2013 June

Pegler Yorkshire, plumbing, heating

Pegler Yorkshire has opened a fully interactive training centre at its Doncaster site to showcase its complete range of plumbing and heating products to installers and customers. The training centre enables products to be tested, viewed and the benefits of each fully understood. It represents an investment of £250 000.

Danlers, Lighting control

Danlers has extended its range of cost-effective occupancy switches with three ‘passive’ controls. Each control has a photocell over-ride, so switching may be determined by occupancy and lux level or by occupancy only. This is useful in low-light-level environments.

Westco, TracPipe gas pipe

TracPipe semi-rigid gas pipe, which is renowned for its speed of installation, is now available from heating and plumbing specialist Westco. This pipe can be bent by hand and is simple to connect with patented AutoFlare fittings. It is typically three times faster to install than rigid copper tube. No welding or soldering is required.

Helvar, EnOcean Alliance, lighting control

Helvar has joined the EnOcean Alliance, contributing to the shared mission of developing energy-harvesting wireless monitoring and control systems for buildings. Helvar’s first EnOcean-compatible products are expected in the summer.

Siemens, controller, BMS

The Desigo PXC50 freely programmable modular controller from Siemens combines flexibility with cost savings. The unit uses Native BACnet communication, and an IP-enabled version is available. Up to 52 physical I/Os can be connected via TX modules to the controller. In addition third party devices can be easily integrated using TX I/O open modules.

BSS, plastic pipe

In response to growing demand for plastic-pipework solutions, distributor BSS Industrial is increasing its stock of Durapipe’s HTA pipework system. BSS has seen a surge in enquiries for plastic-pipework systems for hot- and cold-water applications as specifiers, contractors and consultants look for alternatives to copper to avoid the threat of metal thefts.

Armacell, pipe insulation

The self-adhesive tube version of elastomeric pipe insulation Class 0 Armaflex is now being produced and supplied from Armacell’s factory in Oldham. New production lines and expertise have been brought in house for applying the self-adhesive strips and tapes to ensure greater control over quality, stock levels and lead times for future supplies.

LG air conditioning

LG has added more dates for its air-conditioning training courses for 2013. They offer the opportunity to develop practical and theoretical knowledge of the company’s products, including VRF and split systems, at its academies. There are training facilities at LG’s headquarters at Slough and at Dean & Wood in Leeds.

Ability Projects, fan coil unit

Ability Projects has supplied nearly a thousand fan-coil units for the air-conditioning in Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street in London as part of a comprehensive £155 million refurbishment. The 4-pipe Apollo 190 EC/DC units are located in ceilings throughout the 11 floors of this building, which has 18 500 m2 of offices and 3000 m2 of retail capacity at street level.

Climaveneta, Turbocor, chillers, air conditioning

Climaveneta has supplied eight chillers using Turbocor compressors for the Regent’s Place mixed-use estate in London’s west end. They have a total cooling capacity of 4200 kW and the potential to reduce energy consumption by 40% compared with conventional chillers.

air conditioning, Toshiba air conditioning

How can you tell if the product you are buying is genuine? David Dunn of Toshiba Air Conditioning discusses a concerning trend for the market’s premium brands, and warns buyers to beware.

Dutch AHU manufacturer Orange Climate Group has entered the UK market with the setting up of a company led by Richard Ward, formerly deputy managing director of Toshiba Carrier. On offer will be the Eurovent-certified modular OCG Verhulst air-conditioning ranges.

Daikin UK has developed an online running cost calculator for Sky Air climate control systems that shows the savings that can be achieved by specifying products with a high seasonal energy efficiency. It enables installers and specifiers to demonstrate to customers the savings that can be expected using an energy-efficient Sky Air solution.

A-Gas, refrigerant recovery, air conditioning

A-Gas’s environmental-services team has recovered HCFC and HFC refrigerants from News International’s HVAC plant at Wapping prior to the site being sold for redevelopment. Over 5000 kg of refrigerant was recovered from various systems for reclaiming rather than disposing of by incineration. The refrigerants recovered included R22, R134a, R410A, R407C and R422D.

LG, water-cooled VRF, air conditioning

LG’s Multi V Water II geothermal-ready product is a VRF water-cooled system designed for high-rise buildings. Up to 64 indoor units can be connected to provide heating and cooling. It also features an instant-water-heating function. This system can be applied to multiple applications — geothermal, boiler/cooling tower, or a hybrid of both. Tests have shown that the COP of the water-cooled Multi V Water II is up to 28% better than an air-cooled system.

Cooling and heating specialist ICS Cool Energy is advising users of existing R22 systems to find alternative solutions before 1 January 2015, when the use of this ozone-depleting refrigerant to service air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment will be banned. ICS recommends that sites with existing cooling systems in poor condition or not meeting current cooling loads should upgrade to systems using refrigerants such as R410A and R134a. Likewise, units in good working order will need updating, either with a simple retro-fill during a standard service or more comprehensive modification.

Powrmatic, air conditioning

Powrmatic’s Midea Twins system enables two indoor air-conditioning units to be operated from a single outdoor unit. It provides a cost-effective way of achieving effective air distribution in long and L-shaped rooms and rooms with high partitioning. The system is designed to use two indoor units of the same rating (two 5.6 kW unit or two 7 kW units) operating in a master/slave arrangement.

To help consultants, specifiers and installers readily and quickly understand the savings and performance capabilities of LG range of VRF air-conditioning products, the company’s air-conditioning and solutions division has developed an energy-calculation tool, It is called LEEP (LG Energy Estimator Program) and is based on Microsoft Excel. Its scope included LG’s Multi V III, Multi V air-source and Multi V II water-source series of products.

Samsung, air conditioning

Samsung has launched two ranges of air-conditioning systems into the UK market, both based on inverter-controlled digital scroll compressors using R410A that can modulate down to 5% of full load. They are the Mini DVM for top-end residential buildings and light commercial applications and the DVM-S VRF system for larger commercial applications such as hotels.

The heat rejected from an air-conditioning system has the potential to be put to good use. Mike Nankivell of Space Airconditioning describes how just that was achieved when a chiller serving a London hotel was replaced.

Ability Projects, fan coil unit, air conditioning

Please clean me

03 June, 2013

The specific fan power of fan-coil units incorporating filters will certainly fall off over time, but when is the ideal time to clean and replace those filters? Peter Lowther of Ability Projects describes how FCUs themselves can tell you.

Trox, air conditioning

The second version of Trox’s popular design tool ‘Easy product finder’ is faster and easier to use and includes more product ranges. This tool helps system designers and specifiers to identify system components and collate all the necessary costings and technical material. The latest version features a new intuitive design concept.

LG, air conditioning

LG describes its Multi V Space II as an ‘outdoor unit that can be located indoors’, provided it is sited next to an external wall for air intake and discharge. These units have cooling capacities of 16 kW and heating of 18 kW and can serve ceiling and floor indoor units. Key features include front suction and discharge, reduced fan noise and a 4-step modular design offering right- or left-hand discharge.

Ergro, R22, HCFC22, air conditioning

As the months pass towards the total ban on the use of R22 for servicing air-conditioning equipment, Kevin Groves of Ergro gives his perspective.

LG, air conditioning

LG is launching a technically advanced range of residential air conditioners, the Inverter V range. Heading up the range is the Prestige model with an innovative energy-control system and one of the lowest noise levels of any such air-conditioning unit. Features of the range include superior energy savings and improved air-purification systems with a 3M multi-protection filter and the latest Plasmaster technology.

Flakt Woods, chilled beam, air conditioning

Flakt Woods offers a range of active chilled beams specifically designed for exposed-soffit installation. The IQ Star Nova range has a turndown ratio of 80%, making them well suited to applications with fluctuation occupancy levels — such offices and schools. Occupancy is tracked by a combination of CO2 and occupancy sensors. Operating costs can be up to 25% less than traditional constant-volume systems.

Daikin UK, air conditioning

Tightening of European energy-efficiency legislation for air conditioning may be seen as more red tape but new rules introduced this year could enable building engineers help their clients make substantial energy savings, says Graham Wright of Daikin UK.

Energy-efficient cooling for 1400 m2 of hosting space by IT service provider InTechnology was installed and commissioned by Weatherite Building Services. It comprises 20 fresh-air, direct free-cooling, energy-efficient AHUs made by sister company Weatherite Manufacturing. The units deliver 50 kW net cooling capacity (N+1) for IT rack loads of 2.9 to 3.2 kW, maintaining a closed-aisle temperature of 24°C.

Excalibur Energy, chiller, air conditioning

A 38% reduction in the energy consumption of chillers at two Lloyds Bank data centres has been achieved following modifications carried out by Excalibur Energy. Pilot installations were undertaken to two chillers, involving the installation of liquid-pressure amplification (LPA) and EC condenser fans. Energy use and cooling load were monitored for a period before and after the work.

LG, VRF, air conditioning

LG’s flagship Multi V III heating and cooling system has been installed in a children’s home in a £500 000 project to replace the previous heating and cooling system. It is one of the first Multi V III installations in the UK. Swanwick Lodge in Hampshire is a purpose-built facility providing care for children aged 10 to 17 years. For two consecutive years it has scored an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

The potential for energy efficient comfort cooling made possible by chilled beams and ceilings continues to open up new opportunities. Andrew Gaskell of the Chilled Beams & Ceilings Association examines the drivers.

BSRIA, Turbocor, air conditioning

In a market that is being held up by legislative drivers, David Garwood of BSRIA nevertheless finds areas of growth.

EMCOR Group is withdrawing from the construction market to focus on facilities-management services. The company will complete its current construction projects, supporting these customers over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, but will not seek to secure new construction services projects. Conditions in the construction market in the UK and customers’ changing requirements led to EMCOR deciding to focus in areas where it can more fully leverage its knowledge and strength to positively impact customers’ businesses.


Ameon has won the £3 million M&E contract for the refurbishment of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. M&E services design is by Buro Happold, with the addition of specialist packages by Ameon reflecting its expertise in renewable technologies. Ameon’s packages include the design and installation of earth-tube ventilation, solar thermal, underfloor heating, ground-source heat pump system, BMS, lighting control, CCTV and intruder detection systems.

BCIA, Building Controls Industry Association

The Building Controls Industry Association is now managing its own technical training courses, recognised as the leading courses in building controls. Their scope extends from the basics to advanced theory and practice. There are seven courses.

Lights are being left on unnecessarily in most buildings, according to a survey by Ex-Or on its web site polling respondents about lighting habits in commercial offices and warehouses. The results indicate that on average lighting is left on in the workplace for up to 12 hours a day unnecessarily — including in storerooms and warehouses. 17% of those polled responded that their office lighting is sometimes left on needlessly for up to 24 hours a day.

BCIA, B&ES, Building Controls Industry Association, Building & Engineering Services Association

Contractors and controls specialists stressed the importance of building-management systems at the recent conference of the Building Controls Industry Association in association with B&ES (the Building & Engineering Services Association). BCIA president Ian Ellis said, ‘We are seeing the rise of intelligent kit — with controls built in and delivered to the building for installation by contractors. That’s why the BCIA has teamed up with the B&ES for this event.’

Battersea Power Station

The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in London has taken a step forward with the appointment of Turner & Townsend as project manager and employers agent for the initial phases. The project will create a new community with homes, shops, offices, space for the arts and a 6-acre riverside park. It will be served by a new Underground station and river-bus services.

ABB, recycling drives

ABB reports that 31 t of drives were recycled in 2012, with over 96% by weight being recycled. Much of the copper, aluminium, circuit boards, steel and cables were recovered for further use. Although not required by the WEEE Directive, ABB offers this recycling scheme as a service to customers. The directive is currently being re-evaluated, with the possibility that many more electrical products, including drives, could come within its scope.

Commercial tenants could soon be using the Green Deal to drive landlords and their investors to be energy savvy, believes Michelle Giles, heat of carbon and energy at IMServe, a major independent energy-management provider. She explains that while the Green Deal is currently optional, by 2016 tenants can request energy-efficiency improvement, which landlords cannot unreasonably refuse and can result in a fine for non-compliance.

Knauf Insulation has warned that the Latest Green Deal statistics from the Department of Energy & Climate Change show that it will take over 200 years to reach the Government’s target of tackling 14 million homes — if the current rate of assessment continues. The company points out that only 2013 more Green Deal assessments took place in April than in March, ‘indicating that the level of interest is already starting to plateau’.

CIBSE Certification now offers assessment of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for certifying competence as a Green Deal advisor. It is particularly aimed at the non-domestic/commercial sector. This route to certification is accredited by UKAS and already used by CIBSE to certify Energy Assessors and will allow experienced practitioners who can demonstrate that they already have all the required skills and knowledge to become Green Deal Advisors.

The number of Green Deal assessments carried out by the end of April was over double that at the end of March, reports the Department of Energy & Climate Change. The scheme was launched at the end of January, and 18 816 assessments had been carried out by the end of April. What has not yet been reported is how many Green Deal plans have been taken up; that information will not become available until June.

Larkfleet Group, Green Deal, cavity wall insulation, draught proofing, gas-fired condensing boiler

More than half of the 45 Green Deal measures have been fitted to this demonstration house by Larkfleet Group. The 3-bedroom house in Bourne, Lincolnshire, includes 27 Green Deal Measures. They include familiar measures such as cavity-wall insulation, draught proofing and a gas-fired condensing boiler. Less-common features include solar water heating, solar PV and heat recovery. More-involved measures include air- and ground-source heat pumps and micro wind generation.


Employment costs for services and facilities companies in the specialist engineering sector could increase if a Government consultation on changes to TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] Regulations) are implemented, according to B&ES. Peter Rimmer, head of the association’s employment affairs department, says, ‘The Government is putting forward proposals for changes, to take effect from the autumn of this year, which we believe are unnecessary.’

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, BIM, building information modelling

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) is using BIM (building information modelling) for a new sports technical college in Stoke-on-Trent to improve efficiency during the construction process. Designed by architects Aedas and constructed under a design-and-build contract with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the new teaching and classroom block at Holden Lane High School Specialist Sports College will feature curriculum-based hubs for teaching and training.

SPIE acquires Alard

03 June, 2013

SPIE, a European leader in M&E engineering and HVAC services, energy and communication systems has acquired electrical contractor Alard of Stockport. The company was established in 1984, and key clients include Manchester United Football Club, ALDI Stores, United Biscuits and Mersey Docks. Alard specialises in TEGG testing on live equipment using harmonics, sound and thermal imaging.

More professionals in the construction sector saw workloads rise than at any time since the end of 2007, according to the latest construction survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. For the last quarter, 10% more surveyors across the country reported rising workloads. One of the main drivers was the boost in private-housing construction.

Increases ranging from 50% to over 100% have been added to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme to encourage householders to switch to renewable energy — especially those off the gas grid, where the most money on bills and carbon can be saved. The payment for ground-source heat pumps is now £2300 (previously £1250) and for air-source heat pumps £1300 (£850). Biomass boilers now receive £2000 (£950) and solar thermal £600 (£300).

Interserve is building on the success of its graduate training programme with the recruitment of a larger intake in 2013. The scheme is tailored to Interserve’s private-sector support-services business. Graduates joining the programme benefit from working in a major company that has recently become the first facilities-management and support-services employer to become a BIFM recognised centre, delivering the BIFM qualifications in facilities management through in-house programmes.

Joe Farman, CFC, HCFC, Ozone layer

Joe Farman, a geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey and one of the discoverers of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in the early 1980s, died last month on 11 May. Their results reporting a ‘thinning’ of the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from biologically harmful ultra-violet light, by nearly 50% were published on 16 May 1985 and attributed to the release into the atmosphere of the widely used (including air conditioning,refrigeration and thermal insulation) category of chemicals known as CFCs. Such was international concern that the Montreal Protocol to phase out their use was signed by 24 countries just over two years later in September 1987.

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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.