that it has to respond to often seem to be out of touch with reality. Our feature on boilers that are at the heart of heating systems for buildings bears testimony to this.

Towards better-run buildings

16 January, 2005
The news that the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the British Institute of Facilities Managers are to co-operate to develop and promote excellence in facilities-management practice marks the much-needed breaking down of barriers between the various disciplines that are involved in the design, construction and operation of buildings (page 5).
Boiler rig
Two ranges of wall-hung modulating gas-fired condensing condensing boilers from Keston have two pairs of flow and return tappings for separate connection to heating and DHW circuits. They can deliver two different flow temperatures at the same time to serve, for example, a fast-recovery indirect cylinder and underfloor heating.
NOx emissions from Viessmann’s Vitocrossal 300 condensing boiler are lower than the stringent German Blue Angel requirements. The stainless-steel heat exchanger is said to have a service life equal to or better than conventional boilers and deliver an efficiency up to 98% gross.

Condensate-pumping system

16 January, 2005
A unit to remove condensate from boilers which cannot be drained by gravity is offered by Saniflow. The Sanicondens measures about 28 x 18 x 13 cm; it accumulates up to 1.8 l of condensate and periodically pumps it away to drain.

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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.