Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


£2M CESP contract

CMS Enviro Systems have been appointed by Lawtech to a £2m CESP (Community Energy Saving Programme) refurbishment contract in the Toryglen area of Glasgow.

As part of an extensive CESP refurbishment, the £2m contract sees CMS Enviro Systems supply and install ‘A’ rated energy efficient PVCU windows and doors to Thistle Housing Association housing stock.

The £20m energy efficiency and carbon reduction overhaul to properties includes: installation of energy efficient windows and doors; central heating upgrades; external wall insulation; air source heat pumps; and new solar roof panels. As well as the window and door replacement, the scope of work also includes the 100% recycling of all extracted windows and doors at the CMS recycling facilities in Fife.

Jamie Hepburn, MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth also said: “If CMS and businesses like it are able to thrive, our local economy is given a welcome boost, and our local communities benefit directly.

“Moving to a low carbon economy is also a key priority of the Scottish Government; one which will see the development of low carbon goods, processes and jobs while vastly improving energy efficiency in our country. I am delighted to see a successful local employer making such an active contribution to this strategy.”

Largest free-field solar park

The Conergy Group has completed the UK’s largest solar power plant.

The 5MW free-field park is situated in Hawton, near Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire. The fast-track project was built in cooperation with Conergy’s local partner Lark Energy and was completed only six weeks after receiving the planning consent on the 24 May 2011.

Conergy’s Robert Goss said: “The project was clearly a race against time to meet the deadline of 31 July 2011 – but we made it, even more than two weeks beforehand thanks to our brilliant solar expert team. The deadline was imposed by the recent review of the Feed in Tariff incentive payments for large-scale solar projects that are to be slashed by 72%. All parties showed great determination to support this exciting project which will be one of a very few large solar projects installed in 2011.”

The installation covers a total area of 14.6 hectares. 21,600 Conergy PowerPlus modules on approximately 40 kilometres of Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems were installed. Annually, the premium modules will produce 4,860 megawatt hours of clean electricity – enough to supply 1,300 homes.

The local residents supported the green project from the beginning. A community research conducted prior to the installation showed that 100% of the respondents generally favoured the idea of solar energy as a clean, renewable energy solution with no emissions. 92% of those who came to an open event in March 2011 supported the Hawton solar park. “I am sure in time this could be a major opportunity for renewable energy to prove to be a major benefit,” concluded one respondent.

In order to celebrate the successful completion of this project, there will be an inauguration event on Monday 01 August for the local community, media and other stakeholders.

“The Hawton park is yet another landmark project for Conergy in the series of their large free-field solar parks all over the world,” Robert Goss said. “With this park, our solar experts have shown that we are able to build large-scale projects also in the UK, even though our core business and focus is and will be on roof-top installations. This is due to the FiT cuts on the one hand and due to our product portfolio and experience ‘on the roof’ throughout Europe on the other hand.”

Council cut bills

As the country’s main energy suppliers are set to increase their prices by up to 20% this year, the City of Edinburgh Council is helping council tenants cut their household bills.

A modernisation programme totalling over £600,000 has provided a gas connection and a new and efficient gas central heating system for around 110 council houses in the Gateside area of Kirkliston.

The improvements will save the tenants of these homes around £500 a year in their energy bills.

A further 107 households in Kirkliston who have purchased their homes from the Council are also set to benefit as they have been offered a connection to the gas supply for a significantly discounted rate.

Councillor Norman Work, Vice Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Housing Committee and local ward councillor, welcomed the investment. He said: “The residents in Gateside have campaigned for many years to have gas installed in their homes and this Council has listened to their pleas by getting a supply put in.

“This could not have come at a better time for many families as in the current economic climate some people are finding it very hard to pay their bills. In some cases, people are torn between paying bills and putting food on the table.

“One major supplier has already announced a sharp increase in prices with others set to follow. This is the kind of investment that makes a real difference to people’s lives, as well as making a contribution to cutting carbon emissions.”

Fiona Alexander, who lives in Maitland Hog Lane, has benefited from the new central heating system. She said: “The new central heating system has been great because we used to have these old electric storage heaters which weren’t good at all because they just ate your money!

“In fact they were quite horrendous but now it’s now much warmer and I’ve really noticed an improvement with my bills.”


Bright start

GML Construction has helped provide a bright new start for pupils at Dulwich Village Church of England Infants School with a new classroom extension that features an ultra modern interior of brightly striped walls, contemporary ceramic tiles, bespoke furniture and light wells.

The £350,000 design and build scheme involved collaboration between GML Construction and the school. To help foster an excitement to learn, the school has pushed for an ultra modern interior, designed to provide an inspiring and engaging learning environment for their pupils.

The twin classroom block replaces an existing building and externally features a brick skin and a part flat and part pitched roof with sedum green roof covering and featuring traditional slates. A living green sedum roof is also incorporated within the flat construction. The brick skin and slates were chosen to meet planning requirements by maintaining the aesthetic to the rest of the school. Internally the building is very different however. For maximum energy efficiency, the building also features high performance insulation and windows.

To provide as much natural light as possible in the building, GML Construction has designed a central corridor that features light wells. These bring daylight flooding into the centre of the new space and along with the windows ensure ample natural light.


90% energy reduction

The Rehau Awadukt Thermo ground-air heat exchanger has been installed in only the third office in the UK to be fully certified to Passivhaus standard.

The new £1.5m East Midlands regional office for Interserve Construction in Syston, Leicestershire features some of the most advanced green building solutions to achieve a targeted 90% reduction in energy usage and costs compared with a traditional building.

Because Passivhaus construction focuses on making the building as well insulated and air tight as possible, specifying the right ventilation solution is essential. In conjunction with environmental building services consultants Couch Perry & Wilkes, Interserve chose the Rehau Awadukt Thermo system because it was appropriate for the compact site and was more cost effective than a borehole solution.

The two storey building will provide 680m² of accommodation. A 21m x 12m pipework array has been laid adjacent to the building beneath ground which will eventually become the car park. 250m of Rehau’s DN200mm collector pipework has been installed at an average depth of 2m along with 24m of DN400mm header pipe to deliver tempered ventilation air into the building pre-cooled in summer and pre-warmed in winter.

The grid feeds directly into a plant room located at one end of the building where it is connected to a MVHR unit before the air is distributed around the building.

The Rehau Awadukt Thermo system uses the natural temperature of the earth at a depth of 2m to pre-warm or pre-cool incoming air. Optimised polypropylene pipework maximises the heat transfer which takes place so that in summer incoming air can be cooled by up to 14º C and in winter it can be warmed by as much as 9º C, achieving a Coefficient of Performance of around 20.

The system has particular benefits for an air tight building such as this one because it incorporates an integrated antimicrobial layer made from silver particles which eliminates the risk of microbial growth or musty smells.

The new building has no gas fired space heating and relies for its heat on solar gain from its south facing aspect and from the tempered air delivered via the Awadukt Thermo and MVHR systems.

A small heat pump is in place to provide additional warmth in winter if required.

Rehau has also provided the triple-glazed fenestration solution for the building with 27 of its new Rehau Geneo windows installed across the south of the building. These Passivhaus certified windows achieve a U-value of just 0.8W/m2K using a six-chamber system extruded from a new high-tech fibre composite material branded Rau-Fipro.

The new building has been constructed using highly insulated blocks with concrete infil, pre-cast concrete beams to provide some additional tempering, and is clad in timber to increase the insulation performance.


Chilling news

Energy savings of 55% have been achieved following replacement of existing cooling plant with new Turbomiser chillers at Colt Technology’s West London data centre facility.

Monitoring of power consumption by the client shows that after the installation of Turbomiser chillers, annual power consumption fell by more than half.

The award-winning Turbomiser chiller was developed by UK based companies Cool-Therm and Klima-Therm, working in collaboration with Italian manufacturer Geoclima. Following the results, Cool-Therm is continuing to support Colt and reports achieving even greater power savings at other sites operated by the company.

The results from the first phase of the project demonstrate the exceptional performance and efficiency of Turbomiser chillers, which run on virtually frictionless magnetic bearings.

Colt has also been able to improve reliability and lower maintenance costs.

Colt Data Centre Services asked Cool-Therm to provide a turnkey package, matching the existing data centre cooling load and maintaining cooling to the centre at all times during the changeover.

After consultation with Colt, Cool-Therm advised that operation of all six chillers together would gain maximum compressor efficiency under inverter control, at the same time achieving maximum condenser efficiency due to the use of all heat exchanger surfaces to reject heat.

The same logic was applied to the chilled water evaporators. Chilled water temperatures into and out of the data centre were increased from 6/12 deg. C under the original design, to 8/14 deg. C, further improving efficiency.

A monitoring system was put in place to measure energy consumption against the previous system.

Guy Ruddock, VP Operations, Colt Data Centres Services, said: “We are working with Cool-Therm to further enhance efficiency in our data centres, which contributes to Colt’s commitment to continual innovation to provide significant environmental and cost benefits for our customers.

“The energy efficiency expertise and experience gained in pursuit of this goal is now being applied across the Colt estate by local teams.”


Milking waste production

A Devonshire dairy has officially opened a £3.4m anaerobic digestion (AD) facility that will turn food waste from around the county into the energy helping to produce its clotted cream, ice cream crème fraiche and yoghurt.

The facility at Langage Farm, Plymouth, received £1.2m of funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme and was opened by Lord Henley, Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on Friday 1 July.

By the end of its first year of operation, the AD facility will process 12,000 tonnes of food waste collected from households across the county by local authorities. The facility will also process on-farm dairy wastes, converting these fuels into renewable heat and electricity.

The renewable energy will not only power the dairy products production, but also export surplus energy to the National Grid. In its first five years, the Langage AD facility expects to produce 20,000 MW of energy saving the equivalent of 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Lord Henley said: “The facility at Langage Farm is an excellent working example of how a localised closed loop economy can be created.

“Food waste that otherwise would have gone to landfill will instead be used to produce the energy that will power much of the production process here on the farm, helping to produce award winning clotted cream, ice cream and yoghurt.”

Marcus Gover, director of organics and energy from waste at WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), believes the market, including investors, developers and end users, should be confident of AD as a reliable, safe and profitable resource efficiency process. “AD is a growing part of the resource efficiency solution, capable of diverting biodegradable waste from landfill, creating renewable energy, stimulating the green economy and improving the sustainability of commercial agriculture,” he said. “We really see it as a huge opportunity for the UK.”

Cornish solar farming

EOS Energy is putting the finishing touches to a £3 million array of photovoltaic cells at Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay, Cornwall.

The Warwickshire based company has been busy installing over 5000 units spread over 10 acres of land in recent weeks. At 1.15mw, this will be the largest array of solar panels installed under the Feed In Tariff (FiT) system.

The operation has been vastly speeded up using the company's innovative BritSol mounting system. Managing director Gary Summers said: "The speed of installation has been phenomenal, at peak our engineers have been installing an incredible 1000 solar panels per day."

To put the size of the project into perspective, the BritSol mounting system consists of 71000kg of aluminium – the equivalent of nearly five million empty coke cans.

Hendra is one of the largest holiday parks in the South West, providing accommodation for up to 4000 holiday makers at any one time – 25% of people visiting Newquay stay at Hendra.

The holiday park is aiming to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by 50%. Hendra's current on site electricity consumption is over 1.5GW per year, with EOS panels installed their energy usage could now be cut by up to 50% – the equivalent of 400 residential homes!

The Holiday Park also plans to use the solar PV installation as a free educational resource for schools and it hopes to use the energy savings to provide electrical vehicle charging points for free on site use by the public; part of a wider community investment in sustainable transport infrastructure.


Eco choice

LDG Group, one of the North West's largest window companies, has just completed the installation of PVCU windows and doors for the prestigious £7m eco- development at The Saw Mills, an estate just a mile from Blackpool town centre and seafront.

The 35 three- and four-bedroomed mews homes have been built on a former industrial saw mill site for the developer Great Places Housing Group by RP Tyson Construction, the project’s leading contractor, and the official opening took place in June.

The homes, which were made available for shared ownership and affordable rent, reach level three in the code for sustainable homes which means the heating and lighting is very efficient and the materials are from a sustainable source.

The £7m development was supported by an investment of £3.7m by the homes and communities agency (HCA). Working closely with the main contractor, RP Tyson Construction, Lancashire Double Glazing supplied 400 Grey 70 PVCU windows and 71 doors over a six-month period using Synseal Profile.

While the project deadlines were demanding, the installation ran smoothly mainly due to the existing manufacturing infrastructure and large project capabilities at the LDG fabrication centre in Preston. LDG and RP Tyson Construction have a successful trading partnership stretching back over 20 years in which time both companies have gone from strength to strength working on high profile projects across Lancashire and the North West of England.

Lee Plummer general manager at Lancashire Double Glazing said: "This is the second major project we have work on alongside RP Tyson Construction recently, and it was very satisfying to oversee such a prestigious and valuable project that ran as smoothly as it did. I think credit needs to go out to both the construction team at Tyson's and the fabricators and installers at LDG for such a good job well done."


Carbon free social housing

Prime Minster David Cameron has officially opened Cottsway Housing’s latest rural housing development at Blackditch, Stanton Harcourt.

Featuring Tradical Hemcrete – a hemp and lime thermal walling system from Lime Technology – the scheme has been delivered as part of the Homes and Communities Agency’s Renewable House Programme.

When opening the new development David Cameron said: “This development is innovative and creative and Cottsway is leading the way in providing green homes.

It is vital to build new housing in rural areas to help sustain local services such as shops and Post Offices.” The scheme, built by contractor EG Carter and designed by architects Kendall Kingscott, is part of a series of schemes to create sustainable and comfortable homes with low running costs through the use of carbon neutral products and renewable technologies.

The homes have been designed to achieve level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. A key element of the construction of the new homes was the use of Tradical Hemcrete for the creation of the walls of the homes. Developed by Lime Technology, the system offers a carbon negative method of creating thermally efficient buildings. Its carbon negative credentials are achievable through the use of hemp which absorbs CO² during its growth.

Solar solution

EOS Energy has just received the go ahead to start work on an installation of a 50kW photovoltaic array on the roof of Coventry Cathedral.

EOS will be working in partnership with the Cathedral and the Renewable Energy Technology Alliance (RETA). The array will consist of 178 panels and will be completed in time for HM The Queen's visit to Coventry in 2012.

The Cathedral's executive director Jane Woodward said: "It's a Grade-I listed building and we are fortunate in Coventry because many cathedrals have quite steep pitched roofs behind shady parapets whereas ours is fairly flat. It will make us the first cathedral in country to have solar panels on the roof.

"It's not just about saving money on our energy bills – we are committed to the idea of renewable energy and climate protection."

This flagship project will form part of Coventry's efforts to get the city in good shape ready for the thousands of visitors expected for next year’s Olympic football games taking part at The Ricoh Arena (City of Coventry Stadium).

The Cathedral already has an established partnership with EOS and has already received a payment of £1200 for commission on orders generated.


Picture: EOS Energy Director Dean Walton presents a cheque for £1200 to the Dean of Coventry Cathedral Tim Pullen.

Warm learning

The University of Bedfordshire’s new Campus Centre in Luton, part of a £140 million redevelopment of University facilities, used Celotex CW4000 insulation.

The investment is set to prepare the University for the future and ensure that it meets the standards of facilities, sustainability and ethics expected of today’s universities. The new building, one of the first phases of the plan, features a new student social centre, a 400 seat lecture theatre as well as catering facilities and exhibition space.

The building was designed by architects at RMJM, who set out to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. To help achieve this, the building features natural ventilation and energy saving technology. Particular attention was paid to the building’s overall thermal efficiency, hence the Celotex PIR insulation choice.

Built by main contractor Kier Marriott, specialist contractor Elliott Brickwork was tasked with undertaking all masonry work as well as installing the Celotex CW4000 insulation boards throughout the cavity walling – a task which required 2,500m2 of the company’s boards.

The first PIR (Polyisocyanurate) insulation to achieve an A+ rating for its thermal efficiency, when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008, foil faced Celotex CW4000 with a lambda value of 0.022W/mK has excellent thermal efficiency. As it does not trap moisture, which can happen with mineral fibre insulation, its effects are lasting, reducing heating needs, and thereby carbon emissions significantly for the long term.

Alongside this, Celotex CW4000 has low Global Warming Potential and zero Ozone Depletion Potential. Though lightweight and easily cut on site, making for portability and ease of installation, Celotex CW4000 is also exceptionally hard wearing.


Lime and hemp alternative

Renewable materials have been successfully used for the construction of six new timber frame homes in York, built for The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust by main contractor Mansell Construction Services.

Having achieved part funding under the Homes and Community Agency’s (HCA) Renewable Houses funding stream, Tradical Hemcrete, a hemp and lime walling system from Lime Technology, was chosen as a zero carbon and cost effective alternative to conventional masonry cavity walls. Built on the site of a former residential care home, Domary Court represents the first use of Tradical Hemcrete in the North of England. Comprising two bungalows and four houses, the £1 million scheme was awarded funding under the Homes and Community Agency’s (HCA) Renewable Houses funding stream.

To help the new homes achieve Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes in an affordable and buildable way, Joseph Rowntree and Mansell investigated a number of sustainable build solutions. They found that Tradical Hemcrete would offer a commercially viable alternative to traditional masonry construction and greatly aid in achieving their goal.

Developed by Lime Technology, Tradical Hemcrete is a hemp and lime wall thermal walling system. Carbon negative – possible as the hemp absorbs CO² during its growth – the system has 130kg CO²/m² less than conventional brick and block in a normal wall section.

Tradical Hemcrete also has excellent thermal inertia, meaning that the buildings’ internal temperatures change very slowly helping to reduce the need for heating.

Contemporary fenestration

Timber casements, French doors and bi-fold doors from the Mumford & Wood Contemporary range have been used extensively in the self-build design of a Code 4 eco-home in Essex.

Every aspect of the design of this bespoke property, which has the majority of living space on the first floor in order to capture the extensive rural views out to the Thames estuary, with bedrooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms to the ground floor, has: a heat exchanger system; a ‘living roof’; under-floor heating throughout, with either granite or cedar floor finishes; extreme levels of insulation; and a window system that will ensure ultimate light, comfort and thermal performance.

The homeowner has designed a building that, collectively, will benefit from low or no energy bills, within a cultivable acreage that provides almost total self-sufficiency for the family.

Mumford & Wood’s double glazed Contemporary windows and doors are BSI ‘A-C’ energy rated, depending on specification, and achieve an overall frame U-value of 1.4 W/m².K. This satisfies current Part L Building Regulations 2010 and surpasses the requirements of the forthcoming 2013 Regulations.

Contemporary timber windows and doors are factory finished with premium quality microporous paint in a wide choice of RAL colours. Alternatively, an aluminium-clad option is available for tilt-turn Contemporary sections which provides a superb weather-proof, low maintenance finish to the exterior and is ideally suited to coastal and exposed locations.

Mumford & Wood Contemporary windows and doors are available in open-out configurations, as supplied for this project, or in tilt–turn open-in sections with an aluminium clad option. Bi-fold doors are designed to meet any aperture and opening configuration. Triple glazing options are also available in the tilt turn range with whole window U-values as low as low as 0.8 W/m².K. A full installation service is available to the consumer if required.


A grand design

Sealant products from Tremco illbruck range were used to install the windows and curtain walling on a recent Grand Designs episode.

As a manufacturer of balustrade and other architectural metalwork products, Alan Dawson hit on the idea of designing his own answer to achieving the European PassivHaus standards and commissioned Chesterfield-based AM Profiles to provide the critical fenestration and doors for the project.

AM Profiles Therm+ curtain walling achieved all of the thermal, aesthetic and other objectives, with the illbruck Duo Window Membrane HD attaining a standard of airtightness far better than required under Building Regulations.

The technical designer on the project for AM Profiles, Chris Rigden, said: “We have used Tremco illbruck products on a regular basis and called in the company’s technical manager to consult on this scheme because the client was tying to achieve PassivHaus standards. He duly recommended Duo Window Membrane HD with Tremflex 40 adhesive used to secure it in place around the frames.

“Our Therm+ system features timber profiles, protected by an aluminium capping, which has two layers of glass set into it using special frame gaskets to achieve the energy performance. We made up one of the largest screens here in our Chesterfield plant and fitted the illbruck Duo Window Membrane HD around it ready for delivery, while the client made up the rest of the frames himself. Again the illbruck Duo Window Membrane HD was employed to seal the units in between the structural posts.

“We got excellent design assistance and technical advice from Tremco illbruck on this project, and expect to use the membranes again for other high specification designs in the future.”

Able to offer an airtightness of 600 Pascals, which actually exceeds PassivHaus performance, the illbruck Duo Window Membrane HD was supplied to the client in a non-standard 200 mm width in order to coordinate with the frame dimensions.


New £20m Sports Centre

Lancaster University’s new £20m Sports Centre is to open its door on August 1st. The state-of-the-art centre will be open to staff, students, schools and the local community.

Kim Montgomery, Head of Sport, said: “The completion of this building marks a new dawn for sport at Lancaster. Our elite performers will have state-of-the-art facilities to train and develop while recreational users, both from the University and the local community, will have increased opportunity and choice in order to support the wellbeing of all and to promote sports development.”

The 25m eight-lane pool is a third larger than the University’s existing pool.

Kim Montgomery said: “It will enable us to have competitions with computerised touch pad timing and the floating floor means we can vary the depth. The pool can be really shallow for children and also for school swimming lessons but full to maximum depth for water polo competitions. We can also have full galas and more activities like aqua aerobics.”

The Sports Centre forms part of the University’s ongoing £350m investment programme in residential, academic and social facilities.

The building has been designed to achieve the BREEAM 'Excellent' rating, which sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design.

Heat and glare control

When ARPL architects designed the new £1.5 million Colmonell Primary School in South Ayrshire, they created one of the most energy efficient and eco-friendly schemes in Scotland, including a comprehensive Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated development demonstrates how contemporary materials and energy efficient building technology can be applied cost-effectively and sympathetically to transform education provision in a small rural community.

The school’s design maximises use of natural resources, ensuring all internal spaces benefit from natural ventilation and natural daylight. A south-facing 13m wide by 4m high vertical glazed projection, set immediately behind and above the reception area, not only creates an attractive focal point, but also performs a vital role. It enables natural daylight to penetrate deep into the core of the single storey building.

Levolux was approached to develop a solution, comprising its internal motorised roller blinds and external aerofoil fins, to control light, heat and glare levels.

Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system, with its concealed fixings, creates a seamless aesthetic of horizontal Aerofoil Fins in front of exposed south-facing windows. More than 150m of 300mm wide Aerofoil Fins have been grouped into two bays, with nine rows per bay. Fixed at the optimum angle for maximum solar protection in the summer, the Fins prevent excessive solar heat gain, allowing the building to remain cool naturally, without the need for air-conditioning. Conversely, the angle of the Aerofoil Fins is such that during the winter and to some degree in the mornings and afternoons, the glazing becomes more exposed to the sun, allowing solar heat gain to help warm the building. Complementing the external Solar Shading and to allow more precise control of light and glare levels, Levolux fitted its motorised Tensioned Fabric Blinds and Roller Blinds internally against south-facing windows. Seven motorised Tensioned Fabric Blinds, fitted at high level, control daylight levels in the core of the building. Installed in two groups, the Tensioned Blinds range in length from 1.7m up to 3.7m, with a drop of 4m. The Blinds are equipped with stainless steel cables to maintain the fabric at the optimum tension and to guide the blinds as they are raised and lowered. To complete the solution, Levolux fitted its motorised fabric Roller Blinds internally to shade exposed south-facing windows at low level. Ranging in length from 2.5m to 3.3m and with a drop of 1.5m, the blinds can be raised and lowered separately using wall-mounted rocker switches. The Tensioned Blinds and Roller Blinds are fitted with a durable white fabric, which was selected for its solar performance. The fabric reflects 70% of solar radiation, while allowing 19% of light to filter through into the building, helping to create a naturally light, yet cool environment. www.levolux.com

Scotland’s largest

The largest Awadukt Thermo ground-air heat exchanger system ever installed in Scotland can now be seen at the newly refurbished and extended Banff and Buchan College in Fraserburgh.

The benefits of the passive cooling capability were a significant factor in it being chosen to provide a healthy and comfortable learning environment.

The Rehau system draws air from outside at a rate of 16000m³/Hr through a 42m x 30m grid of Rehau Awadukt Thermo polypropylene pipework, 1.5m below the playing fields of the college. This allows optimal heat transfer to take place between the ground and the air so resulting in the air being warmed by up to 9ºC in winter and cooled by as much as 14ºC in summer by the time it reaches the air handling unit (AHU).

This will have a significant impact on the energy loading of the AHU and will eliminate the requirement for refrigerant-based mechanical cooling to counter the heat gain in the building generated by high occupancy levels and large amounts of glazing, particularly in the atrium.

Senior mechanical engineer, Alan Gibb from KJ Tait Engineers specified the system in response to requests from the client for an energy efficient heating and ventilation system to assist with their aspirations to successfully secure a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.

Alan said: “On a sunny summer day when the external ambient temperature could be as high as 25ºC, the system will deliver air to cool the atrium which has been pre-cooled by the ground- air heat exchanger to around 10º-11ºC using minimal amounts of energy and with almost zero running costs. For a building which has no mechanical cooling, this will be hugely rewarding.

“In a learning environment where the requirement for ventilation is increasingly being recognised, the Rehau Awadukt Thermo system is a very effective solution.”

The installation was carried out by mechanical contractors Sparks Mechanical Services with support from Rehau’s technical team at its Glasgow sales office. The pipework grid comprises 60m of 1050mm diameter socketed header pipe and 1680m of 250mm heat transfer pipe with a 70m run header pipe transferring air into the building.

KJ Tait will be monitoring the temperature of the air entering the air handling unit via BMS readings as it evaluates the performance and payback of the Rehau Awadukt Thermo system over its first year in operation.

The Banff and Buchan FE college refurbishment and extension is being carried out by Robertson Construction Northern Ltd and is expected to be completed at the end of 2011.


Solar future looks bright

Solar panels installed by Kier Stoke on the roof of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Civic Centre have generated enough electricity to power the average home for a year – in just one month.

Kier Stoke, the council’s social housing maintenance provider, fitted 198 panels onto the south and south-west facing roofs of the council’s offices in Stoke. In just the first month since installation they have already generated 4,128kWh of electricity – latest figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change show that the average domestic electricity consumption per house in the city is 3,638kWh.

Under the government’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) for generating zero carbon electricity, the panels have already delivered the equivalent of £1,750 in income and savings. The FIT rewards the owners of installed photovoltaic panels with regular payments for the energy generated during a 25-year period, to repay the capital cost of purchasing and maintaining the systems.

It is estimated the panels will generate 30,000kWh of energy every year and will reduce the council’s carbon dioxide emissions by 400 tonnes over their lifetime.

Kier Building Maintenance West managing director, David Mawson, said: “As a business, Kier Stoke is committed to working with Stoke-On-Trent City Council to provide a sustainable energy future for the city and fully supports the government’s targets to reduce household carbon emissions by 29% by 2020.

“Because of the depth of knowledge and expertise within Kier Stoke, we are able to help raise the quality of life in by driving down fuel bills and greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions across the city. We plan to upskill our current workforce to ensure a sustainable future in these challenging times.”

Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Denver Tolley, said: “It is important that we all look at ways of becoming more energy efficient and work together to make a difference to our communities. These panels show the council is prepared to lead by example and help reduce the city’s carbon footprint.”

Largest onshore wind farm

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) has been awarded the electrical infrastructure contract for the extension of Scottish Power Renewables’ Whitelee Wind Farm.

Located at Eaglesham Moor to the south of Glasgow, Whitelee is already the largest onshore wind farm in Europe with the existing 140 turbines having the capacity to generate 322MW, enough to power around 180,000 homes. The extension will add another 75 turbines raising the generating capacity to 539MW, enough to power about 300,000 homes.

The extension will see 69 Alstom ECO 100 turbines added, each with a 3MW capacity and six ECO 74 turbines with 1.67MW capacity each.

BBES was an integral part of the team responsible for delivering the first phase of the project ahead of schedule.

For the extension, BBES will be working with John Sisk and Son and Roadbridge (Sisk Roadbridge JV) to provide the electrical infrastructure works including the substation and control building services, the supply and installation of switchgear and the installation of around 400,000 metres of power and control cabling.

The project is due to be completed in 2012.

Ground source success

Social housing tenants in the West Midlands are celebrating massive savings on their heating bills following the installation of ground source heat pumps from Danfoss Heat Pumps UK.

The tenants live in a low-rise block of flats in Knowle, constructed in the 1970s and now part of Solihull Housing Association’s stock of 10,500 homes. The housing association decided to trial a range of renewable technologies at its properties to reduce carbon emissions and help tenants avoid fuel poverty, which is defined as spending 10% or more of household income on domestic heating.

The pilot project included five ground source heat pumps installed in the block of flats and fed through vertical bore holes, along with solar thermal panels and air source heat pumps at other properties.

Tenant Leslie Minshull said: “We’ve lived here for 11 years and with the storage heaters, I was always cold – I used to have to wrap blankets around myself when I was sitting on the settee. Since the heat pump has been in it is always lovely and warm, even through the coldest days of the winter. Our average heating and hot water bill has dropped by more than half from £130 a month to just £60.”

The installation was carried out under a framework agreement with British Gas which specified Danfoss Heat Pumps UK’s 6Kw DHPH6 Opti-Pro pumps. Each pump has an integral 180 litre hot water tank and is powered with energy sourced from125m deep vertical boreholes which have been drilled in land behind the block.

The heat pumps supply all the space and hot water for the one and two-bedroom homes and were installed in the airing cupboard of each flat, replacing the existing hot water cylinders, with no loss of living space. Radiators were fitted in place of the bulky storage heaters and the building’s insulation was also improved to maximise their efficiency.


Living the green life

Youngsters from military families in Gloucester are living the ‘green’ life in a new eco-friendly nursery building which has drawn praise from judges in a prestigious building awards competition.

Working with industry partner Debut Services, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) delivered the nursery at Imjin Barracks as part of new facilities for troops from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), one of NATO’s front-line high readiness forces.

The building was a finalist in the RICS South West Awards 2011, prompting judges to describe it as ‘a sustainable, energy efficient building providing a good standard of accommodation and facilities serving the Barracks and adjoining residential area’.

Shortlisted for an award in the Sustainability category, the building provides a high-quality environment for the children of service personnel with light airy spaces in a highly energy efficient building.

DIO project manager Steve Jeffries said: “Our top priority is to support our Armed Forces and their families. We are delighted that the RICS judges have recognised the work which went into ensuring that both youngsters and staff enjoy a building which is so eco-friendly.

“Every aspect of the building’s impact on the environment was considered – from project inception, design, construction and subsequent operation.”

The building was designed so that low winter sun enters deep into the building, providing high levels of natural daylight. The structure’s well insulated building envelope keeps the interior of the building warm in winter and cool in summer.

Most activity rooms are located to the south, providing bright airy spaces for children to play in. South spaces are high so that they gather maximum sunlight and north spaces, such as offices and the kitchen, are low.

Nursery managing Director Sarah Steel said: “We are delighted with the light and airy build. High ceilings and large amounts of glass make bright welcoming spaces for the children and the high quality finish lends a really comfortable feel to the nursery. We wish all our buildings were this good.”

The nursery exceeds environmental standards for buildings (scoring the equivalent to the BREEAM industry standard of ‘Excellent’). It incorporates many sustainable features such as: a wind turbine; sedum roof; solar water heating; rainwater harvesting; and zoned lighting.

Eco revamp

Products from the Dulux Trade Ecosure range of high performing sustainable paints have been used in the refurbishment of Natural Retreat’s lavish eco friendly holiday accommodation in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Dulux Trade Ecosure Matt and Ecosure Quick Drying Eggshell were chosen to revamp 20 eco residences, as part of the hotel company’s continuing dedication to implementing responsible practices within its accommodation.

Natural Retreats provide high quality, self catering holiday homes in ten idyllic locations across the UK and Ireland. The contemporary residences indulge guests without compromising on environmental principles.

The Richmond site, set in the Yorkshire Dales, is brimming with eco initiatives, including green build technology and a wildlife management plan. It has been awarded the Green Tourism Gold Award for its sustainable credentials and design.

Rob Fradley, head of construction and maintenance at Natural Retreats, said: “In all aspects of our accommodation we aim to be as sustainable as possible. For example, we use low energy appliances and lighting, and buy energy from 100% renewable sources. Therefore, it was only appropriate that we specified a paint which had the lowest environmental impact.”

Mark Rigby, proprietor of MRQD Contracting, said: “To meet the company’s high standards, we specified coatings from the Dulux Trade Ecosure range. Not only does the range have outstanding sustainable credentials, the products deliver a high quality, long lasting finish, making them ideal for a popular location, which receives a large number of visitors.”

Dulux Trade Ecosure Matt was specified for all interior walls and ceilings in the retreats. Developed in conjunction with independent sustainability experts, Forum for the Future, Ecosure Matt has been specifically formulated to have 35% less embodied carbon than standard Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt products. In addition, the paint contains virtually zero VOCs and its packaging comprises at least 25% recycled content.

To provide a natural finish, Dulux Trade Ecosure Quick Drying Eggshell was applied to all of the woodwork. Created to provide a tough, durable finish, Dulux Trade Ecosure Quick Drying Eggshell offers good opacity and adhesion. In addition, it has 10% less embodied carbon and 20% less VOC content than standard eggshell products.


School of sun

Eco Building Products has supplied the photovoltaic (PV) panels for an installation on the roof of Long Sutton Primary School in Lincolnshire.

Eco Building Products supplied 42 Hyundai 230 Watt photovoltaic panels containing polycrystalline modules for the installation, which will generate more than 9kW of electricity for the school when operating at full power. This has substantially reduced the school’s bills for electricity from the grid.

Lark Energy, the newest company in the Larkfleet Group, oversaw the planning and installation of the project and installation of the panels, working closely with local group partners including accredited Micro Generation Certified Scheme (MCS) installers FE Peacock and Cawood Electrical.

Long Sutton Primary School will also benefit from the government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT), which guarantees payments for the generation of energy from renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic panels. The school’s governing body is re-investing the money generated from FIT in further energy-efficiency projects at the school.

The new installation is just the first part of the school’s ambition to achieve success on its ‘environmental journey’ in the Eco Schools scheme. It is currently working towards the Bronze award which it is estimated the school will achieve over the next school term.

The school governing body’s long term vision is to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and energy costs at the school. At the same time it is seeking to engage the pupils and staff with coordinating its current sustainability activities such as waste recycling and monitoring energy usage with its teaching and environmental education goals.

School bursar Mark Lunn, said: “Long Sutton Primary is a friendly, exciting school to learn in. We pride ourselves on making education stimulating, meaningful and fun and wholeheartedly believe in teaching our children the value and importance of how to look after our environment.

“The school is already part of the Healthy Schools scheme and grows all sorts of fruit and vegetables thanks to the children’s gardening club and their rapidly expanding vegetable patch. We have teaching staff that are passionate both about the teaching as well as the eco-direction the school is taking. The next phase is to involve the children in developing ideas for energy saving, waste reduction and sustainability. Exciting times lie ahead.”