Cut the Carbon

As we work towards reducing our carbon emissions to help halt climate change, James Porter, Sales Director at Remeha Commercial looks at the latest energy-efficient heating solutions available to support fast, effective refurbishment for high performance results.

Climate change is firmly back in the headlines with the announcement of the historic global climate agreement at the UN climate talks in Paris coinciding with devastating reports of winter flooding here in the UK. Saving energy not only reduces emissions of harmful greenhouse gases, but it also saves money. The Carbon Trust estimates that UK schools alone could reduce energy costs by around £44 million per year which would prevent 625,000 tonnes of CO₂ from entering the atmosphere.

So where to start? Heating and hot water provision offers huge scope for energy and carbon savings as it typically accounts for around half of a building’s total energy usage and its associated emissions. With commercial boiler plant providing heat for a significant proportion of our public buildings, replacing any inefficient boilers with high-efficiency condensing boilers and upgrading the controls is invariably the most practical, affordable solution to achieving rapid, substantial savings.

However, when faced with tight time constraints, achieving all the required refurbishment projects can prove challenging. Fortunately, heating manufacturers have responded with increasingly flexible and adaptable products designed to meet each project’s individual requirements, budgets and refurbishment schedules whilst maximising seasonal efficiencies.

Prefabricated systems

Cascade and rig systems are a prime example of how manufacturers are facilitating easier installation and higher achievable efficiencies. Operating multiple condensing boilers in sequence with a sequential control effectively improves the modulation of the boilers, enabling more accurate matching of the heat output demand to maximise efficiency and energy savings. An added advantage is that is also extends the life cycle of the equipment as the load is shared between the boilers. When multiple boilers are installed on prefabricated systems, quality control is improved as the preconfigured unit is pre-tested and delivered as a whole system rather than in individual components. With all the components provided by the one supplier, this minimises any delays that can occur due to late arrival of parts. The installation time is also easier to calculate, reducing the possibility of unexpected delays that will impact on other work scheduled to take place in and around the same tight timeframe.

Improved reliability

To meet the space constraints and requirement for more reliable heating and hot water provision at Aspire Leisure Centre in Stanmore, Harrow-based heating contractors PHD Mechanical Ltd recommended installing seven replacement Quinta Pro boilers in cascade operation as the most effective solution to overcome the space issue in the restricted plant room and accurately meet the heat output demand for greater reliability at the leisure centre. For the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Leisure Centre, Brian Carlin, the cascade system meant minimum disruption to the leisure centre and maximum reliability from the outset. “The entire move from old to new boilers was completed in one day, enabling us to keep the centre open for our users,” said Mr Carlin. “We’re delighted to report that since the refurbishment, the pool has remained at the correct temperature, with plenty of water for hot showers. Even more impressive is the energy we have saved since installing the Remeha boilers, which equates to £7,000 in the last six months alone.”

Compact and flexible

Cascade systems offering different installation options offer huge benefits on projects involving restricted or awkwardly-shaped plant rooms. At medieval Hexham Abbey in Northumberland, the irregular features of the historic building required a flexible and compact heating solution that would allow the installation to be customised to suit the tight space constraints of the plant room. For Luke Ellwood of Vaughan Engineering, the M&E Contractor on the project, using a cascade system delivered a number of key benefits. “The Remeha Quinta Pro cascade system with low loss header provided us with numerous installation options which resulted in a neat and functional system, whilst also ensuring that the maintenance requirements of the unit were achieved,” he said.

Bespoke design

For projects with particularly tight refurbishment schedules, consider installing multiple boilers mounted on a bespoke designed and manufactured rig system unit. Many manufacturers offer standard inline and back-to-back configurations. Where the bespoke version differs is that this service offers an unlimited choice of configuration options for complete flexibility of design. In other words, they enable the specific requirements of an individual plant room to be met exactly, both in terms of its footprint and the heat output demand of the building. This facilitates precise specification and even faster and easier installation, allowing more projects to be completed within a set period of time.

The boilers arrive on site in a quality-controlled, factory-finished, pre-assembled, preconfigured unit that can be wheeled into position in the plant room. With fewer installers required on site, labour costs fall whilst the easy installation allows the more skilled engineers in the works team to be allocated to more complex projects, improving efficiency and productivity.

Gateshead Council Construction Services chose to refurbish the heating of a series of its primary schools with Remeha Quinta Pro condensing boilers installed on bespoke-designed rig systems as an affordable, speedy solution to high-performance heating provision. A period of relaxation for some, the school summer holidays can be one of the busiest periods in the year for a construction services department.  The bespoke rig system service offered the perfect labour and time saving solution, enabling the team to carry out more heating upgrades in schools during the six-week summer holiday period.

“The high efficiencies of the Quinta Pro boilers allowed us to achieve the improved reliability and effectiveness of heating we were aiming for in our schools whilst the flexibility of the rig system has meant that we have been able to carry out more refurbishments than would otherwise have been possible within the holiday period,” said Peter Udall, Service Director for Design and Technical Services. “This is a rapid, high-quality solution that we would hope to use again in the future.”

The energy and carbon savings are there to be made – and now, with the latest innovations from forward-thinking manufacturers, refurbishments can be carried out more speedily than ever before. At Remeha Commercial, we look forward to continuing to support organisations with adaptable, flexible, high-performance heating solutions that will help them to meet their individual environmental and financial requirements through a more effective, reliable and energy-efficient heating service.

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