Ant Wilson of Faber Maunsell has made several presentations about the new Building Regulations around the country. The most recent was at Manchester Hevar last month.

Reducing carbon emissions as part of building refurbishment

Reducing, or even eliminating, carbon emissions from new buildings cannot by itself meet Government targets for reducing emissions. The refurbishment of existing buildings has an even greater role to play.

Services in Glastonbury House in London not having been updated for nearly 40 years provided the key challenges for refurbishment.

Bringing new life to 1960s tower blocks

When people have lived in a tower block for a long time, they do not want to move out — so refurbishment issues have to be faced head on. ALISON NICHOLLS shares experiences with a project in London.

New humidification equipment from Vapac plays a key role in preserving exhibits at Compton Verney Art Gallery near Warwick.

Vapac demonstrates the art of humidity control

Vapac humidifiers have replaced existing equipment at Compton Verney Art Gallery new Warwick to provide precise environmental control to preserve exhibits.

The efficiency of providing space heating for the Tate Gallery in St Ives has been much improved by the installation of Broag condensing boilers.

Broag displays the art of efficient heating

As part of the refurbishment of the Tate Gallery in St Ives, two Broag Quinta 115 wall-hung condensing boilers have replaced older boilers in a roof-top plant room. They each have an output of 114 kW and will heat the entire gallery. They were installed by County Heating of Bodmin, whose Brian Matthews particularly remarks on the improved flueing arrangements and higher efficiency compared to the older boilers. These boilers can achieve a gross efficiency of 99% with a flow of 40°C and a return of 30°C and have very low NOx emissions.

The versatility of LG’s range of air-conditioning equipment was put to good use in the refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed building in the City of London

LG is cool in the City

As part of the refurbishment of an historic Grade 2 listed building in the City of London, LG Art Cool indoor air-conditioning units have been installed in most of the public areas. The building’s exterior was left untouched while the interior was modernised. Air-conditioning equipment for this project was supplied by specialist distributor Osprey Air. The client for this project selected LG’s FDX inverter-drive multi systems using standard wall-mounted fan-coil units in the small offices. Their use facilitated the installation of the wall-to-wall customised storage units that this business office needs. Each office has its own wireless control.

As part of an overall services module, the Elson-developed unit at the top left uses stored hot water generated by central plant to provide apartments in the refurbished Wallis House in west London with independent heating and hot-water services.

Elsomnheating and DHW packages supply individual services from centralised plant

Elson’s heating and hot-water-services package has been used in the refurbishment of Wallis House in west London to enable apartments to have individual services, with energy provide by hot water from central boiler plant. The approach overcame the constraints posed by the site not being able to use multiple flues for boilers in each apartment and it not being technically possible to install unvented cylinders in them.

Helping to bring a new lease of life to the 40-year-old Norfolk House in Croydon is air conditioning delivered by seven Daikin VRV systems.

Air conditioning helps rejuvenate 40-year-old building in Croydon

As part of the redevelopment of Norfolk House in Croydon into a 6-storey office complex and an 11-storey Travelodge Hotel, the office portion is air conditioned using Daikin VRV systems throughout.

Starring at what is believed to be William Shakespeare’s school in Stratford-upon-Avon are new Clyde high-efficiency cast-iron boilers.

Clyde takes centre boiler house at Shakespeare’s old school

The line ‘’Tis lack of kindly warmth’ from Shakespeare’s ‘The life of Timon of Athens’ is no longer appropriate at King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon, where William Shakespeare is believed to have been a pupil. The reason is that four Clyde sectional boilers have replaced outdated boilers to deliver heating with a seasonal efficiency of over 84%.

Not only did new lighting in this workshop of Blue Diamond Engineering provide a bright and engaging atmosphere, but it also reduced energy costs by £4000 a year.

Light up a refurbishment

The lighting system is an important and integral part of any building. MIKE HARRINGTON discusses the opportunities for refurbishing a lighting installation and the benefits that can be realised.

As part of a new energy centre at Kingston Hospital being designed built and financed by Dalkia, a CHP unit rated at 1.4 MW(e) is to be installed.

CHP forms basis of future energy strategy for Kingston Hospital

As part of a 15-year Private Finance Initiative, Dalkia will invest £2.9 million to refurbish the existing boiler plant at Kingston Hospital and equip it with CHP plant. Carbon-dioxide emissions will be reduced by around 4000 t a year. The agreement includes the subsequent operation and maintenance of the new plant and will provide secure and stable future energy supplies for this 632-bed hospital.

Refurbished nearly 70 years after it was originally built, Baskerville House in Birmingham has achieved a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.

Major Birmingham refurbishment achieves high environmental standards

The refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed Baskerville House in Birmingham, dating from 1939, includes such services as chilled ceilings and beams, displacement ventilation via a pressurised floor and lighting controls to maximise the use of daylight.

High-efficiency versus standard-efficiency boilers — Graham Williamson.

When the time comes to replace boilers in existing buildings

Meeting the requirements of the Building Regulations when a commercial building is refurbished does not necessarily require condensing boiler plant — and it may not even be the best option. GRAHAM WILLIAMSON explains.

Sophisticated control and the ability to access data on building performance has been provided for this building in London’s Hanover Square by Integrated Control Systems.

ICS brings modern control to refurbished London building

An important element of the building-management system installed by Integrated Control Systems as part of the £5 million refurbishment of 13 Hanover Square in London for Standard Life is the ability to access graphics and data on the performance of the building via the Internet and the transmission of security alarms by e-mail to computers, mobile telephones or a central alarm point.

Multi-service chilled beams are being supplied by Trox for the refurbishment of the headquarters of Norwich Union.

Norwich Union invests in chilled beams in HQ refurbishment

The £90 million phased refurbishment of the headquarters of Norwich Union in Norwich saw the installation of a wide range of chilled beams from Trox UK. The total value to Trox over all four phases of the project was £3.5 million.

Helping to make possible the upgrading of the 1970s Tricorn House into modern office accommodation is the incorporation of underfloor air conditioning and cabling into a 175 mm-deep floor void and a 78 mm-deep ceiling void.

The energy-saving benefits of refurbishing

Upgrading existing buildings rather than demolishing them avoids the loss of embodied energy — making a valuable contribution to avoiding carbon emissions. One problem to solve is how to squeeze services into restricted slab-to-slab heights — as GLAN BLAKE THOMAS explains.

Year-round condensing operation using gas as the fuel and the possibility of converting to rape-seed oil in the future are just two of the benefits of these Atlantic boilers installed in accommodation for elderly people in Buxton.

Community housing benefits from new condensing boilers

Substantial reductions in the cost of providing heating and domestic hot water will be achieved following the installation of Atlantic gas-fired condensing boilers at Mitton Court in Buxton, which provides 60 flats for elderly people. The two R Series boilers each have a output of 153 kW and provide both weather-compensated heating and fast-recovery hot water.

Hot water for over 200 refurbished Morrisons stores is provide by Lochinvar equipment.

Lochinvar gives another reason to shop at Morrisons

The refurbishment of over 200 Morrisons supermarkets included the installation of water-heating equipment supplied by Lochinvar.

More and better beer — this Fulton steam boiler has replaced an electric boiler in the brewery of Triple FFF in Hampshire.

Fulton steam boiler plays key role in helping improve the quality of real ale

As part of a £750 000 upgrade to its existing brewery equipment, Triple FFF Brewery Company in Hampshire has installed a new steam boiler from Fulton Boiler works. This 60J gas-fired vertical steam boiler replaces an electric boiler and supplies heat for brewing real ale, as well as steam for cleaning and sterilising kegs and process equipment.

Upgrading its standby-power system was vital to WRN expanding its client base, and the company turned to the supplier of the original systems, Scorpion Power Systems.

Standby-power upgrade keeps WRN on the air for new clients

When the time came to upgrade its original standby-power system, WRN, which specialises in global radio networks and specialist broadcast services, turned to the original supplier — Scorpion Power Systems.

Mechanical and electrical services for the 100 000 m2 headquarters of Barclays Bank in London were designed by hurleypalmerflatt to meet future-proofing requirements by being able to accommodate one person per 7.5 m2, compared with the British Council for Offices guideline of one person per 10 m2. Substantial future plant space and riser capacity is available to support this growth.

Delivering value engineering

Delivering value for building services is not the same as reducing costs. Indeed, a small reduction in cost could reduce value by much more. JIM HARRISON presents a consultant’s perspective.

paul cooper
In need of a better selling job — Paul Cooper on off-site manufacture.

Finding more value in offsite fabrication

Offsite fabrication is the ultimate in value engineering for building services. We just have to be better at selling it, says PAUL COOPER.

The value of variable-speed drives is not in the balance

No-where in the new energy centre of the Natural History Museum is there a balancing or commissioning valve. Vital Energi, which manages the centre believes that using variable-speed drives with all fans and pumps is inherently a far better approach.

The ubiquitous combination of Ethernet and TCP/IP allows a single network to be used to carry all the data for boilers, chillers and air-handling plant — as well as all the other building systems.

Better value in building- management systems

MIKE WILLIAMS believes that more powerful and less expensive technologies have overtaken dedicated building-management systems — presenting potential purchasers and users with the ability to have all the useful functionality required, but at a lower price.

The Simmtronic lighting-control system in the new London headquarters of a major law firm provides extra value by controlling fan coils.

Lighting controls also embrace fan coils

Not only does the fully addressable DALI lighting-control system in the CatB fit-out of Allen & Overy’s new London headquarters provide a variety of options for the lighting itself, but it also holds on fan coils in response to presence detection and turns them off when lights go out.

Weeks of time on site has been avoided by building a series of plant rooms for two HBOS sites in Yorkshire in the factory of Armstrong Integrated Systems.

HBOS banks on the value of off-site construction

Using plant rooms made off site by Armstrong Integrated Systems has reduced programme timescales for the expansion of two HBOS data centres.

Cost saving go on and on with building-systems integration

Being involved at an early stage in the Ideapark indoor commercial city near Tampere in Finland enabled TAC to achieve considerable cost savings by fully integrating the building-management and security systems.

Installation and running cost savings are both being achieved in this prestigious office building using an Ex-Or lighting-control system.

Making lighter work of lighting

The need to install light switches in open-plan areas of a 3-storey office building at Burgess Hill has been eliminated by an Ex-Or lighting-control system which switches lights on and off in response to signals from presence detectors that respond to the smallest movements made by occupants; lights are also dimmed as required. The latest Building Regulations stipulate that light switches should be no further than 6 m away from the workstations of occupants.

An economic and legal way of holding open fire doors in busy routes in three girls’ school is provided by Fireco’s Dorgard.

Cost-effective compliance with fire regulations

Fireco believes that its Dorgard device provides the simplest and most cost-effective way of legally holding fire doors open and releasing them if the fire alarm sounds.

A 60% cut in London’s carbon emissions by 2025 — Nicky Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London.

The realities of lower carbon emissions

Cities and towns of the future will be markedly different from those of today, according to pictures painted at CIBSE’s national conference last month — driven by efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Both external and internal lighting of the Saltaire Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University so impressed the judges of the Lighting Design Awards that it won the category for workplace lighting, (Photo: Keith Hunter)

Promoting the art and craft of lighting

It is, perhaps, easier to appreciate good design than to understand it. The annual Lighting Design Awards provide that critical insight.

The air-conditioning conundrum

MBS 07-05 comment target is 20 to 22 cm

Formally launching the simulation components of CIBSE’s Low Carbon Consultants Register are CIBSE’s chief executive Stephen Matthews (second from left) and senior management from developers of simulation software. From left is David McEwan of IES, Tony Baxter of Hevacomp and Alan Jones of EDSL.

CIBSE launches simulation section of Low Carbon Consultants Register

CIBSE has completed the development of the simulation component of its Low Carbon Consultants Register. Building on the success of the operation and design aspects of the register, the simulation category is aimed at those who carry out energy performance calculations. The scheme applies to Criteria 1 of Part L 2006 for buildings other than dwellings.

Celebrating 60 years of building-services education

London South Bank University, which has trained and educated several generations of building-services engineers, is organising an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the National College of Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration & Fan Engineering.

Ben Brown highlights the contribution of FETA members to sustainability

The engineering expertise of members of FETA (Federation of Environmental Trade Associations) is already playing a significant part in contributing to the goal of sustainable development. That was the message given by Ben Brown, president of FETA to representatives of Government and end users, consultants, manufacturers, contractors and engineers of all types last month.

OCS Engineering is responsible for looking after HVAC Services in this building in London’s Victoria Street for the next three years.

OCS secures contract for landmark London offices

OCS Engineer’s contract for the care of full HVAC services for Senator House in Queen Victoria Street in London has been renewed. This high-tech building of 20 000 m2 accommodates several blue-chip clients, including international law firm Eversheds and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Autoflame wins Queen’s Award for combustion-control technology

Autoflame Engineering has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for innovation in providing combustion-management solutions for boilers and burners in the commercial and industrial markets. The company was established in 1972 and says it was the first in the world to apply micro-processor technology to control combustion — a development that led to massive savings in fuel and significant reductions in the emissions of harmful gases, long before reducing the world’s carbon footprint became the political focus it is today.

canary wharf

School pupils get insight into the construction industry

Pupils from Eastlea Community School in Newham in East London gained an insight into the construction industry when their school took part in the coaching scheme organised by the ConstructionSkills team at the Construction Industry Council. This scheme aims to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn about the wide range of professional careers available in the construction industry from a respected local built-environment professional. Monthly coaching sessions are complemented by external visits and practical activities.

Aqua wins college contract

Aqua Mechanical Services has been awarded a £4.5 million contract by Amec Construction for the redevelopment of Epping Forest College at Loughton. It involves the design and installation of mechanical, electrical and public-health services associated with the construction of a 15 000 m2 academic facility. Work is due to start on site in August, with completion by June 2008.

Mikrofill supports CIBSE student bursaries

To support the future of the industry, Mikrofill and CIBSE have teamed up to provide four bursaries for students on courses in building-services engineering. Roger Cherrington, managing director of Mikrofill, explains, ‘One of the biggest problems we face as a company is recruiting qualified heating engineers. We work in a very specialised field, which requires a unique application of engineering. This area of engineering is growing in demand, and we need to make sure that this demand can be met.

Business Link offers ‘green’ NVQs in the south east

Biomass heating and renewable energy are among a series of National Vocational Qualifications in ‘green’ skills being offered by Business Link throughout the south east of England to help companies train the staff to make the most of the opportunities being created by increasing interest in environmental issues.


Balfour Kilpatrick wins major contract in Birmingham

Balfour Kilpatrick has been awarded a £5 million contract by Sir Robert McAlpine for the design and installation the mechanical, electrical and plumbing services for an office block in Birmingham city centre.

Services for these two bespoke office blocks in Gateshead are being installed by Inviron.

Inviron helps deliver energy-efficient offices in Gateshead

Inviron has just started working on the installation of M&E services for two 11-storey 14 000 m2 bespoke office buildings at the Baltic Place development in Gateshead Quays in Gateshead. A key requirement of the buildings will be achieving a BREEAM excellent rating. The completion date is June 2008.

MITIE is working with Cowlin Construction as services provider for the James Square development at the University of Plymouth.

MITIE wins major university contracts at Plymouth

MITIE has teamed up with contractor Cowlin Construction for a £31 million redevelopment project at the University of Plymouth. The James Square development is a partnering project between the university and the University Project Partnership. It will be completed in three phases. The first stage will be the major refurbishment of the Mary Newman building, followed by a new residential building and, finally, a new academic building. MITIE is responsible for M&E services contracts and will also supply air-conditioning, heating, ventilation and ICT services to the James Square development.

Renewable Energy Association reaches 500 members

The Renewable Energy Association now has 500 members with the signing up of the Co-operative Group. This organisation represents the renewable-energy industry, and its chief executive, Philip Wolfe, says. ‘Reaching 500 members in just over five years is an important milestone. We have welcomed several of the major banks and retailers like Marks & Spencer into the REA in recent months. These progressive household brands have realised that to meet their own sustainability objectives, they need direct involvement in renewable energy.’

Outstanding innovation in energy-efficiency high-performance production of domestic hot water has won a Queen’s Award for Andrews Water Heaters

Queen’s Award for Andrews Water Heaters

Andrews Water Heaters has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the development of the MAXxflo stainless-steel condensing commercial storage water heater.


Supporters complete the London Marathon for engineer-backed relief fund

Consulting engineers and other organisations in the construction industry joined in the recent Flora London Marathon in support of RedR-IHE, a charity founded and funded by engineers and involved in disaster relief and rehabilitation. It has been recognised by the United Nations as a leading agency in the area of water and sanitation.

50 000 m a year, and growing — Trox continues to invest in chilled-beam production in this 3700 m2 dedicated facility at Thetford.

Trox opens new factory for chilled beams

With demand for its chilled beams expected to set a record for production this year, Trox is expanding its production facilities with a £300 000 investment in a 3700 m2 dedicated facility and warehouse for chilled beams close to its existing factory in Thetford.

Bailey on the education trail in Oldham

The £9.5 million contract for M&E services for two new schools in Oldham has been awarded to Bailey. The work is part of a large PFI scheme worth a total of £97 million. Bailey Teswaine, which specialises in information and communication technology, will carry out data installation work.

Continental Underfloor Heating embraces LZC technologies

Underfloor heating specialist Continental Underfloor Heating has created two new divisions specialising in heat-pump and solar technologies in response to customer demand for a one-stop company to advise on, design and supply integrated energy-efficient heating systems. All three companies operate under the newly created Continental Energy Systems brand.

From air conditioning to egg heads — a team from TEV, formerly Marstair has become the first to beat the resident team on BBC’s Egg Heads this series.

Eggs crack under pressure from employees of TEV

Staff at air-conditioning manufacturer TEV, formerly Marstair, have beaten the BBC’s Egg heads in the game show hosted by Dermot Murnaghan to win a cash prize of £29 000.



Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

When you go to our digital edition, you can also access the archive of digital editions.


Modern Building services has a group
on Linkedin - join us!


  • Senior Building Services Engineer

      Invitations are invited from experienced Building Services Engineers to assist in the development of a new division within an established professional practice. The projects will be predominantly with Defence-related and Government establishments but w......

  • Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Engineer

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

  • Engineering Technical Assistant

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

more jobs »


"Is the Building Services industry lagging behind in the implementation of BIM?"