One of the country’s leading independent schools, Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital QEH School in Bristol is also one of its oldest, having existed since 1590. Its current home is a magnificent Grade II-listed building in Clifton that dates back to 1847. When the two ancient cast-iron sectional boilers serving the main building came to the end of their serviceable life, QEH were keen to act fast to replace the dated boiler plant during the summer shutdown period.
Consultant Geoff Beaven, previously of the Brodie Partnership, specified installing five Remeha Gas 220 Ace boilers with a Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE) on an off-site fabricated cascade system to meet the heat output demand in an exceptionally compact footprint.
“The nature of the listed school building meant that floor-standing boilers were required to meet the high 1,250kW heat demand,” explained Geoff Beaven. “But we were also working to a tight schedule, as the whole project needed to be completed within the fixed summer holiday period. We selected the Gas 220 Ace boilers for their high efficiencies and reliability, and also for the Remeha off-site fabricated cascade options that would enable a faster, smoother installation.”
A key advantage of using off-site fabrication heating techniques is that the unique requirements of the project and the site can be addressed and overcome at the outset.
Working with Geoff Beaven and project contractors Hewer FM, Remeha prepared 3D drawings of the boiler cascade arrangement to the specified layout and integrated a PHE into the design.
Once the equipment was delivered to site, Hewer FM bolted together the boilers and connected them to the existing system. John Cowdery at Hewer FM said: “The off-site cascade was a good solution. Space was tight in the plant room, but as the cascade had been designed specifically for this project, it fitted in well and connected together very easily.”
Geoff Beaven added: “The off-site cascade arrangement with PHE worked brilliantly. It was just what we needed, meeting all the project requirements and ensuring a speedy installation.”
Given the listed status of this historic building, careful consideration was required when it came to the flueing arrangements for the condensing boilers.
At QEH, the new Remeha boilers have been serving the whole of the main building, as well as eight science labs, additional classroom blocks and the music and art buildings since the autumn. In that time, not only have comfort levels risen within the five floors of the school building, but initial data is already pointing to significant gas savings due to the higher efficiencies of the fully modulating plant.
On projects like this, using bespoke-designed, off-site fabricated equipment can bring advantages for the entire supply chain. QEH, for one, is benefitting from more efficient, more reliable heating – and lower heating costs – following minimal disruption. The Consultant has a flexible solution to meet all specification and customer requirements. And the Contractor benefits from reduced on-site time and high-quality installations, for happy customers.