2007 January

Refurbishment work is affected by the Building Regulations more than ever before. It can be a minefield, but IAN ADAMS explains how to chart a safe path.
If the design of building services is considered early enough, it can almost become part of the building fabric rather than added later — with considerable benefits, as a landmark building in Germany demonstrates.

Two shows you must not miss

20 January, 2007
Everyone who needs to keep up to date with developments in the HVACR industry must make sure they visit H&V07 and RAC07 from 27 February to 1 March.
A new approach to increasing the thermal inertia of buildings, which can also be retro-fitted, has been developed and tested by DuPont.
Energy efficiency seems to be the only game in town at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore health, safety and productivity issues, says NIGEL EDWARDS-HUGHES.
RICHARD WALKER, explains why the changes to Part L of the Building Regulations were necessary and how they affect the selection of boiler plant.
Sales of condensing boilers to in the commercial market are approaching 50% — but STUART PURCHASE is concerned that they are not able to realise their full potential.

Beyond weather compensation

20 January, 2007
Do you fancy reducing your heating bills by 20 per cent? PETER JENNINGS believes he has the answer.
There are undoubted benefits to installing condensing technology in existing buildings, but it is a much more complex matter than simply swapping over the boiler says STEPHEN LAWS.
As part of its obligation to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard introduced by the Welsh Assembly in 2002, Torfaen County Borough Council in South Wales is working with boiler manufacturer Glow-worm to replace boilers in its housing stock of some 8500 units.
CCL Lindab now offers a stainless-steel flue system for commercial and domestic applications. It can be used with gas- or oil-fired boilers and industrial air heaters.
Integrated into the environmentally aware services of Fifteen Cornwall, the restaurant inspired by Jamie Oliver at Watergate Bay near Newquay, are high-efficiency boilers and calorifiers from Clyde Energy Solutions.
A total of 19 Hoval gas-fired condensing boilers have been installed at the Emirates Stadium of Arsenal Club to serve heating and hot-water systems. Key factors in the specification of the Ultragas AM-c 500 boilers by consulting engineers Buro Happold were their high efficiency and compact design, optimising the use of plant-room space.
Viessmann has expanded its capabilities in the market for biomass-fuelled boiler and CHP with the acquisition of Austrian manufacturer Mawera. This company has a turnover of E30 million and has been awarded prizes for innovation by the Austrian and Bavarian state governments.
To simplify installation, Hamworthy Heating has improved the water manifold kits used with its Wessex ModuMax range of gas-fired boilers.
Social housing in the north west of England is being refurbished using high-efficiency boilers supplied by Ferroli. The company is working with the property services division of Progress Housing Group and is supplying condensing combination boilers from its Optimax and Maxima ranges, together with a service package that includes next-day call out, free training for Progress’s gas heating engineers and sponsorship of its apprenticeship scheme.
The Dimplex Ascari fully modulating electric boiler for domestic heating systems does not require a flue and is said to be ideal for heating smaller properties — especially in multi-occupancy buildings where the design does not allow for gas ventilation but wet radiators are the preferred choice. It is said to be ideally to areas offering Economy 10 and other similar tariffs.
As part its Decent Homes programme, the London Borough of Greenwich has installed Vaillant ecoTEC plus high-efficiency combi boilers to modernise 36 maisonettes. They were installed by K&T Heating services and flued using Vaillant’s variable termination kits, enabling the flue outlet to be resited away from the boiler to reduce the impact of nuisance pluming.
Modern, well insulated large-space buildings require lower heat inputs to their warm air heating systems — but heat distribution must cover much wider areas. ERIC FENTON explains how this can be achieved without extensive ductwork.
Annual energy savings of over 1000 MWh are expected at Belfast International Airport following the refurbishment of a number of air-handling units. The work includes the retrofitting of variable speed drives to the fans of these AHUs. Carbon emissions will be reduced by over 500 t a year.
Replacing the lighting system provides a wonderful opportunity for giving an office a fresh look and increasing productivity and well being. Hugh King’s health check will help you consider your refurbishment options.
Weatherite Building Services Group has completed the refurbishment of air-conditioning system for Supernews shops in Keighley and Sheffield. The projects were part of a major facelift programme of more than a hundred T&S Supercigs shops acquired from Tesco two years ago.
Faced with retrofitting air conditioning into a prestigious central-London address, Air Conditioning Solutions (ACS) replaced the existing cooling-only system with five Mitsubishi Electric PURY-P City Multi heat-recovery units. Gloucester Place Business Centre in London’s West End is an elegant 5-storey period building which combines old with new. Each office of this multi-tenanted building still has the original Edwardian fireplaces, for example.
Econo-Air air-handling units have been supplied by Stokvis Energy Systems for projects at three schools in the West Midlands to enable the use of sports halls to be increased.
New Government regulations place increasing pressure on a building’s owners or users to control and reduce energy use, coupled with stricter requirements on indoor air quality. How do they affect building services in the renovation and conversion markets, and should you replace an ancient air-conditioning system that still seems to work well? PHIL ORD explains more.
As part of the comprehensive refurbishment of the British Film Institute’s National Film Theatre complex on London’s South Bank, Daikin VRV inverter-controlled heat-recovery systems have been installed in many of the new features and special areas.

The spare-parts issue

16 January, 2007
Managing the maintenance, repair and operations of any commercial building is a balancing act for the engineers, facilities managers and contractors involved. Tom Wilson discusses the value that distributors can bring to the maintenance and repair operation.
F-gases (HFCs) do a wonderful job inside chillers, but they are very unkind to the environment if they escape. ADRIAN TREVELYAN explains the forthcoming regulation to contain F-gases — and how they are an opportunity rather than a threat.
As part of the upgrading of halls of residence at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, Parkersell is rewiring the halls and inspecting and testing the fixed wiring. Parkersell is also carrying out emergency-lighting work.
OCS Engineers has won a new 3-year care contract to maintain the headquarters of the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The deal builds on a 3-year relationship which began when OCS’s predecessor (BES) won the initial LCCI contract.
AMEC is to manage a multi-million programme to redevelop two stores for Marks & Spencer in Liverpool and Edinburgh. The work follows the completion this year of seven remodelled stores in Bury, Dumfries, Handforth, Blackpool, Darlington, Workington and Pudsey in time for the peak trading period before Christmas.
Modern Building Services is exploiting the communications capabilities of the Internet to help readers find new positions to further their careers — and, at the same time, help employers fill vacancies more quickly than ever before.
Recent rapid growth in the market for unvented water heating has seen sales of Heatrae Sadia’s Megaflo cylinders pass the half-million mark since the company started making them in 1994.
A continuing trend towards clients working more closely with M&E contractors has seen procurement based on lowest cost almost halve from 31% in 2001 to 16% in 2006, according to the latest Key Performance Indicators compiled by BSRIA.
PME, the facilities services company of Carillion, has been re-awarded a major contract by leading financial organisation ABN Amro in competitive. tender.
To advance its strategy for developing its chilled-water business, Marstair has consolidated all chilled-water products under the Quartz brand and dropped the Airking brand.
The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association has become a signatory to the construction commitments charter developed by the Strategic Forum for Construction in relationship to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Robertson Construction North East England Ltd has reached financial close on the second tranche of a Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) project in Newcastle and North Tyneside.
The vision of the Chancellor Gordon Brown of zero carbon emissions from every new home in the UK has thrown into the spotlight a range of Government initiatives. Clarification by the Treasure after the pre-Budget statement defined a zero-carbon home as one that does not make an overall contribution to global warming. One incentive is for zero-carbon homes to be exempt from stamp duty.
A total of 5000 to 8000 qualified handlers of refrigerants in air-conditioning systems will be required to meet the requirements of the F-gas Regulation which comes into effect on 4 July 2007 — that was the message of Graham Hendra, technical manager with LG’s air-conditioning division in the UK to nearly 200 contractors, consultants and property managers at its recent series of road shows in Manchester, Birmingham and London.
A report prepared for HM Treasury recommending moving further towards an employer-led education and skills system has been welcomed by SummitSkills as a ‘major turning point’ for the building-services-engineering sector.
MITIE has boosted its association with Surrey Education Business Partnership with Andy White from MITIE Engineering in Farnham volunteering as a mentor to pupils at Ash Manor School in Ash, Surrey.

HRP hosting R22 seminars

14 January, 2007
A series of free seminars on the phase out of R22 as a refrigerant is being run by wholesaler HRP. Over half of refrigerant used in the UK is R22. Production will be dramatically reduced by December 2009 and from 2012 the use of virgin R22 and refrigerants based on R22 will be banned.
A perceived demand for sustainable solutions has prompted the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association to develop an agenda for action on sustainability. Its primary focus is on the design, installation and maintenance of low- and zero-carbon (LZC) technologies.

CIBSE national conference

14 January, 2007
The Stern Review and the Climate Change Bill are both on the agenda of CIBSE’s national conference for 2007. With the theme ‘The business of change’, the conference is at The Hotel Russell in central London on 24 and 25 April.
Despite sudden and sharp falls in new construction orders in the private-commercial and private-industrial sectors for the 12 months to October 2006, these sectors still display strong long-term growth — according to figures from the Department of Trade & Industry.
Working with Anneka Rice in an area in Sri Lanka devastated by the Tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 is ‘possibly the hardest thing I have ever done’ — says Dave Woodcock, an area co-ordinator and member of the Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering.
School leaver Rachael Calland has joined Cruden Mechanical Services of Warrington as an apprentice plumbing and heating engineer. She was one of two apprentices recruited this year from a shortlist of 10 school leavers who applied for apprenticeships with the company during the summer.
Had you realised that an air-conditioning system installed 10 years ago is around 75% less efficient than today’s state-of-the art systems? Likewise, had you realised that many general lighting systems can readily be upgraded to reduce their power consumption by 20% or more by replacing luminaires or improving lighting controls?
A trench heater that is only 50 mm deep is available from SPC. The casing for these heaters is an aluminium extrusion with a new design of aluminium roll-up grille to match.
Dimplex has added new industrial and architectural air curtains and compact commercial fan heaters to its range of electric heating products for the commercial market.

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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.