2014 January

Faced with the high cost of running its oil-fired boilers and an £80 000 cost to install a gas main, Canons Brook Golf Club near Harlow has opted for a biomass installation. Ivor Marshall, chairman of the club, explains, ‘The costs to prepare and install a gas system made no financial sense, so we turned our attention to renewable sources.’

MHS Boilers, renewable energy, Solar thermal, boiler, space heating

MHS Boilers has supplied boilers and a solar-thermal system for the new Portway Lifestyle Centre in the West Midlands. There are four R607 floor-standing gas-fired boilers and 32 m2 of Auron DF evacuated-tube solar collectors, supplying heating and hot water for the entire complex — including a hydrotherapy pool, sports hall, gym and multi-purpose activity room.

Mikrofill, boiler,space heating

Effective heating and hot-water services have been restored at the St George’s Hotel on the sea front of Llandudno following the installation of Mikrofill wall-mounted condensing boilers and its hot-water loading systems. They new equipment replaces dated horizontal calorifiers and inefficient cast-iron boilers — all of which had long been in need of replacing.

Grundfos, condensate pump, boiler, space heating

Grundfos has added an entry-level model to its ConLift range of condensate units. While having fewer features than the other two models, it is reliable, easy to install and quiet in operation. All ConLift models can switch off the boiler if the overflow switch detects a high water level.

Solar Design Company, Flue, boiler, space heating

Flues play a key role in every boiler installation, with condensing boilers and biomass boilers posing particularly problems — as Chris Laughton explains.

Hamworthy Heating, cast iron, boiler, space heating

Cast-iron boilers have stood the test of time and evolved — and they continue to develop to provide effective solutions that can be integrated into existing heating systems — as Hamworthy Heating’s Liam Elmore explains.

Remeha Commercial has moved its distribution hub to a large new warehouse in the West Midlands. The 8500 m2 depot includes 3000 racking locations, floor-standing space for larger heating products and a separate area for storing spare parts. The sales and administrative headquarters will remain at Wokingham.

Mikrofill, boiler, space heating

As part of the CHP-based system and solar-thermal installation for updating heating and hot water at Rydale Swimming Pool in Pickering, Mikrofill has supplied boilers and energy-efficient hot-water cylinders.

Hamworthy Heating, boiler, space heating

Two Ensbury boilers from Hamworthy Heating have been installed to replacing existing boilers for a 19-storey residential building in Islington, London. They each have an output of 510 kW and will deliver heating for the 108 dwellings. They have matched Riello RS modulating burners using natural gas.

Dunphy, control, boiler, space heating

The DunphyDelta system provides for the remote monitoring of energy centres using standard web browsers on PCs, laptops, tablets of smart phones — without the need for new software, cabling, USBs or extra onsite servers. The log-in screen requires a password, and DunphyDelta uses end-to-end encryption of date and transit and secure cloud storage to protect information. The system has multiple-level redundancy across different geographic areas to prevent loss of data.

MHG Heating, boiler, space heating

MHG Heating’s ProCon MC wall-mounted gas-fired condensing boiler has an output of 115 kW with a turndown ratio of 4:1. They have Class 5 NOx emissions and net efficiencies of up to 108.3% at 30% load and 106.7% at full load.

Cascading control

06 January, 2014

Cascade heating systems comprising multiple boilers are ideal for adapting to changing heat loads and also supporting a biomass boiler without adversely affecting RHI payments — but only when they are controlled effectively. Kevin Stones of Hoval explains.

Rinnai, DHW, boiler, space heating

Rinnai has developed controls for its Infinity range of condensing gas-fired continuous-flow water heaters that are compatible with the popular forms of building-management systems used in buildings. The technology seamlessly integrates the company’s hot-water systems into BMS protocols to provide ultimate control and maximise energy efficiency in large buildings, including multi-tenanted sites.

Stokvis, heat interface unit, boiler, space heating

Stokvis Energy Systems has responded to the growing popularity of communal- and district-heating systems with the introduction of the H-Series Econoplate interface units. There is a choice of single and twin plate units to provide heating and hot-water services within dwellings such as apartments, student flats and sheltered-housing schemes.

Atag, cascade, rig, boiler, space heating

An installation rig for Atag Heating’s Q Series condensing boilers enables up to three boilers to be installed in cascade operation. The rig is only 1.5 m high and enables boilers to be installed in a variety of configurations. Q Series boilers modulate down to 16% of full output and are up to 109.3% efficient. These rigs offer outputs from 9 to 172 kW.

Fulton, DHW, boiler, space heating

Fulton’s FHE-250 modular hot-water boiler has an output of 250 kW and features a fully condensing stainless-steel heat exchanger. The modular design means that several boilers can be combined to suite any application and hot-water requirements.

Spirax, steam, boiler, space heating

Spirax EasiHeat engineered systems for delivering hot water and heating on demand have been enhanced to achieve energy savings of up to 20% compared to conventional steam-to-water heating systems. EasiHeat now features the Spirax Intelligent Monitoring system (SIMS) control and monitoring display technology that makes it easy to save energy and control critical applications.

Bosch Commercial & Industrial Heating, CHP, boiler, space heating

Adding CHP to the boiler mix

06 January, 2014

With a number of stakeholders looking at ways to enhance energy-efficiency levels, a systems alliance can often prove to be the most effective option. Pete Mills of Bosch Commercial & Industrial Heating, explains this concept and how adding a combined heat and power module to the ‘boiler mix’ can boost performance.

Commissioning, balancing, Frese, PICV, pressure independent control valve

The balance of choice

06 January, 2014

With the demand for pressure-independent balancing and control valves accelerating comes the need for comparing their performance and capabilities, as Stephen Hart of Frese explains.

Air systems, Parsloe, commissioning, balancing

Prompted by the requirements of the Building Regulations and changes in technology, BSRIA has prepared a new guide to commissioning air systems. Unsurprisingly, there is much that is new after an interval of 24 years. Chris Parsloe focuses on the main changes.

Marflow Hydronics, pressure independent control valve, PICV, commissioning, balancing

New guide to PICVs

06 January, 2014

Marflow Hydronics has published its ‘Definitive guide to pressure independent control valves’. The company specialises in balancing, controlling and metering water-distribution systems in the HVAC industry, and the guide aims to provide understanding and knowledge to help those using the company’s products.

Albion Valves, valve assemblies, commissioning, balancing

Albion Valves’ Monolink pre-assembled factory-tested valve arrangement brings together all the features required for a terminal end to meet a distribution pipe — including a strainer, bypass valve, balancing valve and drain cock. There is no need for assembly on site.

Marflow Hydronics, electronic balancing valve, commissioning, balancing

Marflow Hydronics’ Dynamx electronic pressure-independent flow-control valve for HVAC systems networks over the HVAC bus with room temperature controllers or sensors to achieve dynamic pressure-independent flow control in real time. Temperature information is converted to a flow setpoint, and the flow through the valve is measured. The valve position is controlled so that the temperature setpoint in the room is maintained, regardless of variations.

balancing, Commissioning, SAV Systems, valve assemblies

The FloCon Series R series of valve assemblies from SAV Systems provides compact and economical protection for downstream thermostatic radiator valves and terminal units (radiators, fan coils, radiant panels etc.) in variable-volume heating systems. These assemblies make downstream circuits totally pressure independent and easy to commission.

balancing, Commissioning, Commissioning Specialists' Association, CSA

With recent annual energy price rises of upwards of 10%, Matt Ward of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association outlines the rising demand for aftercare and fine tuning of building services.

Amtech has announced the dates for its second Crystal Clear BIM conference. The venue will again be the Crystal Building in London, and the dates are 24 and 25 March 2014. The BIM-wash-free style of last year’s event will continue. Speakers will cover all aspects of BIM — from the design of built assets through to their day-to-day management.

CIBSE has become aware of potential hazards in some biomass boilers when operating in slumber mode. The concern is that partial combustion might occur — generating unburned flue gases, including carbon monoxide. The institution is working to provide further guidance. In the meantime the following advice is offered.

Co-heating tests to measure the overall heat loss from buildings are inconsistent and highly sensitive to the weather, according to research by the NHBC Foundation. The study warns that doubts about the accuracy of the co-heating tests means that in its current form it is not a suitably accurate tool for reliably evaluating energy performance.

Heatrae Sadia

Heatrae Sadia has sharpened up its image with the creation of a new brand image and strap line. The logo has a crisp contemporary design, and the new strap line reflects the company’s commitment to delivering energy-efficient and intelligent hot-water products.

Adrian Walker, chairman of the ICOM Energy Association, which represents the industrial and commercial heating industry, has criticised ‘contradictory messages’ that seem to fly in the face of the need to address rising energy prices by using energy more efficiently. Opening the recent ICOM winter conference, Adrian Walker, who is managing director of boiler manufacturer Hoval, said, ‘There has been a frighteningly quick pace of change in energy prices over the last few years, accompanied by commercial pressures to get more from less — including heating energy.

Skanska FM, Katrina Dowding, Katy

The Women in the City Woman of Achievement Award for 2013 has gone to Katrina Dowding (Katy), managing director of Skanska’s facilities-services operation. She manages a business with 600 employees and turnover of £70 million. Katy is only the second woman to hold a managing-director role in Skanska UK and the first for the facilities business.

KNX Consultants

KNX Consultants has moved its headquarters to larger premises at Staunton near Gloucester in response to continuing growth in demand for its services. The company is a member of the KNX UK Association and specialises in supporting electrical contractors, systems integrators and other professionals looking to include KNX intelligent building technology as part of their overall installation capabilities.

Construction output in November 2013 rose at its fastest pace since August 2007, according to the Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers’ index. The index registered 62.6 in November, up sharply from 59.4 in October and above the 50 no-change mark for the seventh month in a row.

Cofely, Balfour Beatty Worksplace, FM, facilities management

Cofely has completed the acquisition of Balfour Beatty’s facilities-management business Balfour Beatty WorkPlace. The acquired company will be acquired with Cofely’s existing UK business and operate under the Cofely brand. The acquisition creates an enlarged Cofely business with over 15 000 employees and a turnover approaching £1 billion a year.

NG Bailey

NG Bailey has won a £12.5 million contract to provide the M&E services for this energy-efficient undergraduate teaching facility at the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering. The 6-story building on the university’s Jessop East site will include lecture theatres, laboratories and various flexible teaching rooms. Main contractor is Balfour Beatty.


Norwich-based architect Ingleton Wood has achieved reserved matters planning approval for what is believed to be the largest scheme in the UK designed to Passivhaus principles. It is for 250 riverfront apartments at Carrow Quay in Norwich, designed on behalf of local housing association Broadland Housing Group, which has recently completed its first rural Passivhaus scheme in north Norfolk.

CCHP, CHP, cooling

Trigeneration technology (CHP with cooling) can be a viable option for hotels, according to research at the University of Strathclyde. An MSc group project by students in the department of engineering in association with independent hotel operators Chardon Trading involved a feasibility study for CCHP (combined cooling, heating and power) at the Holiday Inn Glasgow Theatreland hotel (pictured). The approach was then applied to the UK hospitality sector through the development of a bespoke desktop tool for hoteliers to model their own scenario.

Preparations by Marshall-Tufflex to install a voltage-optimisation system for a manufacturer of heating products identified that electricity meters were making incorrect readings, leading to a refund of £65 000 and an assurance that future bills would be correct. The e-tracker sub-metering unit took only about half an hour to install between the main supply cable and the main distribution board, and its readings were checked a week later.


Entries for the 2014 awards for the Building & Controls Industry Association close on 20 January, with winners being announced and presentations made at a dinner at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire on 8 May. There are nine categories for companies, products, installations and individuals. MBS is sponsoring the award for the most innovative building controls/BEMS product development introduced in the last 12 months.

Castle Building Services

Castle Building Services has achieved Achilles BuildingConfidence Level 5 accreditation on the first attempt. Launched in 2007 in collaboration with contractor Lend Lease, Achilles BuildingConfidence is an online registration and accreditation standard used by 17 buyer organisations and over 1500 suppliers in the UK construction industry.

Heathrow, relamping, T5, Terminal 5

Work to replace high-level downlights in Terminal 5 is to be carried out by high-wire artistes — no other way to carry out the work having been identified. A story on the web site of Exaro News (See link below) reports that since 2008, 60% of the downlights above the departures concourse have failed, making the concourse quite dim.

Interserve, Tiger Developments

Preparatory work for a £200 million mixed-use development in Edinburgh’s Haymarket has commenced. On-site construction starts in the spring on 37 500 m2 of office accommodation and 5600 m2 of commercial and leisure space. There will also be a 165-bedroom hotel and 320-space underground car park.

Financial support for renewable heat for commercial and industrial projects has received a boost with the announcement of revised tariffs and support for more technologies. Commercial air-source heat pumps now qualify for RHI payments, and there has also been a substantial increase in the Renewable Heat Incentive budget for small and medium biomass, reducing the prospect of tariffs for such projects being gradually lowered. The changes come into effect in the spring of 2014.

Soft Landings, BIM, Cavendish Engineers

Steve Allen from Cavendish Engineers gives an overview of the importance of Soft Landings and how the approach can be used to improve the overall client experience.

Greenwood Airvac, ventilation, training

With the help of a mobile ventilation rig, Greenwood Airvac can now take BPEC-accredited courses to installers’ premises. Designed to provide practical training for domestic ventilation, the rig comprises a fully functional heat-recovery system and semi-rigid ducting. It also has the facility for power testing and balancing as required by BPEC.

Hattersley, BIM, valve, Revit, IFC

Hattersley offers an extensive range of valves as BIM-ready product components. They are primarily available in the Autodesk Revit platform but also for Bentley AECOSim and IFC. The first valves to be available as BIM content include traditional and balancing valves. Others will follow soon. The full range can be seen using the link below and going to the BIM content section at the bottom of the page for further links.

SPC, S&P Coil Products, BIM

SPC develops BIM objects

06 January, 2014

S&P Coil Products (SPC) has developed a range of BIM (Building Information Modelling) objects. They are for the Mini range of trench heaters, and all the various configurations and specifications are included in the objects.

Xpelair, Passivhaus, ventilaion, MVHR

Xpelair has announced that two of its MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) ventilation ranges are now Passivhaus certified. They are the Xcell 300 and Xcell 400 ranges. Buildings constructed to the Passivhaus standard can have their comfort requirements met by heating or cooling the incoming fresh air, without the need for additional recirculation of air.

Siemens, variable speed drive

G120P variable-speed drives from Siemens boost efficiency and cut costs. The range is available in both IP20 versions for panel mounting and IP54/55 versions for wall mounting. Installation and commissioning are straightforward, which helps reduce costs. This variable-speed drive is suitable for applications that require an economical, energy-efficient and easy-to-operate drive for pumps or fans. It operates in a power range from 0.37 to 90 kW.

Kingspan Tarec, pipe insulation, Kooltherm, LABC

Kingspan Tarec’s Next Generation Kooltherm pipe insulation has LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Registered Detail status, and is claimed to be the only pipework with this registration. To obtain the status, Kingspan Tarec submitted technical details and third-party accreditation to the LABC. The application was assessed, considering all aspects of physical and thermal properties, to confirm that the product complies with Building Regulations in its particular end-use application.

Airflow Developments, BEPC training, ventilation

Airflow Developments provides a 2-day BPEC-accredited training courses on ventilation installation and commissioning. With Approved Document F of the Building Regulations is a separated compliance guide for domestic ventilation which stipulates all fixed mechanical-ventilation systems must be commissioned and notified to Building Control. The requirement applies to toilet extract fans through to mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

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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.