2008 June

Redefining zero carbon

29 June, 2008

‘Our proposed definition recognises off-site renewables could play a part and also gives a big boost to community-scale technologies. This would have the added benefit of enabling much needed carbon reductions in the existing stock by enabling the distribution of low- or zero-carbon heat through district networks.
The full report is available on the UK-GBC web site.

‘The solutions we are pointing to are designed to ensure energy-demand reduction always comes first and on- or near-site renewables should be the focus for meeting energy needs.

Extra picture

27 June, 2008

If you have come across this section of our web site, it exists for testing purposes. We are testing a new method of putting material onto the web site. Needless to say, this section will not be here for long.

Cross head
If you have come across this section of our web site, it exists for testing purposes. We are testing a new method of putting material onto the web site. Needless to say, this section will not be here for long.

First-year undergraduates from Southampton university recently attended a Constructionarium to give them a taste of what a career in engineering and project management has to offer The group of 80 students was hosted by Faber Maunsell and Laing O’Rourke for this hands-on week-long residential construction experience, which is designed to be part of a 21st-century engineering education linking the world of academic theory with contractors and consultants from the industry. They were split into four teams to design and build scaled-down models of real-life construction projects.
CIBSE’s new president believes it is time for the institution to position itself as the leading authority on the built environment.
Rapidly, and seemingly inexorably, rising fuel costs gave added meaning to the recent CIBSE Conference on ‘Sustainability — niche to norm’ in Gateshead because, quite simply, reducing fuel bill reduces carbon emissions.

From plants to plant

16 June, 2008
People and plants are both more productive in a controlled environment — and Priva’s expertise with both cross-fertilises.

Bring me sunshine

16 June, 2008
The amount of solar irradiation that falls on Britain is very similar to Germany, Europe’s largest market for solar collectors, which is why Buderus is targeting the UK for the next stage in expanding its solar-thermal business.
Hager has launched a range of consumer units to meet the requirements of the 17th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.
A new consumer unit for domestic and light commercial applications from ABB features a flexible split-load option providing protection and isolation capabilities.
Merlin Gerin has launched a range of reclosable residual-current circuit breakers that brings higher levels of security and more convenience for resetting circuit protection.
With the introduction of the 17th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, new consumer units from Square D have been specifically design to accept new RCDs, MCBs and RCBOs (residual current circuit breaker with overcurrent protection) to help ensure compliance. The Domae and Qwikline II units offer significantly different designs suitable for dwellings and commercial and public buildings.
Biomass in the form of wood chips for heating provides a very effective approach for reducing carbon emissions when it can be used to replace existing plant such as oil-fired boilers, as a school project in Suffolk demonstrates.

The £5 million energy programme that has now been switched on at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital is expected to save £688 000 a year and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 1627 t a year — as well as reducing emissions of other harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide.

Simmtronic has supplied Specs3 fully addressable digital lighting controls for two more prestigious office buildings for the Spinningfields development in Manchester. Contractor NG Bailey awarded the contracts for 3 and 4 Hardman Square. The initial Cat. A shell-and-core contracts have been followed up with feature-rich Cat. B schemes building on the backbone system and tailored to the requirements of incoming tenants.
The erection of two large wind turbines in April is believed to have made the new advanced manufacturing research centre at the University of Sheffield the first carbon-neutral manufacturing facility in the UK.
Following 10 years’ experience using Oventrop valves, contractor Lorne Stewart selected them for the heating and DHW systems of the new £28 million Gateway Academy near Tilbury in Essex for Thurrock Council.
The 35 500 m2 of the Sheffield warehouse of IDS Logistics at Sheffield is protected against draughts when doors are open by 12 Airbloc ambient-air curtains.
The kitchen of a new bistro restaurant in the leisure complex of Sandy Balls holiday centre in the New Forest is ventilated using a Heydal ventilated ceiling system from Britannia Kitchen Ventilation. It provides a clean line of sight across the kitchen, in contrast to conventional extract canopies, which can be unsightly — especially if the kitchen is on view to diners.
SAS International metal ceiling systems and lighting rafts have solved the challenge of designing the ceiling systems for The Undercroft at St Pancras International posed by height restrictions.
Baudet has supplied 144 bathroom pods for student halls of resident at the University of Greenwich as a cost-effective and time-saving solution for providing bathrooms.
The electrical consumption of kitchen extractor fans has been halved at 50 McDonald’s restaurants across the country with the help of ABB inverter drives.
A series of power cuts at its headquarters in Feltham revealed that the limited UPS of Alliance Pharmacy was insufficient to maintain essential IT services for the group. The power cuts had been caused by workmen accidentally cutting through power cables, and to tackle the problem Alliance Pharmacy turned to Scorpion Power Systems.
SAS International acoustic lighting rafts are playing a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of the new headquarters of the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) in Dublin by enabling the thermal mass of the building to be exploited.
The King’s Lynn branch of HSBC is looking to achieve energy savings of up to 20% following the installation of a Mitsubishi Electric M2M controller to provide remote access to the Mitsubishi Electric G50 controller for its City Multi VRF system and other services via the GPRS mobile telephone network.
Luminaires from Riegens Lighting have improved the visual environment in the control room of Tube Lines at Westferry Circus following feedback from employees that the overall visual environment was poor for VDU work and that more control would be beneficial.
Even-Heat underfloor heating is contributing to a safe environment for vulnerable tenants in a new apartment block in Banbury. Cheshire Court is a development by Hills Partnership on behalf of the Bromford Housing Group, a major housing association in the Midlands. The 12 single-bedroom apartments have easy access for wheelchairs and no threat from hot, sharp surfaces.
Just two and a half hours were needed for the installation and wiring time of a 24-way distribution board for a major school-building project in Birmingham, compared with a normal 90 h. This large time saving was made possible by using Schneider Electric’s new modular wiring system.
Riegens Lighting has completed the provision of a safe, visually stunning and economically viable lit environment for the refurbished Bridgelink at the National Exhibition Centre, which links the NEC with the railway station and Birmingham International Airport.
To investigate the role that daylighting can play in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions at its retail sites in the UK, BP has installed 17 Solatube daylighting systems at its site on Childs Way in Milton Keynes. They are installed in the retail and back-office areas. During the day, there is no need to use electricity for lighting these areas.
The building manager of Southroyd Primary School in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, Mick Laycock, is delighted with the school’s new heating control and automation system, which enables him to deliver energy-efficient comfort throughout the school.
JS Humidifiers has supplied two Neptronic SKG gas-fired humidifiers to a manufacturer of composite materials on the Isle of Wight. These materials are made by Gurit and used in the production of high-end vehicles such as Formula 1 cars, the Airbus 380, as well as wind turbines. The humidifiers assist in the curing process in the paint spay booths.
Temperatures in excess of 33°C in summer in the gearbox plant of JCB Transmissions have been reduced by over 10 K following the installation of six Breezair TBA evaporative coolers.
Solar shading that also enables windows to be cleaned easily has been installed on Building 3140 in Oxford Business Park.
As part of a complete low-energy building design solution for the new Dumbarton plant of Diamond Power Speciality, Reznor floor-standing warm-air heaters have been installed.
British sailing prospects in at least the next three Olympic Games will be enhanced by a mobile support facility cooled by two inverter-controlled Panasonic air-conditioning systems — with redundancy to ensure comfortable working at all times in hostile climates. The inverter drives also minimise start-up loads on the standby generator of the facility, which is based on a 40 ft container, if ground power is not available.
The installation of a biomass boiler has more than halved energy costs at the Clothier Laboratory of NaREC, the New & Renewable Energy Centre, in Hebburn. Wood Energy supplied the 500 kW Binder boiler to replace a conventional gas-fired boiler to provide heat for the large 40 m-high test faculty. It uses locally sourced wood fuel supplied in standard ISO hook bins. This is thought to be the largest biomass installation in the north east of England and has reduced energy costs from £3200 to £1400 a month.

Now we are 17

16 June, 2008
One of the biggest changes to the IEE Wiring Regulations is the requirement for residual-current protection. Colin McAhren explains the reasons behind it and how to meet it.

Redefining zero carbon

16 June, 2008
The UK Green Building Council has devised a new definition of zero carbon for building based on off-site generation. It is spelled out in its report ‘The definition of zero carbon’ produced by its zero-carbon task group chaired by Mark Clare of Barratt Developments.
Calorex Heat Pumps has become the first company to gain product certification under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme administered by BRE.
The Department for Communities & Local Government (CLG) must spend more money promoting the legislation supporting energy certification if the scheme is to be a success, several industry representatives have warned.
SummitSkills played host to an interactive skills event for girls aged 16 to 18 at the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering & Technology. The event was designed to raise awareness of building-services engineers and the career opportunities it holds — up to Chartered Engineer status. One person who attended the event subsequently contacted SummitSkills interested in doing work experience, and is now considering the sector as a career.
Birmingham building-services provider JS Wright has won the £1.1 million contract to fit out the 10-storey Atlanta Boulevard low-energy housing scheme, being built in association with Community Housing Association.
Rob Molyneux of Stroma Technology is believed to have lodged the first Display Energy Certificate for a public building in the UK, just a few weeks after issuing the first Energy Performance Certificate for a non-domestic building.
Adrian Hewitt (left), principal environmental officer with the London Borough of Merton and originator of the ‘Merton rule’ is this year’s winner of the HVCA-sponsored Gold Award for outstanding industry service.
Ruskin Air Management has appointed Direct Ventilation Distributors (DVD) of Leeds as agent for the Actionair brand in Yorkshire and the north east of England.
Baxi Commercial Division’s human resources manager Paddy Fletcher completed the recent London Marathon in just 3 h 33 min, raising £624 for charity. It will be split between charities chosen by staff at the company’s sites in Erdington and Warwick — the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Myton Trust and the children’s ward at Warwick Hospital.
Poor procurement practices represent the major cause of waste across the UK construction industry. This view was highlighted by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group in its evidence to an enquiry being undertaken by the House of Lords Science & Technology Sub-committee chaired by Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan.
Vent-Axia’s VK Honda racing team is participating in the World Superbike championship this year, and readers of Modern Building Services have the opportunity to experience first hand the awesome sight of the VK Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in action. Information on how to enter is at the end of this story.
Faber Maunsell consultant John Ogle has become the first energy assessor accredited to produce Display Energy Certificates and advisory reports in England and Wales, according to the Government’s central register.*
The inclusion in the Government’s legislative programme of amendments to the construction contracts legislation contained in Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction & Regeneration Act 2006 has been welcomed by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC).

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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.