2014 October

Single point project forecasts hamper our ability to make the best choices.

Single point project forecasts hamper our ability to make the best choices.

The "Internet of Things" makes brings your household appliances online. How can we utilise this technology for Construction?

Staff can make or break your energy strategy.

Staff can make or break your energy strategy.

Ozone layer turns the corner

03 October, 2014

Ken Sharpe Considers HCFCs and 25 years of the Ozone hole.

AmbiRad, Airbloc, door curtain, quick fixes

It takes no time at all to lose lots of heat when large doors are opened in buildings such as warehouses. But there is a quick and effective solution, as John Halley of AmbiRad explains.

ABB, VSD, variable speed drive, quick fixes

Retrofitting variable-speed drives can offer the fastest and greatest energy saving rewards. Carl Turbitt of ABB explains how.

Tamlite, lighting, quick fixes

Faced with the dubious distinction of emitting more CO2 than any other school in the county, Rye Hills School in Redcar embarked on a series of energy-saving measures. They included new lighting that has reduced energy consumption by 38%. The lighting upgrade is based on energy-efficient technology from Tamlite Lighting using Government-backed interest-free funding from the Salix Finance scheme. The school has 900 pupils.

Sabien, boiler, space heating, quick fixes

Sabien’s M2G boiler load optimisation controls have been installed at 28 Ministry of Defence site across south-east England as a cost-effective way of introducing more savings on boiler energy consumption over and above those achieved by upgrading the building-management system.

Marshall-Tufflex’s portable sub-meters have helped Bedfordshire Police identify potential energy savings as part of an initiative to cut power bills by 25% in two years. The force invested in the handheld Sinergy e-Tracker sub-meter two years ago and used it in police stations, operational bases and its headquarters at Kempston to audit energy use and highlight areas of inefficient power use.

CIBSE, controls, lighting, quick fixes

Quick energy-saving tips

01 October, 2014

Hywel Davies of CIBSE explains how simple processes and alterations can reduce energy use and, therefore, costly bills with one flick of a switch.

Durapipe, ABS, plastic pipework, pipes,pipework

As Durapipe celebrates its 60th anniversary, Mitchell Holmes, looks at the development of plastic pipework in the building-services sector

Victaulic flexible grooved couplings for pipework have the inherent capability of accommodating linear movement and angular deflection and can be used as a cost-effective maintenance-free alternative to accommodate thermal movement. The EDPM gaskets used in Victaulic couplings and withstand the flow temperatures commonly used in district-heating systems — 90 to 95°C.

Grundfos Pumps, pipes, pipework

The recently launched Grundfos Product Center has been designed and developed to make choosing the best pump for a system as easy as possible. One benefit is a replacement tool; entering basic information about an older model of a Grundfos pump or one from another manufacturer will suggest a number of alternatives.

The University of Wolverhampton has boosted the efficiency of the heating systems in two of its buildings following the installation of Spirotech dirt and air separation and pressurisation units. Energy savings of 5 to 6% are being achieved as a direct result of these units being installed.

Pipes, Pipework, Raychem, trace heating

Raychem HWAT self-regulating electric trace-heating cable is said to meet all the recommendations in the new ‘CIBSE Guide G: Public health and plumbing engineering’. The guide recommends that secondary circulation or trace heating should be provided when the hot-water installation is such that its would take an unreasonable length to draw off the cool water from the pipework.

Micronics, metering, pipes, pipework

Micronics, a leading UK manufacturer of clamp-on metering products for building services, has increased its product offering to provide complete metering solutions for building services. A comprehensive range of traditional inline meters (pictured) complements the established clamp-on range.

Baxi Commercial, Baxi Genuine Parts, boiler

Baxi Commercial’s parts division has a new name — Baxi Genuine Parts. The previous name was Interpart. The new name is now included in all packaging, brochures and promotional material. A new web site will arrive later this year to replace the Interpart site.

Cool Designs, Toshiba Air Conditioning, training

Toshiba distributor Cool Designs offers a comprehensive programme of classroom-based training courses for air-conditioning engineers, consultants and end users. The company believes a combination of practical hands-on courses supported by a library of professional online videos is the most powerful way of training the next generation and ensuring existing installers get up to speed with the latest technology.

Airflow SP, sensing Precision, instrument, air flow

Following the re-naming and re-branding of the Airflow S P to Sensing Precision Limited earlier this year, the company reports continued growth of the business across all business metrics and the launch of the ECO radial flowgrid to support the air-measurement needs of the general HVAC market.

Torin-Sifan, fan, impeller. airflow, EVIA, ventilation

Torin-Sifan joins EVIA

01 October, 2014

Torin-Sifan is now a member of the European Ventilation Industry Association (EVIA), The company is a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of motors, motorised impellers, fans and blowers. The EVIA membership coincides with the company’s continued growth in the European HVAC market.

S&P Coil Products, SPC, BIM, radiant panel, space heating, trench heater, fan convector

S&P Coil Products (SPC) has achieved full BIM (Building Information Modelling) compliance with its Active-BIM objects. They are available to load into Revit models using a supplied type catalogue holding all the project information configured by SPC’s selection program at the design and quotation stage.

BSRIA, safety in building services design, maintenance

BSRIA’s guide to ‘Safety in building-services design’ addresses the issue of the cost of providing space for plant and building-services distribution and the pressure that designers often face to reduce the spatial requirements for building-services installation. The guide is intended for designers and provides guidance on designing for safety for both new-build and refurbishment projects.

Tridonic, lighting control

Lighting specialist Tridonic has launched a ‘toolbox’ of support services for architects, specifiers, end users and OEMs to help them make the most of the company’s extensive range of products and increase their understanding of the issues and options available.

Distech Controls

Apps for control systems

01 October, 2014

Distech Controls has developed two apps for the installation and use of controls in buildings. They are myDC Control app and the Smart-Sense Room Control app. Both are available for Android and iOS.

Fuel cells

01 October, 2014

A report prepared on behalf of several UK fuel-cell developers highlights that fuel-cell smart power units are suitable for 90% of households and small businesses in the UK, which equates to 22 million properties. 5.3 million consumers could generate heat and electricity using fuel smart power units, introducing 5 GW of flexible capacity into the energy system.

Bristan, tap, shower, sanitary ware

Bristan is making specification simpler for commercial customers with a new specifier brochure and updated web site. The web site and brochure enable users to search for the items they need by product type or by the specialist sector they will be used in. The collection of taps, showers and accessories includes solutions for healthcare, NHS, education, sport and leisure.

Sanha, pipe, fittings, pipework

Pipes and fittings

01 October, 2014

Sanha, a leading German manufacturer of pipes and fittings has published its product catalogue for 2014/15. It covers the company’s extensive range of conventional soldered, threaded and welded fittings alongside the fully developed range of push and press fittings. It is available in electronic and printed formats.

ABB, variable speed drive, fan, motor, pump

Variable-speed drives

01 October, 2014

A checklist to help consultants specify the most up-to-date variable-speed drive (VSD) has been compiled by ABB. Called ‘A guide to selecting variable-speed drives for use in buildings’, it highlights the VSD features that provide effective building control and performance from the HVAC system.

Wavin, OsmaDrain, rodding point

Wavin describes its OsmaDrain square-top rodding point as a money-saving, hassle-free alternative to inspection chambers or manholes for below-ground drainage systems. These rodding points are suitable for internal and external use. They are available in 110 mm with a 45°C socketed outlet. When supported by a concrete plinth they can support a load of up to 1.5 t.

Eaton-Williams has increased its air-handling offering with the introduction of the Moducel range of packaged rooftop air-handling units offering energy-efficient heating and cooling using scroll compressors and R410A. These systems are suitable for a wide range of commercial and industrial buildings of all types and sizes. The range has integrated controls and direct-expansion cooling.

Dimplex, commercial door curtain

Dimplex’s DAB range of recessed high-power commercial air curtains are quicker to install, easier to maintain and offer energy-saving features. They come in widths of 1, 1.5 and 2 m and can be heated by electricity or hot water. There are also ambient-air models and cold-store versions. They are suitable for entrances up to 4 m high.

Timeguard, fused spur, electrical accessories

Timeguard has developed a fused spur for electrical installations that incorporate time control. These single-gang units provide programmable on/off times with push-button manual over-ride, There are two versions, one for 24-hour programming and one for seven days. They have a 5-year guarantee.

Sabien Technology’s M1G controller can be retrofitted to direct-fired water heaters serving circulating hot-water systems to reduce energy consumption. Field trials in offices and hotels have shown average savings of 12%, with payback periods ranging from 1.4 to 1.6 years.

Danfoss, central heating programmer, timer

Danfoss’s FP735Si electronic programmer can control two heating zones and hot water independently. Up to six on-off periods can be set for each channel. The pre-programmed settings will suit many households, but they are easy to change. Over-ride periods can jump to the next setting or add extra time.

Toshiba Air Conditioning, heat pump, VRF

Toshiba Air Conditioning’s premium Daiseikai 8 reverse-cycle air-conditioning system achieves an AAA+ energy rating for both heating and cooling. The high-wall units have a special quiet mode that enables them to operate down to 20 dB(A), equivalent to the ticking of a wrist watch in an otherwise quiet room.

A fire-door closer that ‘learns’ the sound of a specific fire alarm has been introduced by Geofire. Agrippa can be retrofitted to any door, and does not require cabling; two C cell batteries last for 12 months. These door closers provide a legal answer to holding open fire doors to ease access. These closers are swing-free, making the door light to handle.

Rinnai, water heater, DHW, domestic hot water

Rinnai’s Infinity low-NOx series of continuous-flow water heaters have been tested to below 20 ppm of NOx, with a net efficiency of 107.7%. Infinity KBM water heaters use pre-mix burners with downward firing. The burner system reduces the possibility of flame lift.

Altecnic, heat interface unit, HIU, central heating, community heating

Altecnic is cutting the cost of and simplifying the installation of pre-pay heat-interface systems for heating and hot water with its prepayment-compatible HIU. Altecnic has upgraded the HIU firmware and added a connection to the HIU’s integral control to allow for direct wiring or, via an optional module, to third-party prepayment systems.

S&P Coil Products, SPC, heating, cooling, space heating, air conditioning

SPC’s ceiling-mounted Thermabeam combines the functions of three products in a single unit. They are a high-performance cooling beam using a higher water temperature of 16/18°C, energy-efficient heating sail using a water temperature of 40°C and an acoustic sound raft. The cooling capability is enhanced by an extra cooling coil positioned centrally in the sail.

MHG Boilers, space heating, DHW

Replacing aging cast-iron sectional boilers in a sheltered-housing scheme in Barnes has improved energy efficiency by making possible an efficient response to the variable heating loads during the day. The upgraded plant comprised three ProCon MC115 gas-fired condensing boilers from MHG heating.

Toshiba, air conditioning, VRF

A bespoke air-conditioning system from Toshiba provides cooling for the examination room of a transportable MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner, the first of its kind developed by Toshiba Medical Systems. The facility enables high-resolution scans of individual limbs or the whole body to be carried out on location. The cooling was provided by Just Air Conditioning, working with Toshiba distributor AMP.

Gripple, suspension system

So crowded was the soffit space in Sudbury Community Health Centre in Suffolk that there was not enough space for a standard Gripple clamp bracket to support pipework. Unfazed, Gripple produced a shorter version to fit the bill.

Fike Safety Technology, fire detection, video, smoke detection

Video fire protection has been installed in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight hangar at RAF Coningsby to protect valuable historic assets. Fike Safety Technology camera-based SigniFire VFD visually detects the presence of fire or smoke at its source. Multiple cameras were installed to cover the floor of the hangar and the roof space.

LG. air conditioning, heat recovery, VRF

LG’s Multi V heat-recovery VRF system forms part of the refurbishment of an 1860 m2 refurbishment of a 2-storey office block in Bristol. The system for the glass-fronted 710 Aztec West was designed and specified by consulting engineers Wye Solutions.

Hamworthy Heating, renwable energy, biomass, space heating, boiler

With oil-fired heating and gas-fired hot water plant at Fairstead Community School in King’s Lynn coming to the end of its expected life, Norfolk County Council took the opportunity to look for a more energy-efficient solution that would satisfy the school’s heating demand and reduce its carbon footprint.

Gilberts of Blackpool, natural ventilation, louvre

A comfortable environment in a new £44 million school campus will be provided by an innovative ventilation strategy delivered by Gilberts of Blackpool. Inverclyde Council’s Port Glasgow Community Campus has an area of around 1700 m2 and combines two 3-storey high schools and a single-storey school for additional support needs on the one site. The project is expected to achieve a ‘Very good’ BREEAM rating, largely due to the use of natural ventilation provided in a turnkey package by Gilberts.


Face to Face Digital, a systems partner of North BuildingTechnologies, has won the 2014 CEDIA award for best energy-management solution. The project is part of a major renovation of a Grade 1 listed country house dating back to 1425 and has reduced energy bills by 75% from the previous figure of £70 000 a year.

Ecophit, chilled ceiling, air conditioning, radiant cooling

Air-conditioning energy consumption can be reduced by 26% using an Ecophit chilled-ceiling system instead of conventional air conditioning, according to a recently conducted feasibility study. The study also notes that even higher total energy savings of 36% could be achieved when back-end systems are optimised.

Hoval, biomass, renewable energy, boiler, space heating

YHA looks to biomass

01 October, 2014

The Youth Hostel Association (England & Wales) has installed biomass boilers at its head office in Matlock and its recently refurbished hostel at Pen Y Pass in Snowdonia. Consulting engineers Peace Marsh Associates specified Hoval biomass boilers with a Hoval UltraGas condensing boiler as back-up and to meet peak loads.

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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.