2006 September

Achieving intelligent buildings requires the infrastructure to enable systems to communicate with one another and systems that can communicate. Integrated Systems is the key to the future of intelligent buildings. JULIAN JOWITT and BILL McCONNELLL explain how this is being made possible for air conditioning.
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Although the capability to deliver intelligent buildings exists, the uncertainty of clients presents barriers to their acceptance. ALISON NICHOLL advises how to break down those barriers.
Sontay, which specialises in control peripheral products, has introduced online tracking of orders, an auto-update initiative to improve project management and information flow for customers and an enhanced web site.

ICS makes it five

24 September, 2006
Five buildings in Longford Centre development being built at Feltham in Middlesex are having control systems installed by Integrated Control Systems in a £100 000 contract.
Singapore Management University has used Echelon LonWorks technology in its new city campus as the foundation for its state-of-the-art intelligent building-management system. Multiple building-automation sub-systems are integrated to enable the university to significantly reduce energy consumption and costs and increase student comfort.
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Among the many benefits of intelligent, or integrated, buildings is a lower first cost. IAN STORRAR has the full story.

Improving energy management

20 September, 2006
Tailored solutions for intelligent metering, energy monitoring, remote data retrieval using automatic meter reading from PRI provide the information required to help control the use of energy and its associated costs.
The first meeting of the recently formed Intelligent Buildings Group of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers is on 19 October at the Royal Society in London.
In response to growing demand for interoperability and open systems, Priva Building Intelligence has released an update of its Top Control software, TC 6.0. This new software supports many more protocols and standards. It is compatible with XML, BACnet, Echelon/LonMark, KNX/EIB, ModBus, M-bus, ODBC, SQL and OPC.
Millenniium Point
The chronic lack of a long-term vision to tackle energy use means domestic buildings could soon pull away from industrial and commercial equivalents. The BMS industry must stop thinking in the short-term and start shouting about the impact it can make for decades to come, according to RICHARD STROD.
Existing network infrastructure can be used by Merlin Gerin’s PowerLogic EGX400 Ethernet gateway to provide direct access to utility consumption and other energy-management information. It is operated via a web browser.
Total integration of building systems in the £330 million Westfield Shopping Centre development in Derby is being achieved using Honeywell’s Enterprise Building Integrator (EBI) interface. It is bringing together building-management and life-safety systems, along with security and access control.
Vokera’s Condexa Pro range of wall-hung condensing boilers have three circuits for domestic hot water, high-temperature heating and low-temperature heating such as underfloor.
The efficiency of boiler plant serving a housing development in Newcastle has been more than doubled following the replacement of the old plant with a system comprising two Ideal Super Plus boilers and two Imax Plus appliances on the one system. It provides 1530 kW of heat at an average efficiency of 95%, compared with 34% before.
It has been clear for some years that the UK commercial boiler market has far more potential than the number of installations taking place each year indicate. JOHN BAILEY believes that its prospects have never been better.

New boilers for old

19 September, 2006
Changes to Building Regulations have made the move towards condensing technology for commercial applications inevitable, GRAHAM WILLIAMSON discusses the issues affecting specifiers and identifies what they need to know when considering a condensing boiler in a replacement application.
In comparing the life-cycle costs of boilers, combustion efficiencies are only part of the equation. KEVIN STONES takes an holistic view.
Glow-worm’s Flexicon cx boiler is said to be the only high-efficiency combi on the UK market with a direct rear-flue option and small enough to be fitted inside a kitchen wall cupboard.
Hot water is being generated at an efficiency of up to 96% (net) for poultry company Moy Park Ltd at its factory in Derbyshire by a Lochinvar installation. The equipment comprises a Power-fin gas-fired water heater and an LST 250 storage tank with a capacity of 115 litres to provide a hot-water supply for the factory’s washdown facility.
Yan Evans
Andrews Water Heating has developed a packaged approach to applying solar energy to the commercial water-heating market.
Yan Evans
Andrews Water Heating has developed a packaged approach to applying solar energy to the commercial water-heating market.
All boilers are Charterhouse School are progressively being replaced with modern and more efficient systems from Clyde Energy Solutions.
Steve Hills
The latest Building Regulations emphasise the importance of commissioning in creating a heating system that is compliant with the regulations, energy efficient and cost effective. STEVE HILLS says that unless commissioning is completed correctly, the chances are the system will not be performing to its design specification.
Baxi Commercial boilers are included in the Energy Technology List, so that they qualify for Enhanced Capital Allowances. All the company’s commercial condensing boilers appear on the list.
Dimplex has expanded its popular SU and SUTP ranges of unvented storage water heaters with the introduction of a larger storage vessel. These ranges are now available in sizes from a compact undersink 7 litres to a mid-range 75 litres.
Domestic hot water for homes with up to five bathrooms in a development in Salford is provided by packaged equipment specially designed and made by Elson. The development at Broughton Green is a partnership of the City of Salford and Taylor Woodrow, with the houses and apartments for sale. Heating and plumbing contractor George Birchall of Stoke worked with Elson to provide a prefabricated solution for the key parts of the system.
PETE MILLS comments on the latest changes to Part L and their effects on commercial boiler specification, with particular reference to the application of controls in refurbishment projects.
Stokvis Energy Systems has minimised emissions of NOx, CO and CO2 from its recently expanded Econoflame range of boilers by incorporating pre-mix burners, multiple-pass heat exchangers and the latest electronic controls.
Vokera has extended its Autostop control to prevent domestic boilers being used for more than 12 months without being serviced to its Mynute HE range of high-efficiency system boilers and the new Unica HE combi range.
underfloor heating

Pushing Part L under the floor

18 September, 2006
Underfloor heating has always been a highly effective method of delivering comfort, especially in large spaces. Changes in the last two editions of the Building Regulations have so improved its cost basis that the benefits can be more widely enjoyed.
When the whole project team agrees on who does what, uncertainty, duplication of effort and confusion are reduced — so that projects are delivered more efficiently. DAVID CHURCHER explains how BSRIA is helping the process.
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PROF. PETER BOYCE explores why so much lighting in commercial buildings in the UK is indifferent and what can be done about it.
cooling tower
Different Government departments have very different perspectives on the use of cooling towers for rejecting heat from air-conditioning systems. ROBERT MacLEOD-SMITH gives his perspective.
Greg Davies
An expert witness in the recent re-trial of Gillian Beckingham, GREG DAVIS, considers the lessons needing to be learnt from this landmark case.
Parkersell’s electrical testing and inspection unit (ETI) has secured significant contracts in the retail sectors. New contracts include shoe retailer Clarks and bookmaker Corals. Existing contracts that have been reinstated include Kwik-Fit and women’s fashion brands Viyella and Jaeger.
A bespoke lighting-support system for Terminal 5B at Heathrow Airport has been designed by Cablofil based on its wire-mesh cable tray. Working with Crown House Technologies, Cablofil devised a system that was simple to install and secures more than 400 lights to the curved ceiling of the terminal building, carrying power and digital control signals to each fitting.
Cooling for mission-critical blade servers at London’s Imperial College is provided by Trox’s carbon-dioxide cooling system. 15 CO2OLrac units each provide 20 kW of cooling for the server cabinets in the E-Science computer suite.

Electric heating

17 September, 2006
An online information source on electric space heating has been developed by Dimplex. It includes information on policy initiatives and legislation, compliance with Part L, funding programmes, environmental issues and the core benefits of electric heating.

LST heating

17 September, 2006
Autron has launched a new catalogue of its low-surface-temperature radiators and accessories. These products have a maximum surface temperature of 43°C, in line with the requirements of Building Regulations for many projects. Among the company’s product is the Slenderline, which at 75 mm deep is said to be the slimmest LST on the market.

IT cabling

17 September, 2006
Connectix, a leading supplier of cable systems, has launched a new web site for consulting engineers involved in information-technology infrastructure.

Ventilation products

17 September, 2006
Addvent’s latest catalogue of commercial, industrial and domestic ventilation products includes useful guides to assist with correct specification in line with health-and-safety regulations.
Upower’s new web site provides an easy means of exploring the company’s comprehensive range of busbar products for electrical distribution. The systems are designed to accommodate all major MCBs and MCCBs.
A new brochure explains how a CentraLine heating control system can greatly reduce a school’s heating costs — and also provide a valuable classroom resource to teach energy efficiency.
To explain how heat pumps can provide an alternative, renewable energy source for homes, schools, offices and commercial buildings, Viessmann has produced a free 44-page technical guide. It is aimed at consultants, designers, energy managers and contractors.
BAC Balticare has published a 480-page product and applications handbook covering its full range of cooling towers, evaporative condensers, water-saving wet/dry fluid coolers and ice thermal-storage units. It is available free to owners and operators, specifying consulting engineers, facilities managers and maintenance companies.
Birmingham-based Inviron has won a 3-year contract worth £200  000 to continue maintaining mechanical and electrical services on sites operated by Fluor Ltd. Its scope includes Fluor’s UK headquarters at Camberley in Surrey and various tenanted buildings throughout Greater London.
briggs & forrester
Share ownership of contractor Briggs & Forrester Group has been extended to include all directors of the four operating companies and other members of the management team. Group chairman Mike Stanton explains that this group has collectively purchased 25% of the group.
A further four contracts to remodel Marks & Spencer stores are worth £4.5 million to Balfour Kilpatrick, the multi-services and power-systems business of Balfour Beatty.
Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy hurleypalmerflatt has moved its Canary Wharf office to larger premises at West India Quay. 25 staff have been moved to the new office, which doubles capacity for future recruitment and on-going expansion.
Over a hundred professionals have passed the qualification examination for the register of low-carbon consultants run by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. The register was officially launched on 1 September.
Air-conditioning specialist Mitsubishi Electric has been acknowledged as one of the top-10 ‘green’ companies of the year in the Portfolio 21 survey of Global Mutual Fund, which invests in companies helping the move towards a sustainable society. The survey links financial performance to corporate environmental performance.

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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.