Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


Sustainable landmark

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) has secured a contract to create a sustainable new landmark building, the Energy Technologies Building at the University of Nottingham.

The new 2,500m² facility will provide the University with a centre that is specifically designed for continuing and developing its world-leading energy research. With this in mind, the £6.4 million facility designed by architects Maber, will be an exemplar of low-carbon technology through the minimisation of its demands for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation mediums from non-sustainable sources.

The building has also been designed to maximise energy from renewable and ambient sources with the sustainable design including innovative earth duct passive cooling which uses the thermal mass of the surrounding earth to provide passive cooling and preheating of ventilation air.

Working for main contractor Clegg Construction and M&E consultants, Aecom, BBES will be responsible for the design, supply and installation of building services including heating, cooling and laboratory water as well as transformers, propane chillers, biofuel CHP and research gases. As part of the project BBES will also be installing electric car charging points.

The company will also be integrating the building’s electrical supply with the University’s smart grid which will allow the University the ability to monitor and interrogate electrical load movements as part of its research. Work will also include BBES providing the infrastructure for some of the main research laboratories.

The development is targeting a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ accreditation for sustainability and with zero carbon being a design requirement for new public buildings from 2018, the ETRI building will act as a shining example of sustainable design and construction.

Starter for ten

Baxi-SenerTec UK is helping the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to meet its building energy management objectives with the installation of a pair of its Dachs Mini-CHP (combined heat and power) units.

UCLan, one of the largest universities in the UK with a student and staff community of more than 35,000, is in the middle of a programme to install on-site power generation technology that can reduce its need for grid connected electricity and help it “deliver year-on-year reductions in CO2 emissions”.

As part of this plan, the university installed two of Baxi-SenerTec’s Dachs Mini-CHP units, which generate electricity and provide heat for its Victoria Building. The units have been running for nearly a year and have proved so successful that the university is now looking for other potential sites where it can use CHP.

The four-storey building is home to the Northern School of Design and includes art studios, offices, a cafe and exhibition spaces in its 7,453m2 gross floor area. It was built in 1983 and two gas atmospheric boilers were installed at the time.

However, by early 2008, they needed to be replaced, as Andrew Poole, a director of building services consultant BES, explained: “We were engaged originally to undertake a boiler replacement design because the boilers had reached the end of their useful life.

“We initially produced a specification for replacement boilers, but subsequently we were asked to rework the design to incorporate CHP because the FM department felt that would be better for its energy strategy.”

Ruth Taylor, energy and carbon management officer, at UCLan had read an article about a Dachs CHP installation. She said: “That was the spark. We were interested in CHP because of the variable demands on the site. In the summer, we don’t have the same number of students and we needed something smaller to fit the existing space. The Baxi-SenerTec units fitted the bill perfectly and were a safe option.”

The key to a successful CHP installation is to ensure that the engine runs for as long as possible to generate low cost electricity. It is therefore essential to know that almost all of the heat produced by the engine can be used in the building.

The Dachs units were installed by Preston-based mechanical building services engineering company James Mercer Group. They are designed for continuous running with a design life of around 80,000 running hours. The reliable internal combustion engine drives a three-phase electrical generator, and the heat generated by the engine is captured and transferred to the building’s heating system.

The Grid will make up any power shortfall from the system’s electricity generation, and any excess power generated by the CHP will be automatically exported in the other direction.


Development is a wrap

For the traditionally designed Alvington Place housing development located in the Conservation Area of Alvington near Yeovil, Somerset, insulation was needed that could be relied upon to deliver superb thermal efficiency at the right price.

Having used Celotex’s renowned insulation boards in the past to great success, developers Strongvox opted to use it again on the cavity walls of the scheme.

The Alvington Place development consisted of a variety of 40 two, three and four bedroom quality homes, planned in line with regional design and constructed from established materials fitting in with the local area.

Strongvox selected 50mm Celotex CW4000 for the cavity walls of the homes at Alvington Place. Made from PIR (polyisocyanurate) with foil facers for improved emissivity, Celotex CW4000 offers an impressive lambda value of 0.022 W/mK as well as BBA (British Board of Agrement) certification and an ‘A+’ rating when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008.The boards also hold uniform thermal performance across the product for supremely reliable performance. In addition to excellent thermal performance, Celotex CW4000 has low Global Warming Potential and zero Ozone Depletion Potential.

With a good strength to weight ratio, Celotex CW4000 insulation boards are easily handled and can be cut and shaped onsite with hand tools. Strongvox’s operatives placed the boards between cavities and held them in place with clip-ties to create a high performance thermal envelope. As the boards do not trap moisture – unlike fibre and mineral wools – they provide long lasting and reliable performance and are especially suitable for cavity walling, where high levels of moisture can affect the integrity of masonry.

As well as cavity walling, Celotex offers products that can be used in a variety of other applications, including pitched and flat roofs, timber and steel frames and in under-screed flooring.


Get ahead for business

Curtain walling, windows and doors from architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer feature on a mixed-use development designed as a £71 million gateway to Hastings for business visitors, tourists and residents alike.

At the centre of the Station Plaza scheme is a Kawneer-clad new £65million sixth form and further education college – the result of a fundamental review of post-16 education by the Learning and Skills Council. But the scheme also includes a primary care health centre and more than 100 new, mixed-tenure homes.

Kawneer’s AA100 and AA100 SSG (structurally silicone glazed) curtain walling, with 50mm sightlines, was designed, fabricated and installed by approved sub-contractor Leay on the ground floor and upper five storeys of the college building.

This is one of four BREEAM Excellent buildings linked by a large, light-filled glazed atrium. The Kawneer curtain walling was complemented by AA603 tilt slide windows on linear and convex elements of the building, AA605 low/medium-duty swing doors and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors.

Part of the Millennium Community Programme, the Station Plaza scheme has brought thousands of students into the town centre. It was built next to the re-opened railway station on an old goods yard bought by Sea Space, the economic development company for Hastings and Bexhill.


Sustainable Suffolk mansion

SEH Commercial has completed a significant renewable energy installation in a new build property in Suffolk which will generate over £40,000 through the Feed-in Tarif (FIT) scheme for the owners as well as reducing their carbon output.

The property – Paget House in Middleton, just outside Saxmundham – is discreetly tucked away in a quiet rural location set back from the road. The site which was previously owned by neighbour was acquired by a developer some years ago and Mr Cusack purchased it with planning permission to build his own property.

SEH Commercial, specialists in bespoke renewable energy projects was employed to install a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) and a photovoltaic system.

Simon Fowler from SEH Commercial said: “We installed the 14kW Dimplex GSHP using three bore-holes due to lack of space with each bore-hole 100m deep. The GSHP is the perfect solution for connecting to the property’s under-floor heating system due to its lower temperature and greater surface area to dissipate the heat. The GSHP should save around 750kg of carbon per annum.”

The double garage adjacent to the main house is the site for the 3.6kWp photovoltaic system which uses Mitsubishi 225Wp modules and is connected to the grid via a Fronius IG TL 3.0 inverter housed in a purpose-built plant room included in the design.

“The PV system should generate an estimated 2487kWh per annum (based on independent software) or 2460kWh per annum based on Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAPs),” Simon continued. “The homeowners will be eligible for a FIT rate of 37.8p; this will give them an estimated £930 per annum from the FiT, £37 from the export tariff and £207 savings on their electricity bill per annum, giving an annual benefit of £1173. Taking inflation into account they should see a benefit of £44,880 over the 25-years of the FIT. On top of this, they will also save approximately 1058kg of Carbon per year from the PV system.”


Top marks

Aluminium elliptical and specially shaped apex framed windows were supplied and installed by fenestration specialists Total Glass as part of a major refurbishment programme at St David’s Haigh and Aspull Church of England Primary School near Wigan.

Working with main contractor ABM Ratcliffe, Total Glass also manufactured and fitted four large window wall screens and entrance doors, using the Sapa aluminium system, for a new extension with three classrooms next to the Victorian school building.

The school’s emblem was incorporated within the new 202 main entrance door’s safety glass.

Four Dualframe window wall screens and two 75mm casement windows were finished in a RAL 7016 grey powder-coated finish in keeping with the character of the 1840s main building, while greatly improving its overall thermal efficiency, security and aesthetics. Two circular windows replaced old single-glazed steel versions in each gable end.

Tinted anti-sun glazing was specified throughout to reduce glare on hot days and help produce solar gain during the colder months.

Head teacher Mrs Catherine Boulton said the floor to ceiling windows have greatly improved the levels of light coming into the building and contributed to a welcoming learning environment for the pupils.

“These large new windows not only complement the rest of the school buildings, they also let in so much light – despite the fact we are surrounded by trees,” she said. “They have made a big difference and the brighter interiors, coupled with improved thermal efficiency, will help us to reduce energy bills too.”

Other improvement works at the school, which enjoys panoramic views to the Pennines and beyond, included a new slate roof.

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Exceeding regs

Off-site construction company, Yorkon, has handed over a new purpose-built satellite haemodialysis unit for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. In independent tests for air permeability, the building exceeds Building Regulations Part L 2010 by 90% without any adaptation to the standard Yorkon building system.

The unit forms part of a £12m investment by the Trust to deliver more services out in the community in line with Government priorities for the rapidly expanding population requiring dialysis.

The 954m2 single-storey building was constructed to a challenging programme and comprises 27 steel-framed modules which were craned into position in just four days.

Syd Jamieson, project manager at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The Yorkon approach gave us the speed of construction we needed to meet our priorities for facility improvement. It was delivered on time and on budget, and we are very happy with the finished building. It has freed up space within the hospital for use by another department and has created a welcoming, high quality environment for our dialysis patients. We would definitely recommend the Yorkon approach and consider using it again.”

Designed by Yorkon, the centre features cedar wood cladding to the main entrance elevation, a blue fascia with co-ordinating blue doors and windows, and white render to the other façades. Facilities include an open plan area with 29 dialysis stations and four private cubicles, dirty and clean utilities, reception area, seminar room, kitchen, staff room/showers, IT room, consultation rooms and administrative offices.


Olympic awards

The London 2012 Olympic Velodrome has won its own award almost nine months before the cycling begins.

The Velodrome, which was designed by Hopkins Architects on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Better Public Award at a ceremony in London.

The Velodrome is one of the most sustainable venues on the Olympic Park in terms of design and construction. Sustainable choices were made wherever possible; from the sourcing of wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be used on the track and external cladding, to the installation of a 100% naturally ventilated system. This ventilation creates a perfect track-level temperature, eliminating the need for air conditioning.

The design of the venue makes optimal use of natural light, reducing the need for electric lighting. It also has a low cable net roof system, creating an amazing atmosphere for spectators while reducing the amount of space to heat and ventilate.

Construction began in 2008 and was completed in February 2011.

Construction Minister Mark Prisk said: “The London 2012 Games are a golden opportunity for the UK construction industry to showcase the very best that Britain has to offer. With investment in sporting event related infrastructure estimated to be $200 billion over the next decade, the opportunity for UK business to grow is huge.

“I’m pleased that this award has gone to such a deserving building, I only hope it’s the first of many British gold medals that the velodrome will see.”

The award is part of the British Construction Industry Awards. It is sponsored jointly by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Supply contract awarded

Bowater Building Products has been awarded a supply contract for its System10 Aluminium products by the LHC (formerly the London Housing Consortium) under the recent Aluminium Windows and Doors (A5) ‘framework agreement’ round.

The A5 framework agreement – now in place until 2015 – is suitable for low, medium and high rise housing schemes, schools and all other types of public sector buildings across England and Wales.

LHC is a not-for-profit consortium set up to provide effective procurement solutions for local authorities, housing associations and other public sector bodies. An LHC framework arrangement is an EU-compliant agreement set up with suppliers for the purpose of establishing the terms governing contracts to be awarded during a given period with regards to quality, quantity and price. Choosing LHC framework arrangements will, in most cases, help public sector bodies make significant time and cost savings.

System10 Aluminium is a, quality-engineered system that, for all exterior and aesthetic purposes, resembles an aluminium window in terms of the associated sightlines, performance and finishes, yet it exceeds the installation and maintenance criteria of ‘traditional’ products and delivers energy efficiency benefits way beyond those previously experienced.

System10 Aluminium 0.7 W/m2K options will meet Code Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and comprise a 4-12-4-12-4 36mm triple-glazed unit (90% Krypton, Swisspacer V, polyurethane secondary seal), steel reinforcement designed for improved thermal performance, foam-filled chambers plus foam-filled thermal inserts.


Making history

Geze UK is helping to bring Scottish history to the streets of Edinburgh, as the world-class National Museum of Scotland opens its striking new doors.

The £47 million project by Gareth Hoskins Architects (GHA) has transformed the original Victorian building into a 21st century visitor experience and Geze UK was chosen to supply the welcoming glass entrances at street level.

The transformed National Museum of Scotland, required a series of doors to provide sustainable, safe, functional and elegant entrances and exits, which also complemented the traditional stone surroundings.

Two of Geze’s automatic TSA 325 NT revolving glass doors were chosen for the main public entrances, meeting demands for an aesthetic and sustainable solution. The 4-wing TSA 325 NT provides a high degree of insulation against the elements and noise, saving energy and ensuring a pleasant and uniform climate inside the building.

With public safety and easy accessibility in mind, four mighty Powerdrive PL automatic sliding operators were also installed; powering two single leaf pass doors that facilitate access for the disabled, and two for fire safety.

In the event of a fire alarm, the internal design of the building will funnel people towards the doors, which will immediately open to allow maximum space for visitors and staff to exit quickly and safely. The Powerdrive PL is an economical and reliable operator for big, heavy door leaves and large opening widths, providing convenience and safety, which is ideal for public buildings.

Geze UK’s operations director Simon Bowden said: “The National Museum of Scotland is a highly prestigious project, which is transforming the way the public can experience the country’s heritage. The welcoming entrance hall needed a series of state-of-the-art automatic doors and the TSA 325 NT operators provide an elegant and sophisticated entrance that fit the traditional style of the original building. The Powerdrive PL was the ideal solution for automating the extra wide doors thereby ensuring access for all and life safety.”


Optimising energy efficiency

The first council homes to be built in Manchester for 20 years are optimising energy efficiency through products from Glidevale.

Designed by architects Bowker Sadler and built by The Cruden Group, the 32 two-bedroomed bungalows are set to achieve Level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes, using energy efficient features including Glidevale Sunscoop tubular rooflights, which will optimise natural daylight within the hallways during the day without the need for electrical light.

Glidevale’s Sunscoop is designed with highly reflective tubing to connect the roof-mounted glazed dome to the diffuser set in the ceiling below. The design of the bungalows’ roofs and interior meant each roof mounted flashing had to be installed close to a valley and ridge between two adjacent roofs, with the connecting tubes threaded between the roof’s structural timbers to achieve as straight a line as possible to the diffuser mounted in the hallway ceiling. Alternative, similar tubular rooflights could not be installed without impinging on the integrity of the flashing for a weathertight seal, and with several bends in the tubing, each of which would reduce the final amount of natural light reaching the hall.

As a result, a 350mm dia Sunscoop SR95 is being installed in each of the 32 homes. Nick Thawley, Cruden site manager, said; “The homes incorporate a range of sustainable solutions to optimise energy efficiency, including timber frames, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery ventilation, solar panels, and the Sunscoops.

“Glidevale’s Sunscoop was the only tubular rooflight we could find that could meet the design and installation criteria without any adverse effect on the amount of light within. The design of its flashing is compact, enabling us to locate the Sunscoop directly above the centre of the hallway below, maximizing light while minimizing fittings and installation time.”


No longer mysterious

Pop singer Peter Andre recently decided to have Ultima Solar PV panels fitted to his property. The new high quality panels will enable him to generate electricity to help power his new West Sussex home.

The British manufactured panels are designed specifically for the climate in the UK, using tougher glass and bypass diodes to withstand the typical British weather.

Peter said: “I chose to have Ultima Solar panels fitted because of the environment. It is a great product and I would encourage others to do the same.”

Ultima Solar panels have a high power output and an 11-year warranty.


East Riding contract

North East window makers Warmseal have completed six contracts to provide high performance Sheerframe windows for new council homes across the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The windows, which deliver U-value performance of 0.8Wm2K, are playing their part in achieving code level 4 standard.

The £42 million housing construction programme by East Riding of Yorkshire Council is the biggest ever council home new build project in the region and is designed to help ease the chronic shortage of affordable homes. With a council housing stock of 11,000, East Riding still has around 8,500 local people on its housing waiting list.

Warmseal was selected by main contractor Hobson and Porter to manufacture and fit Sheerframe windows in combinations of cream and white or grey and white frames on six separate sites across the region. The windows were fixed into timber frame construction homes being built with funding support from the Homes and Communities Agency.

In total, the 331 new homes – a mix of two house types with three elevation variants – are spread over 34 sites across the East Riding. The homes are mostly two bedroomed dwellings designed for older people and young families. Designs have taken account of the need for ‘Lifetime Home’ provision.

The second phase of the ambitious build programme, in which Warmseal has been involved, will be completed by the end of 2011.

Green Guide environmentally A-rated Sheerframe triple glazed tilt and turn windows, made by Warmseal at their main manufacturing plant in Throckley on Tyneside, have other sustainable features: they incorporate Thermlock FP, a reinforcing material which gives the frames added strength without compromising thermal efficiency; the windows are made using calcium organic rather than lead or heavy metal based stabilisers; and at the end of their life they can be 100% recycled.

Says Warmseal MD Kevin Taylor: “East Riding is leading the way in the drive to provide new council homes for local people. Their commitment to sustainable development is commendable and we’re delighted to be helping them to deliver sustainable homes of the future.”

High-spec insulation

CW4000 boards from Celotex were specified for a new housing development on Cundalls Road, Ware, East Hertfordshire, which had a target to achieve Code Level 3 accreditation in the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes without the need to incorporate renewable technologies.

Located on the site of disused garages, the development comprises four three-bedroomed semi-detached houses and a four-bedroomed detached house. Designed by Bugler Developments and consultants Alan Camp Architects for Riversmead Housing Association, the Cundalls Road development was built in a series of projects that provides 18 new affordable homes across three separate sites in East Hertfordshire.

The scheme consists of traditional brick and block cavity finished with thermowood cladding. With sustainability of utmost importance, as well as providing a simple solution for partial fill cavity walls, CW4000 insulation was specified. Made from PIR with foil facers for improved emissivity, the product achieves a lambda of 0.022W/mK, helping the project meet the desired U-values. Its exceptional performance also helped ensure the project met Code Level 3 without the need for costly renewable technologies.

Celotex provided 1,000m2 of 100mm-thick CW4000 for the main cavity walls, plus an additional 1,000m2 with a thickness of 50mm for the recessed porch areas. The Celotex boards are durable, extremely lightweight and easy to cut-to-fit using hand tools. Once fitted between the brick and block wall, the boards were secured in place using cavity tie clips, creating a high performance thermal envelope.


Closed loop at Open University

The UK’s largest closed loop ground source gas absorption heat pump installation is providing low carbon heat to The Open University in Milton Keynes.

The heat pumps have been supplied by Ener-G, which worked in partnership with mechanical and electrical contractor Rushmoor Mechanical Services to install the technology at Building 12, a 2,000m2 sustainable new-build development that forms part of the Walton Hall campus.

The new building, which opened earlier this year, is targeting a BREEAM Outstanding rating. It incorporates natural ventilation, night time cooling, solar chimneys, automatic lighting controls, a green roof, solar water heating and photovoltaic panels.

Building 12 has been constructed as part of a wider campus development programme under a construction Framework Agreement between The Open University, main contractor SDC Construction, architect Ridge & Partners, civil and structural engineer PEP, and partnership facilitator Mike Thomas.

Ener-G drilled 13 boreholes to a depth of 100m+ to install a ground loop system that feeds four gas absorption heat pumps, with a combined capacity of 140kW heat output. This is supplying the building’s heating requirements and will achieve carbon dioxide savings of approximately 45% in comparison to a system heater via a condensing boiler.

Alan Burrell, director of estates at The Open University, said: “Sustainability and carbon reduction are at the core of our development principles and the heat pumps are working very effectively to deliver a plentiful source of low carbon heat. They contribute an important element to the University’s carbon reduction strategy.”

Paul Burley, managing director of Ener-G Sustainable Technologies, said: “We are delighted to deliver a project of this size. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the technology in supplying reliable, affordable low carbon heat. The education sector is championing the uptake of heat pumps in the UK, providing an important showcase for this fast growing sector.”


Cost cutting initiative

Mid Kent Windows, the Tenterden-based fabricator and installer, has recently taken delivery of a recycling compactor from Landfill Alternatives for its cardboard and polythene packaging waste.

Kevin Wells owner of Mid Kent Windows said: “As part of our existing environmental policy and our commitment to on-going improvements in our operations production facility we wanted to ensure that none of our recyclable cardboard and polythene packaging waste ended up in landfill.

“This simple waste segregation process has also enabled Mid Kent Windows to benefit from significant cost efficiencies by reducing the frequency in which our skips are emptied.

“Due to our continued investment in our staff and company Mid Kent Windows are going from strength to strength and continue to provide the quality products and high standard of service which has made us one of the South East’s fastest growing pvcu manufacturers and installers”

Simon Wells Landfill Alternatives national sales manager said: “Over the last few years Landfill Alternatives has offered free impartial advice to the fenestration industry in order to help them to reduce their ever increasing skip costs.”

Airtight envelope

Sika’s Membran, a versatile joint sealing system, was specified to ensure London’s latest apart-hotel was completely airtight.

Designed by architects Weston Williamson, the apart-hotel is a modern cross between a hotel and an apartment and designed for extended stays of up to three months. Located on the busy Tower Bridge Road, the new building sits on the site of an old antiques warehouse and incorporates the change of use of an adjacent vacant office building.

To provide an air and weathertight seal around the 120 plus windows of the new building, specialist contractor G&A Systems recommended the use of Sika Universal Membran. A versatile EPDM synthetic rubber waterproofing membrane, it has been designed to provide an efficient method of sealing construction gaps in building facades.

Thin and easy to use on site, the system offers long term performance and used in conjunction with Sika’s TF adhesive, it offers an ultra-strong bond to create an airtight seal. Solvent free, durable, UV and ozone resistant and 100% waterproof, it can be bonded to most building substrates. Being highly elastic, it can be used on uneven substrates, making it suitable for the most demanding project.

Easily cut to size, Membran helps prevent the loss of heated or cooled air from within the building, minimising wasted energy. With acoustic windows and glass being installed by G&A Systems, the system has also aided in the acoustic performance of the building by helping to minimise any noise from the main road. With the Sika Membran system in place, G&A Systems installed the building’s numerous windows ensuring a perfect seal around each one to create a sustainable building envelope. Due for completion in 2011, guests at the 137 unit apart-hotel will be able to check in to a fully fitted apartment while having full use of usual hotel services such as a concierge desk and regular room servicing.


Blackpool Eco-homes

Synseal windows have been installed in a development in the North West, by LDG Group, one of the region’s largest window companies.

Synseal windows and doors were installed throughout the prestigious £7 million eco-development, The Saw Mills, situated a mile from Blackpool town centre and seafront.

The 35 three and four bedroomed mews homes were built on a former industrial site for the Great Places Housing Group. The homes, which are available for shared ownership and affordable rental, have been designed and built to high levels of sustainability, using low energy services, including photovoltaic panels, and renewable, ultra efficient building materials throughout, including the windows.

The development was supported by an investment of £3.7 million by the Homes And Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England.

Working with the main contractor, RP Tyson Construction, the LDG Group supplied 400 Grey ‘70’ PVC-U windows and 71 doors manufactured using Legend multi chambered profiles from Synseal.

Lee Plummer, general manager at Lancashire Double Glazing, a division of LDG Group, said: “Synseal was readily accepted for installation in the development due to their high performance and reduced internal reinforcement, which improves energy efficiency and reduces the amount of steel used. This was perfectly in keeping with the ethos of the development.”

Heating heritage

Thermoboard underfloor heating (UFH) from Wavin has been installed as part of a high-profile refurbishment which is the focus of a prime time BBC documentary.

Presented by property expert Sarah Beeny and broadcast this summer, the programme – part of the Village SOS series – followed the transformation of a former Methodist Chapel in Caistor, Lincolnshire, into a state-of-the art Heritage Centre with cafe, workshops and a library. The refurbishment of the centre was backed by the Big Lottery Fund under its Village SOS grant scheme.

As part of its FullSpec service, Thermoboard provided both technical and design advice for the UFH systems chosen. The systems selected will ensure that the building is heated with optimum efficiency in accordance with the project’s requirements. Chris Simmons from Thermoboard explained: “Being selected to participate in this scheme is testament to our commitment and knowledge in delivering tailored and quality UFH solutions.

“In this instance, we suggested using a combination of a Staple system for the solid floor areas and Foiled Polystyrene for timber floating floors, which were able to provide the building with the U-values stipulated within current building regulations.”

The number of Thermoboard systems available means that UFH can be used in a wide range of floor constructions, whether existing or new floors, screeded or timber. UFH offers energy efficient ‘invisible’ warmth with savings on running costs compared to traditional radiator systems.

The UFH installation took just one day, and was filmed as part of the total refurbishment. The new Heritage Centre will celebrate Lincolnshire’s heritage, with exhibitions and collections reflecting the agricultural, social and cultural past of the region, while celebrating new crafts and providing a centre for visitors to the area.


New life to estate property

The one-coat, through-coloured weber.therm XP External Wall Insulation (EWI) system has been used in the thermal and aesthetic upgrade of a traditional estate lodge house.

The property is one of many sited in the parkland grounds surrounding a beautiful 400 year old private estate in Hertfordshire, just 20 miles from the centre of London.

The lodge is an attractive property built in the mid 1900s that urgently required complete renovation to provide a comfortable and elegant home. Built of nine-inch solid brickwork, recognised as a hard-to-heat construction, the house required insulation and complete internal restructure. The project contract was awarded to local construction and renovation company TSP from Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire and managing director Gary Bates led the team who have completed the project.

“This is a good solid brick building but with no insulation it was not fit for purpose and any attempt to improve the efficiency of heating made little impact,” Gary said. “The client’s architect designed a scheme that solved the heat loss problem without losing any interior volume. By selecting the weber.therm EWI and render system, and with very skilful application, the attractive features of the original building have actually been enhanced. It now looks even more attractive than when we arrived on site.”

The weber.therm XP EWI system uses 60mm, high-density wall insulation panels mechanically fixed to the sound brick substrate. The architect and client called for the built-out base detail, and mid-floor feature band running around the facades, to be maintained when the new render coat was applied. It is this render coat that weatherproofs the insulation material keeping it warm and dry.

Saint-GobainWeber-approved applicator, M.Clarke & Sons Contracts of Co Antrim, built out the base feature using high density polyurethane boards and the stainless steel expanded metal lath. This was then rendered with weber.therm L2 which is a lightweight, one-coat polymer modified cementitious render with waterproof values normally required below DPC.

The feature band around the facades was created using a further layer of the insulation and pvc angle beads. The weber.therm M1 one-coat, through-coloured render was applied by machine and includes meshcloth reinforcement. The resulting finish enhances the attractive original design of the property while delivering a dramatic improvement to the thermal performance of the building.


BREEAM highest

Student accommodation, built by GB Building Solutions, has just been awarded the highest ever BREEAM rated building in the world with a score of 95.05%.

The building, built for Listerhills, a joint venture between the Hayaat Group and Welbeck Land, managed by Mi7, is The Green at Bradford University; it is now the most environmentally friendly student living accommodation in the UK. It is one of only 15 BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ buildings worldwide and is the first multi‐residential building in the UK to achieve this ‘gold’ standard.

The £30.4million student accommodation building was built by GB Building Solutions in partnership with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services in just 84 weeks, finishing on schedule despite being built through the worst winter on record.

The building materials and methods have been of the very highest environmental standard to enable the rating to be achieved. GB used sustainable construction methods throughout including recycled aggregates. The buildings are made of pre‐fabricated open panel timber wall frames from a sustainable source to deliver a highly efficient building envelope which minimises the need for space heating.

Bathroom ‘pods’ were sourced locally and installed using a crane as completed units to maximise productivity and reduce waste. Key features include a biodiversity pool which reuses rainwater, while hot water will be supplied via solar thermal collectors, which will be supplemented by a combined heat and power plant. The building also includes a wide range of internal sustainable features that will teach students how to live in an environmentally sustainable way and the university will operate a financial rebate system for student residents who are most careful with their energy usage.

The Green is the initial phase of the Bradford Learning Quarter, a key regeneration area of Bradford city centre. Mi7 has already made progress on the next phase within the Learning Quarter which is set to deliver further student accommodation and also attract occupiers from the retail, health, fitness and private nursery sector.

Martin Smout, chairman and chief executive of GB Building Solutions said: “This has been a ground breaking scheme that has resulted in significant positive learning. While everyone involved in the student village had experience of working on environmentally sustainable buildings prior to this one, The Green reached new levels, where every aspect of the design and build was maximised to have minimum impact on the environment both during construction and during the life of the building.

“GB has definitely gained learning on this scheme that will be taken forwards to all other projects on which we work.”


Green modernisation

The London Development Agency and its development partner Matching Green have submitted a joint planning application to modernise Offley Works, a semi-derelict industrial building complex near the Oval in south London.

The proposals will transform the site by restoring, converting and extending the existing buildings to create a vibrant mix of commercial and residential space. The proposals follow a competition won by architects 6a. The design will create new business space, aimed at small firms, alongside seven mews houses and to apartments.

The refurbishment will include a range of environmental improvements, such as solar panels, which will reduce the building's carbon emissions, and use the vast majority of the existing building fabric.

London Development Agency director of development Stephen Kennard said: "These proposals to modernise Offley Works will create fantastic new business space and wonderful new homes. The designs are first class and we look forward to working with our developer Matching Green to make the physical renovations as soon as we get planning permission."

Offley Works is a 0.4 hectare site, located south of Oval Underground Station between Clapham Road and Brixton Road. The main building was built around 1900 as a factory for the production of Sharwoods pickle. The works use has changed several times since then and had an additional office building built onto it in the 1950s. The site has been largely empty in recent years and large parts of the site are substantially derelict. The London Development Agency, Design for London and the Architecture Foundation organised a competition to redesign and bring Offley Works back into full use in 2007.

Matching Green hope to start full works on site in January 2012 subject to securing planning permission from the London Borough of Lambeth. In the meantime, work has begun to clear the site and make it secure and watertight.

Solar success

Design, environment and energy consultancy, LDA Design, has played a major role in the successful delivery of one of the first solar farms to be constructed in the UK.

The scheme, at Marston near Grantham, Lincolnshire, comprises 19,500 PV panels covering an area of 12.2 hectares and will generate 4.5MWp of electricity. This is enough to power 1,200 homes over the course of a year. It was commissioned in July and is now feeding renewable electricity into the National Grid.

The project was undertaken on behalf of Lark Energy, a specialist energy division within the Larkfleet Group of companies, which pressed ahead with the project when the Government announced an early review of the Feed-in Tariff, the funding mechanism which supports such projects. The solar farm had to be commissioned and connected to the electricity grid by 31st July 2011 to avoid a 72% cut in funding.

LDA Design's role included planning consultancy, landscape and visual impact assessment, ecological assessment and mitigation, and negotiation of planning conditions. LDA Design worked with the local planning authority to reduce the timescale of the planning process, preparing and submitting additional information to avoid the need for pre-commencement planning conditions.

Charles Crawford, director of LDA Design, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the birth of a new sector of renewable energy projects in the UK. Due to the changes in the Feed-in Tariff, very few solar farms will be constructed this year and we are pleased to have played a part in delivering one of the largest. The way the project was delivered so quickly, with widespread public support, demonstrates the potential of solar PV to make a major contribution to reducing the UK's reliance on fossil fuels."


Colourful facade

Aluminium and Trespa faced panels from Panel Systems have been chosen to enhance the aesthetics of a new environmentally friendly Merseyside primary school, which is part of the Primary Capital Programme.

The panels were specified for the colourful, contemporary facade of Park Brow Community Primary School in Kirkby, designed by 2020 Liverpool for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The 2,884m2 building will also act as a hub for family learning and other activities to benefit the local community. The school, which has 420 pupils, plus 52 nursery places, opened in September 2011.

Dark grey aluminium infill panels formed part of a curtain walling systems on the three main elevations of the building, as a contrast to Trespa cladding panels, which were specified in anthracite grey and contrasting warm, attractive hues of gold yellow and orange red with a matt finish. The aim was to create a visually engaging building appropriate to an educational setting, by providing a contrast of texture and colour. The infill panels achieve a U-value of 0.35W/m2K and the building has been designed to achieve a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating.

Danny Phelan, sales manager for Panel Systems, said: “Our composite panels were the perfect choice for this project as their assured thermal performance means they help to create low carbon buildings suitable for the 21st century. The decorative Trespa face in three colours adds visual interest to the building. The panels had to meet exacting aesthetic and environmental credentials, as well as being supplied cut to size, in order to meet a tight build schedule in time for the new school year.”

The panels were manufactured with either a powder coated aluminium or Trespa face which is vacuum-bonded to a core of Styrofoam. Composite panels are typically specified when aesthetic considerations are paramount. Panels can be supplied to specific sizes and edge details to suit individual glazing systems and achieve U-values as low as 0.10W/m2K.

Park Brow Primary School has been designed to minimise carbon emissions by using technologies including digitally controlled lighting and a biomass boiler. The building has also been orientated to maximise the use of natural daylight.

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Escaping fuel poverty

Faced with increasing energy bills, a retired couple from Crawley have escaped the fuel poverty trap thanks to a free solar pv system installed by The Green Home Company.

Reg and Pauline Johns are among the 1,400 householders across the South East who produce their own free electricity from their solar PV system for the next 25 years.

The Green Home Company offer householders the opportunity to generate their own green electricity from solar photovoltaic panels – all at zero cost.

Energy prices are soaring with annual heating bills rising by £500 over the last five years. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, more than a fifth of households in the UK are affected by fuel poverty which equates to 5.5 million families across the UK who spend more than 10% of their income on fuel.

“Our electricity bill last year was over £1200 and was increasing all the time. We looked into companies offering free solar panels and The Green Home Company offered the best solution,” said Reg Johns. “They were very professional, knowledgeable and helpful through each step of the process – we now look forward to a much reduced electricity bill thanks to the 12 solar panels on our roof.”

The offer of a free permanent solar PV installation is only available until 31st March 2012.

The company has funding worth up to £15 million to cover the cost of installations but there is one stipulation – panels can only be installed on south-facing roofs which can achieve the right levels of electrical output.

Managing director Alan Proto said: “The company benefits by taking the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs) which came into force in April 2010, which repays us for the cost of installation over an agreed time. There are no hidden catches or additional costs for the homeowner, maintenance and insurance for the next 25 years are taken care of by us.”


Sustainable drainage

The redevelopment of the former Royal Ordnance munitions works in Chorley, Lancashire is the location of one of the first sustainable highway drainage schemes to be fully adopted by a UK local authority, according to ACO KerbDrain.

The former Royal Ordnance munitions works is one of the largest brown field development sites in the country. Acquired from BAE Systems by developers Redrow and Barratt, the 395 acre site has been transformed into an environmentally sustainable urban village.

In granting permission to develop the site both Borough and County Councils stipulated that the existing site access had to be upgraded to relieve the predicted increased traffic loading on the surrounding villages and on the main A49 link to the M6. Combining this within Redrow’s commitment to include the highest degree of sustainability in its development of the site lead to a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) being proposed for the new site access.

The adopted design introduces swales on both sides of the carriageway along 80% of its 2km total length. Each has a depth of between 400mm and 800mm and an effective width of 2.5m. The profile provides the required attenuation and groundwater recharge characteristics to cope with the surface run-off from a 100-year storm. Seeded with a hard-wearing grass, the velocity of the water is minimised and the primary filtration improved within the swale by maintaining a cut length of 50mm.

As ground levels across the site do not fluctuate significantly, the majority of the swales achieve near static attenuation of the run-off by simply following the contour of the road surface. However, a short section of the road close to the link with the main A49 has a gradient of 1 in 20. Under heavy rainfall conditions, run-off velocity within the swale would cause ‘scouring’ of the surface and potential flooding downstream. This has been overcome by ‘stepping’ the bottom profile of the swale, effectively reducing the overall gradient to 1 in 80.

“A critical element of the design is the method used to control the flow of run-off into the swale,“ Steve Openshaw, technical manager at Redrow said. “We needed a system that would be easy to install and maintain, minimise visual impact and not require any additional excavation within the proposed swale. It would also need to allow surface water to return to ground as close to the point at which it fell – a vital criteria for SUDS.

“ACO KerbDrain provided the exact characteristics required for the vital link between the road surface and the swales. Its inlet configuration allows for a faster, more even removal of surface water and connections to the swales have been easily made using the punch-out sections on the back face. These provide complete design flexibility, allowing the short connection pipes to be positioned at any point along the installed KerbDrain run.”


Education in efficiency

Automatic doors are contributing several important benefits to the University of Glamorgan’s new Student Union building, including driving down energy bills.

Compact swing operators, from Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, were installed at the entrances which not only save energy but reduce the cost of maintenance, while providing secure and easy access which complies with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The automatic doors are an important component of the new building on the Treforest campus which incorporates sustainable materials, including low voltage LED lighting and a self-heating, self-cooling system. Research has shown that the electricity cost to operate an automatic door system can be as little as £32 per year but they can make a significant contribution to energy savings, making automatic doors the ideal choice for the university.

Using double door lobbies at all the entrances, where there is a constant and heavy flow of people, makes a serious impact on reducing a building’s energy load. Automatic closing of the doors helps to maintain the temperature inside, preventing the escape of heat in winter and cool air in the summer. This has a dramatic effect on reducing the demands on both heating and air-conditioning systems.

Student Union president Helen Wakeford said: “Having automatic closing doors has not only made access a lot easier and cleaner for our students but has greatly contributed to the energy efficiency of the building by preventing heat loss from manual doors being left open.”

The Compact Operator converts manual doors to automatic openings in both existing and new buildings. The Operator offers quiet and smooth operation and is ideal for installation in a wide range of public access projects, particularly in the education, health, retail and commercial sectors.


PV installation

Kingspan Insulated Panels has installed 2,900m2 of Kingspan Roof PowerPanel System photovoltaic modules on the roof of one of the south-facing manufacturing buildings at its Holywell manufacturing facility.

The building already consists of a number of Kingspan’s own products, from insulated panel systems to passive solar renewable energy generation in the shape of the EnergiPanel system, which produces solar air heating.

The 406.08kWp photovoltaic system, which comprises of 1,728 235Wp Yingli crystalline PV modules, is expected to generate circa 350,000 kWhr per annum, making a significant contribution to powering the plant’s electricity needs.

The system was commissioned and approved by Scottish Power on the 7th July and has been generating power since then. It is predicted to save 163,876 Kg/CO2 per annum, allowing the company to make its own important contribution to the carbon reduction imperative.

It took just five weeks to complete the project, and the maintenance of the Kingspan PowerPanel has been made both safer and easier with the installation of Kingspan Safetraxx, an off-ridge fall arrest system.

Kingspan aims to power all of its manufacturing sites from renewable energy sources, and the next step to complete the process at Holywell will be the commissioning of a large wind turbine to further supply the factory’s electricity needs. A small turbine and photovoltaic cells have already been successfully used on site since 2006, providing electricity to the Kingspan energi centre.


New external wall insulation

The typical UK home loses approximately 33% of its generated heat through poorly insulated walls. To combat this, Lime Technology has launched two new External Wall Insulation (EWI) systems.

The two EWI Systems – one based around mineral wool insulation, and the other around wood fibre board insulation – offer breathable solutions and have been designed for upgrading existing residential and multi-storey buildings or to provide an attractive and thermally efficient building envelope in new-build construction. Both systems will help to meet Building Regulations and legislation for the improvement of energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions.

“We are only offering breathable lime-based systems with breathable insulation as opposed to petroleum-based EWI systems which are impervious and seal moisture inside a building. Our systems suit those customers who are concerned about moisture build up in the wall or who are retrofitting older buildings where these issues are more prevalent,” said Lime Technology’s Sue Dewhirst.

“Designed to last the lifetime of the property, both systems provide weather protection and exceptional fabric performance to reduce costs and energy use, helping to achieve low impact, sustainable construction in line with environmental targets.”

The Mineral Wool System has been designed and developed to provide a completely vapour permeable system with the use of mineral wool board insulation. Mineral wool insulation is made from rock fibres and offers superb acoustic, thermal and breathable properties, as well as dimensional stability and fire safety to meet the requirements of commercial and multi-storey buildings.

The Wood Fibre Board System also offers superb vapour permeable properties. Manufactured from renewable materials and completely recyclable, it delivers excellent thermal insulation performance and a low carbon footprint. Offering a more natural solution, it incorporates wood fibre insulation which is fully recyclable and has been declared harmless by the European Union directive 97/69/EG.


Biomass boost

LowC Communities has announced the arrival of a revolutionary new biomass CHP technology that will boost the UK’s ability to secure a clean, sustainable and low-cost decentralised energy supply.

Using locally-grown, sustainably sourced wood, the technology, named Arbor ElectroGen, uses a, advanced form of gasification: the wood is decomposed at very high temperature in a chamber that has low levels of oxygen present, which produces a combustible gas. This clean gas is captured, cooled and used to power a combined heat and power system (CHP) to generate electricity and heat for use in space heating, hot and chilled water applications.

Due to the efficiency of the process – coupled with use of a renewable fuel that’s absorbed carbon dioxide during its lifetime – the technology offers incredibly low carbon energy.

A 500kW system will annually produce around 4,000 MWh of renewable electricity and 6,000 MWh of renewable heat, saving around 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from just 3,440 tonnes of renewable fuel. This would equate to the annual carbon emissions from 500 typical three-bedroomed homes.

Richard Griffin, chief executive of LowC Communities, said: “Many companies have tried to produce electrical power from biomass fuels such as wood, but they’ve either failed or only managed to achieve low levels of efficiency and reliability. Importantly, this also includes old coal-fired power stations that have been converted to run on imported wood pellets – particularly as they dump most of the waste heat produced by the electrical generation process.

“Currently, the system has been designed to produce heat and power at a community-based level – up to 500kW of electricity – which is sufficient to power around 800 homes. It has a power-to-heat ratio of around 1:1.5 which makes it a very attractive proposition when matching it with community demands. Its modular construction means that it’s scalable upwards and we are already looking at a project that’s ten times that size.”

At one pilot project, the gasification system will be installed on a well-established country estate and produce heat and power for the estate buildings and around 80 homes. The system would create the UK’s first ‘carbon negative’ community applied in a retro-fit manner. It will also export any surplus low-carbon electricity produced.


Efficient panels

Architectural panel manufacturer Panel Systems has supplied Aluglaze panels for a new out-of-town supermarket in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.

The Aluglaze panels have helped created a light and airy shopping experience for this major supermarket chain. The architect on the project specified 100m2 of insulated panels in light grey, which will achieve a U-value of 0.97W/m2K, as part of improving the energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of the building.

Danny Phelan, sales manager at Panel Systems in Sheffield, said: “Our architectural panels have been specified for a number of high profile projects recently, due to their superior aesthetics and performance. They were perfect for this retail outlet as the specifier was looking to make the most of a specific colour scheme as part of creating a welcoming shopping experience.”

Panel Systems worked closely with the glazing manufacturer to supply the panels on call off within a tight schedule, which ensured the project met its deadlines.

Each Aluglaze panel from Panel Systems was manufactured from a 2mm aluminium sheet vacuum bonded to both sides of a Styrofoam core, creating an overall thickness of 32mm, which fitted directly into the aluminium glazing system. The panels had a 60 micron thickness powder coating in light grey to meet the performance requirements of the marine location. Styrofoam was specified because of its excellent insulation properties, which ensure the building remains warm and comfortable for shoppers and staff all year round.

Architectural panels such as Aluglaze from Panel Systems consist of three or more materials that are laminated in its factory to form a structurally insulated unit. Each panel features a low density insulated core material and high density facing and balancing materials to ensure a rigid structural panel. The panels are designed to span over large areas, which gives the specifier greater flexibility when considering the overall design.

Panel Systems has the experience and expertise to work with a range of facing materials, such as lamina, trespa, timber, plastisol steel and aluminium to name but a few. This means the Panel Systems range of architectural panels can satisfy specifier’s requirements for aesthetics, longevity, acoustics, thermal insulation, fire and impact resistance.


Visible installation

Prater has recently secured a contract with blue chip organisation, Siemens, for its £30m Urban Sustainability Centre in Newham.

The building will showcase new technology from around the world and new ways of living and working in a more sustainable way.

Responsible for the complete design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning, Prater has specified a roofing package with photovoltaic (PV) panels which will enable the centre to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

Stuart Whiting, Prater Solar Manager said: “The demand for greener, more sustainable construction solutions are ever on the increase, so to have the opportunity to work on this project is a move in the right direction for Prater and the construction industry as a whole.

“Our detailed project planning, which is being implemented ahead of the build due to the complex roof design, will demonstrate Prater’s ability to deliver visually stunning and large-scale PV systems.”

Prater will install 1375m2 of PV panels on the triangular shaped Kalzip standing-seam roofs, with custom architectural in-fill panels to provide ‘clean edges’ to the arrays. 200m2 of PV modules will be fixed to the composite metal panel roofs over the roof lights.

The PV panels are expected to generate approximately 245MWh every year and deliver an estimated CO2 saving of 145,000kg per annum.

The planned cable car link between the O2 Arena and the Excel Exhibition Centre will pass just a few metres above the roof of the Urban Sustainability Centre meaning that this will be one of the most visible installations in the UK.

The centre will act as an exhibition centre for use by the public during the London 2012 Olympic Games and is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors every year.

www.prater.co.uk Picture: example project

Triple glazed casement

Rehau has launched a new casement solution which achieves a U-value of 0.8 using either the Rehau S706 or Rehau Edge 70mm systems.

The new Rehau Thermo window has been deliberately developed using proven and cost effective off the shelf profiles so that fabricators can begin manufacturing straightaway without any special machining or tooling set up and with no requirement for separate stockholding.

The new Rehau solution is based around standard S706 and Rehau Edge profiles combined with a triple glazed, argon-filled 44mm sealed unit. A single leg bead from Rehau’s In-line patio range, which has been proven for many years with panes up to 1200mm x 2100mm, neatly accommodates the glass.

Rehau Thermo is an open out, casement window which has been fully weather tested to 600Pa, has achieved security accreditation to BS7950 and is fully certified to the 0.8 U-value at the standard size of 1230mm x 1480mm.

The new Rehau Thermo foam insert is applied either during or post manufacture to provide the additional thermal efficiency necessary to achieve the 0.8 U-value target. Developed and already proven in Germany, it uses a moulded foam material which is easy to handle and dust free when cut.

Supplied in one-mere lengths, the Rehau Thermo foam can be inserted into the chamber of the profile during manufacture or, to minimise disruption and to provide a very visible USP, it can simply be inserted into the legs on the outer edge of the window either by the fabricator after manufacture or on site by the installer.


Intelligent management

Schneider Electric has installed a new, intelligent building management system (BMS) for Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) 1 Lancaster Circus property.

Located in central Birmingham, the five-storey officeblock houses around 2,000 employees at any one time, working across various council services including Urban Design, which is responsible for managing the BMS. BCC’s Urban Design, controls some 200 of the council’s properties across the city, from schools and leisure facilities to social services centres all using the Andover Continuum BMS or early derivatives.

Schneider Electric, in conjunction with electrical contractors, Dodd Group, completed a £550k total system overhaul, installing a brand new, energy-efficient, Andover Continuum BMS to control the building’s HVAC systems. 1 Lancaster Circus had been suffering from ‘sick building’ syndrome on both a cosmetic and functional level. The previous BMS had been in place for 25 years and had been extensively reworked and added to with various different pieces of technology over time.

The new BMS allows the operating manager full control of the HVAC systems on every storey of the building. There are centralised plantrooms on the roof and in the basement areas containing the main heating, cooling and ventilation plant. The main heating plant is connected to a district heating system that provides heat for a number of buildings (including the Children’s Hospital) in the local vicinity. Each floor consists of open plan spaces and a number of meeting rooms. The open plan spaces are cooled by over 70 chilled beams per floor, which are controlled in zones by the Continuum system. The meeting rooms are cooled and heated by Fan Coil Units (FCUs), each one individually controlled by the BMS.

Zoning chilled beams and allowing individual monitoring and control of FCUs increases energy efficiency and thus reduces a building’s carbon footprint, by supplying only the required amount of energy to each terminal unit at a certain time. Lancaster Circus’s gas, electric and water systems are also integrated into the BMS using Schneider Electric distribution boards and LV panels, offering a central point of energy monitoring and profiling. Schneider Electric’s web-based Energy Remote Monitoring (ERM) system is installed across a number of sites in the BCC estate providing an aM&T system which provides the client with meter data and readings on a day + 1 basis.