Modern Building Services
Letting the benefits of off-site manufacture drive a project

Cal Bailey shares his hard experience of the benefits of off-site manufacture — especially for pipework.

Watts distributes energy-efficient piping system

Microflex preinsulated pipework is available in the UK through Watts Industries. It is composed of thermal insulation around carrier pipe(s) and covered by a double-skinned closed chamber jacket. These pipes can be used for distributing water for heating, cooling and hot and cold water supply services.

Taking control of commissioning

The commissioning of piped services inevitably faces time and budget constraints. Peter Rees considers how these challenges can be addressed.

Something is still bugging us to death

Peter Rose reminds us of the very real, but avoidable, risks posed by legionella bacteria.

Good vibrations from Adey

The time taken to power flush central-heating systems can be halved using Adey’s VibraClean radiator agitator.

Andrews introduces more condensing water heaters

The ECOflo range of high-efficiency gas-fired condensing water heaters from Andrews comprises seven models with heat outputs from 35 to 79 kW and recovery rates of up to 1400 l/h through 50 K. They have storage capacities of 230 or 380 l.

Phenolic insulation put through its paces in new Coventry hospital

Using Kingspan Tarec phenolic insulation on cold and chilled-water pipework in Coventry’s new University Hospital have solved the problem of space restrictions and helped the hospital meet stringent targets for carbon-dioxide emissions.

Keraflo extends float-valve control to larger tanks

Keraflo’s KP float-valve kits can be used with large water-storage tanks served by pipes in five sizes from 50 to 200 mm in diameters to provide full flexibility in the level of stored water. This feature is said to be particularly important in buildings with seasonal occupancy — such as universities and colleges, football stadia etc.

AquaTech enhances the performance of its pressurisation units

AquaTech pressurisation units for heating and chilled-water systems provide back-pressure and back-siphonage protection to fluid category 5, as required by the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations of 1999.

O2 Dome takes centre stage with Grundfos

As part of the refitting of the Millennium Dome into the O2 venue for music entertainment and sports, Grundfos worked with M E Engineers to develop pumping solutions that used 36 pumps to provide the full range of M&E services, nine pressurisation units and two booster sets.

boss white
A new BOSS White compound

BSS has added a new product to its range of BOSS White jointing compounds.

Nu-heat development simplifies the installation of underfloor heating

Nu-Heat has made it easier for installers to direct underfloor heating tube back to the main manifold with the introduction of a 25 mm polystyrene tray.

Delivering heating oil

Said to offer major advantages over steel for supplying oil to heating appliances is the Universal Petro Pipe range of polyethylene pipes distributed in Britain by Hytek. This lightweight and flexible pipe comes with a 15 year manufacturer’s guarantee.

WinCAPS goes UK native

Grundfos now offers a UK-specific disc of its WinCAPS CD-based electronic product catalogue and selection tool. It allows the user to select from product catalogues, size the most suitable pumps, choose the best replacement for a Grundfos or non-Grundfos pump and choose accessories and/or spare parts.

Rethinking part-load response

Simple pumping less water round a heating system at times of reduced demand can save significant amounts of energy. Britta Frank explains how.

Tectite is the fast way to make joints

A potential saving in installation time of up to 67% is claimed using Tectite Sprint push-fit fittings in plumbing and heating systems by Pegler Yorkshire.

Marflow assemblies designed to accommodate change

The key to maximising the benefits of prefabricated valve assemblies is to adopt a flexible approach with a high level of inherent configurability — according to Marflow Hydronics.

How facilities managers can help tackle climate change

CIBSE president John Armstrong believes that the wealth of knowledge owned by facilities managers is vital to meeting Government targets to reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

GSH prepares to train even more engineers for facilities management

To address the skills shortage that is posing a threat to the future of the facilities-management industry, GSH is stepping up its recruitment programme for apprentices. The company already employs 65 apprentices and is planning a substantial increase.

PME secures £million-plus maintenance contracts

Two long-term contracts won by PME, the building-maintenance and facilities-services arm of Carillion are worth over £2.5 million.

Bringing facilities-management expertise into the design loop

The benefits of a partnership between facilities managers and building-services specialists has never been more valuable than it is today, says HVCA president Mike McCloskey.

Delivering sustainability

Ian Fielder of the British Institute of Facilities Managers argues that the experience of facilities managers in operating buildings day by day has a key role to play in designing sustainability into new and refurbished buildings and delivering corporate social responsibility.

Maintenance company warns against neglect of air-conditioning systems

EWS is warning about the likelihood of air-conditioning systems failing during what is predicted to be a long, hot summer — unless companies take preventive action.

Wessex Water and Honeywell Building Solutions work in successful partnership

The major maintenance contract of Honeywell with the head office and operations centre of Wessex Water has been extended, and Wessex Water has also contracted with Honeywell to manage 12 other buildings.

The business of carbon reduction

Mitsubishi Electric’s LES division is moving on from debating climate change to identifying and promoting how to reduce carbon emissions with the launch of its ‘Green gateway initiative’.

Chilled water meets high-density cooling

Just as the industry might have believed that high-density computing equipment was moving out of the ability of chilled water to cool, Eaton-Williams has tackled the problem — and is already moving on to the next stage.

Commissioning as part of design, construction — and beyond

Nick Till explains why it is so important for the expertise of commissioning engineers to be brought in at the very start of a project.

Evaporative cooling versus air conditioning

Alan Beresford explores the energy-saving and environmental benefits of evaporative cooling for reducing temperatures in buildings.

Learning the Stern lesson

When in the latter stages of last year, Sir Nicholas Stern in his review ‘The economics of climate change’ highlighted the impact on the world's GDP of climate change, there was considerable scepticism in some quarters. The spread of his predictions was very wide — ranging from unabated climate change costing the world at least 5% of GDP each year right up to over 20% if more dramatic predictions come to pass. At the very best, he believes that the impact of climate change on GDP can be limited to around 1%.

Private-commercial sector sets pace for new construction orders

New construction orders for private commercial projects underpinned a 6% rise in the volume of new orders for the year to April 2007 compared with the previous 12 months, according to figures from the Department of Trade & Industry. All figures are seasonally adjusted and at 2000 prices.

Heating industry seeks standards for biofuels

Burner manufacturer Riello has called on the Government to produce statutory requirements for the use of biofuel in the heating industry by introducing a heating-fuels obligation. The company sees biofuels as a real chance to cut carbon emissions for heating — but is concerned about the amount of good-quality biofuel likely to be available for this purpose.

Skerritt wins major university contract

Building-services contractor Skerritt is to start work on a £3.5 million contract on the Jubilee Campus at the University of Nottingham in the Autumn. The company will be responsible for mechanical and electrical services on behalf of SOL Construction — including air-delivery systems, ventilation and heating systems.

Plans to improve construction payment practices launched

Plans to improve payment practices throughout the construction industry have been announced by Margaret Hodge, Industry & Regions Minister. While the sector, which accounts for nearly 9% of the economy, has improved payment practices over the past decade, problems remain.

Stiebel Eltron opens new heat-pump factory

Stiebel Eltron has opened a new heat-pump factory in Germany that can make 70 different types of heat pump. They will be available in the UK through Applied Energy Products. The 6000 m2 factory represents an investment of nearly £7 million. Five production lines will make ground- and air-source heat pumps of every configuration.

Volution acquires Manrose

Manrose Manufacturing, which makes domestic ventilation fans and equipment, has been acquired by Vent-Axia’s holding company Volution Holdings.

Honeywell joins Clinton Climate Initiative

Honeywell, a global leader in energy services, joined former US president Bill Clinton and mayors of the world’s largest cities in New York recently to announce that the company has joined the Clinton Climate Initiative in a global effort to help cities around the world improve the energy efficiency of buildings and decrease greenhouse-gas emissions.

Hoare Lea to design services for new complex at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers has been appointed to provide M&E design services and specialist sustainability advice, including BREEAM assessment, for a new research complex at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell. The appointment is by the Science & Technology Facilities Council.

Contracting associations push ahead on sustainability

Two major contracting associations have agreed to work together fully in the vital area of sustainability . The commitment signed by the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association and the Electrical Contractors’ Association recognises the considerable benefits of a joint approach to sustainability in terms of industry representation and the provision of practical and expert advice to members and clients.

SummitSkills to redefine National Occupational Standards

SummitSkills, the sector skills council for building-services engineering, has begun a major review of the sector’s National Occupations Standards qualifications and assessment principles at operative level. These standards describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake particular jobs to a nationally recognised level of competence and form the basis of qualifications such as NVQs and SVQs.

Vent-Axia backs Superbikes again

Vent-Axia is once again sponsoring the Stobart Motorsport British Superbike Championship Team for 2007. The company is now the team’s official second sponsor, so the team will be renamed the Stobart Vent-Axia Superbike Team.

China sets temperature limit for air conditioning

The lower limit for using air conditioning to cool buildings in China has been set as 26°C by the government as part of a plan to cut energy consumption by 20%.

Property body works to help tenants reduce energy use

The British Property Federation is producing a new solution for measuring, benchmarking and reducing the energy use of tenants in commercial buildings, with the support of a £140 000 award from the Carbon Trust.

Buderus supports installer training at Lincoln College

Buderus has helped equip a purpose-designed training centre at Lincoln College to provide high-quality facilities for installers and service engineers in the east of England.

SES maintains its long safety record

Continuing advances in health and safety have led to SES receiving the International Safety Award by the British Safety Council for the 11th year running. This provider of building services also had to demonstrate a consistently high quality of safety policies and plans.

amtech and estimation
Amtech acquires Estimation

Amtech, which specialises in software for electrical design and test and inspection, has acquired Estimation, one of the market leaders in software for building-services estimating, accounting and contract management.

solar line
Sharp plans to double solar PV production capacity in the UK

Sharp Corporation is planning to double production capacity for solar photo-voltaic modules at its factory in Wales, taking its potential output up to 220 MW. The investment is worth nearly £9 million and is due for completion by February 2007.

Inviron embarks on 5-year contract with Anglian Water

Inviron and ISS Coflex have been awarded a 5-year facilities-management contract with Anglian Water. Inviron is a leading building-services and facilities-management provider, and ISS Coflex is one of the world’s largest facility service groups.

CIBSE embarks on pilot study for new carbon clean-up campaign

Following the success of last year’s 100 days of carbon clean up campaign, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers is launching a new carbon-reduction project for 2007. This initiative is designed to help participants realise the carbon-saving potential of their workplaces.

Briggs & Forrester’s towering success

Building-services contractor Briggs & Forrester has completed the first phase of the £6 million Wavendon Towers Project in Milton Keynes and is now completing the separate fit-out works to the buildings, which are due for completion in April 2008.

Kimpton is in the headlines

Kimpton Building Services has completed a new installation to provide comfort cooling and ventilation at the Merseyside site of News International, designing and installing a new air-conditioning system as part of a new production office suite.