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11 DECEMBER 2013

Autumn statement broadly welcomed Dennis Flower

The government’s autumn statement has received a largely positive welcome from the building services sector. In his speech last Thursday, chancellor George Osborne raised predictions for UK economic growth next year from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent. One area of contention has been changes to the Energy Companies Obligation scheme. A number of building services suppliers had enjoyed increased workloads from the initiative, which has now be extended for two years but with no extra investment. This has sparked warnings that the scheme is being watered down and its effectiveness in fighting fuel poverty reduced. UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “Tax cuts for shale gas are a stark comparison to the butchering of ECO we’ve seen this week.” The Green Deal updates proved less contentious, although the industry would like to see more improvements in the future, and the reaction to the

commercial and domestic RHI statements were largely positive. The news that the government would retain the carbon floor price of £4.94 per tonne of CO2 was welcomed by WSP head of environmental business Mark Hurley, who was pleased no changes had been made. “But it should probably have been made clear that this will add £5 to energy bills next year,” he said. “The extra £400m raised by the scheme next year should be used to make one million Green Deal loans of £3,000 at ‘zero interest’, and really transform the programme.” The Local Infrastructure Fund, launched in last year’s autumn statement to unlock stalled housing projects, has

received a £1bn extension, the chancellor revealed. Originally launched with a £225m allocation, this received a boost of £102m in last June’s spending review. B&ES chief executive Roderick Pettigrew said the focus on ‘green subsidies’ was a relatively minor issue compared with the need for investment in construction and infrastructure. “The £375bn announced for infrastructure spending could have a huge, galvanising effect, but many of the projects remain far in the future,” he said. “The chancellor has a vision of a more productive future and he is doing many of the right things to make it happen,” Mr Pettigrew said. However, other issues still needed to be addressed, he added, including reforming payment practices, with only firms that pay on time allowed to bid for public sector work and increased use of project bank accounts to protect suppliers. moRE Govt AnnounCEmEnts Full reaction to all the latest measures

SEE PAGES 2, 3 & 4

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Biomass CHP and air-to-water heat pumps have been added to the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive, and tariffs have been confirmed for technologies within the domestic version. Page 3


Changes to the Green Deal have been described as “playing around the edges”, with more adjustment required in the future to make the scheme more popular. Page 4


Changes within the Energy Bill to redefine those affected by fuel poverty have been slammed as “unacceptable” by the Environmental Audit Committee. Page 6


Potential reduction in solar thermal installation cost if activity increases to PV levels Special report, page 17

Editor’s comment Editor Dennis Flower 0203 033 2849 Reporter Dina Patel 0203 033 2850 Head of production Kim Harding 0203 033 2746 Deputy head of production Andy Rennison 0203 033 2749 Account manager Andy Shields 0203 033 2909 Account manager Richard Hewes 0203 033 2905 Sales executive Sean Redmond 0203 033 2907 Business development manager Ben Harris 0203 033 4343 Commercial manager Martin Arnold 0207 391 4521 Advertisement production Jo Lambert 0203 033 2677 Subscription enquiries 0844 848 8858 Chief executive Natasha Christie-Miller 0203 033 2691 H&V News editorial board: Marcus Aniol, Andrew Eastwell, Matthew Edwards, Graeme Fox, Evans Joojo-Richards, Rudi Klein, Rod Pettigrew, Will Pitt, Terry Seward, Peter Thom, Roger Webb, Ant Wilson Printed in the UK by Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent Published by Emap Ltd, Telephone House, 69-77 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NQ. H&V News is distributed on a controlled basis. To receive a free copy you must meet our terms of control - Other readers: annual subscription UK £115, ROW £131. Registered as a newspaper. The journal includes photographs provided and paid for by suppliers. © 2013 Emap Ltd ISSN 09621784 Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Circulation: 13,478 (Average, 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012)

BETTER TIMES MAY BE HERE TO STAY Following the slew of announcements that followed prime minister David Cameron’s stated intention to address ‘green levies’, it was a relief to finally see the government’s autumn statement last week. Scrapping the planned fuel duty rise, the capping of business rates and more export finance support will all help various elements of the building services sector, in addition to the measures outlined on this issue’s front page and those on pages 3 and 4, which will all help our sector in one way or another. What we need to see, of course, are higher levels of work and signs of these are emerging. Our recent survey on profitability saw a broad spectrum of comments on current conditions within the industry, from dire

There are growing reasons to be hopeful – if not actually cheerful – as year end approaches”


Editor’s choice The RHI effect

A look at pumps

Roundtable talks

The industry awaits next year’s domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and its effect on solar thermal installation numbers. Industry experts also give their views on a number of issues relating to water heating, including those affecting heating systems in general.

With air-to-water heat pumps now included within the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive and tariffs announced for the domestic version of the scheme, heat pumps are receiving increased levels of attention from the industry as 2013 draws to a close.

The latest H&V News roundtable featured a gathering of main contractors, consultants and subcontractors. They discussed what the industry must do to tackle pressing issues such as retentions, PQQs and skills shortages, in the light of improving economic conditions predicted for 2014.

page 17

2 11 DECEMBER 2013

to very encouraging, and shows there is a way to go before pre2008 levels of activity are reached. But with predicted UK economic performance upgraded to 2.4 per cent next year, there are growing reasons to be hopeful – if not actually cheerful – as the end of the year approaches. There have been a number of significant highs for H&V News over the past year and the brand as a whole has enjoyed growth. We plan to increase our activity in 2014 to provide readers with yet more added value in the year ahead – and don’t forget your entry for the H&V News Awards (see page 34). I would like to wish all our readers, advertisers, sponsors and partners a peaceful Christmas and prosperous New Year.

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0203 033 2849


Keep up to date with all the latest rHI developments at our dedicated web section

Updates to commercial and domestic RHI welcomed dennis Flower

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has made announcements for both the commercial and domestic versions of the Renewable Heat Incentive that have been broadly welcomed by the industry. Additions were made to the commercial RHI to include air-towater heat pumps, biogas combustion (subject to state aid approval), biomass combined heat and power and deep geothermal heat. Air-to-water heat pumps will have a tariff of 2.5p/kWh and 4.1p/ kWh for biomass CHP, with solar thermal increased to 10p/kWh. Tariffs were also confirmed for the domestic RHI, including 7.3p/ kWh for air-source heat pumps,


General RHI degression level

18.8p/kWh for ground-source pumps, 12.2p/kWh for biomass and 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal. Details of degression levels were also released for the domestic RHI to control the budget. These will include a general level of 10 per cent, plus a ‘super trigger’ of 20 per cent to avoid over-deployment of any of the technologies under the scheme. Micropower Council chief executive Dave Sowden told H&V News that the association welcomed the RHI announcements.

“We calculate that the airsource heat pump tariff will hit its degression figure fairly early on, because the market is already close to 17,000 installations, but the scheme is still viable.” His comments were backed by industry insiders, who said that air-source heat pumps would provide the highest levels of return within the scheme. Mr Sowden described the degression levels as “sensible”, while stating other details needed to be “picked through”, such as the under-deployment of groundsource heat pumps. Adjustments to bio-propane, large biomass, ground-source heat pumps and landfill gas within the commercial version of the scheme resulted from calls for evidence issued earlier this year.

Campus wins award

The Insider West midlands Property Awards has awarded birmingham city University’s multi-million-pound campus with the Sustainability Award trophy. The new campus received breeAm excellent accreditation and included various low-carbon measures.

HE Simm wins £10m deal

A contract worth £10m for mechanical, electrical and plumbing works on Liverpool University’s crown Place has been awarded to He Simm. Work will include the installation of three energy centres and a 1.9 mW cHP unit.

B&ES updates guide

H&V News is Gas Safety conference 2014 partner H&V News has been named as the media partner for The Gas Safety Management Conference 2014. The two-day programme follows this year’s successful inaugural event. The first day will begin with a golf tournament, with attendees also able to take part in work groups and forms, in addition to a half-day conference, followed by the Association of Gas Safety Management Awards Dinner. A full day’s conference will take place the following day, featuring a courtroom scenario entitled ‘When things go wrong’, followed by presentations on topics such as carbon monoxide awareness, managing teams and sustainability in social housing.

Interserve starts edinburgh scheme

Facts The Gas Safety management conference 2014 will include an exhibition of suppliers to the industry and relevant organisations The National Inter-Authority Gas Forum event will also be included, featuring discussions and debates The conference will take place on 29 and 30 April 2014 at The belfry, birmingham Further information is available at http://tinyurl. com/ndvlns9

The b&eS has updated its 50-page Tr30 good practice guide for the specification, design and installation of heat pumps, focusing on the use of packaged equipment, with pre-assembled and tested components and controls.

DECC outlines investment

Work is set to get under way on The Haymarket, one of Edinburgh’s largest recent commercial development projects. It is a joint venture between Interserve and Tiger Developments. The four-acre site will include a £200m mixed-use development of office, hotel and retail space alongside the city’s rail station.

Following publication of updated contract terms and strike prices last week, the department of energy and climate change has revealed that additional investments of £40bn are expected in renewable electricity generation projects.

Housing surges ahead

Growth within the housebuilding sector is at its highest level for more than six years, a number of industry surveys have revealed, with corresponding high levels of confidence recorded. Activity in housebuilding has been credited with leading the construction industry’s recovery.

11 december 2013 3

News Briefs Heat pump social message

Green Deal changes meet lukewarm sector reception Dennis Flower

Mitsubishi Electric has completed a UK-wide seminar programme on heat pumps. The half-day events for housing associations, local authorities and interested parties showed the potential benefits of using heat pumps in social housing settings.

Plumbers’ register on target

WaterSafe has announced it has signed up more than 50 per cent of its registrations target after launching just two months ago as a plumbing assurance scheme, aiming to recognise competent plumbers and provide assurance for clients.

Changes to the Green Deal announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last week are “playing around the edges” and fail to solve the growing concerns around energy bills, according to industry figures. The changes are designed to improve Green Deal engagement for both consumers and Green Deal providers, the DECC said. Measures include the launch of an online advice portal, improving assessment advice report and allowing access to Energy Performance Certificate data. The government also plans to work with industry to cut the cost of insuring Green Deal measures. Further changes will result

Reducing energy bills by £50 a year is largely meaningless to most people” from discussion with the Green Deal Finance Company, the DECC said, including same-day processing of Green Deal Plans, updating legislation for the benefit of landlords and tenants and making ‘top-up loans’ more attractive. The government has also extended the Energy Companies Obligation by two years. Both ECO and Green Deal announcements have been met

with criticism by industry experts. Green Heat managing director Peter Thom said the moves show “the energy question has unfortunately become a political football”. “The government is limited to what it can do and the recent statements of reducing energy bills by £50 a year are largely meaningless to most people,” he continued. Compared with other countries, the UK continues to have cheap energy and an inefficient housing stock, Mr Thom said. He suggested raising VAT on energy bills to 20 per cent to raise revenue to tackle fuel poverty issues without burdening industry. ALL THE GREEN DEAL NEWS at our dedicated online section

Brum warehouse opens

Remeha Commercial is poised to open its new 91,000 sq ft warehouse in Erdington, Birmingham, to meet ongoing business growth demands and accommodate both existing and future new products. Its headquarters will remain in Wokingham, Berkshire.

More support for Scottish tenants The Electrical Safety Council has responded to the new Scottish Housing Bill by saying it “strongly supports” improving conditions in the private rented sector future code for letting agents. However, it has asked for more support for the ESC’s proposals to reinforce electrical safety requirements as the bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament.

Safety IEMA first

The British Safety Council achieved pass rates for 82 per cent of candidates studying for the IEMA Associate Certificate, the highest level recorded by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Fuel cell experiment

Baxi Commercial and Whitbread’s Glastonbury Premier Inn have announced a trial of fuel cell technology following the installation of the Gamma Premio fuel cell. The scheme will receive 40 per cent of its funding from the EU Ene.field initiative.

4 11 DECEMBER 2013

Wright warms flats on former B&Q site J S Wright has secured a £6.5m contract on a development of 441 apartments at a former B&Q site in Ealing Road, London. It will build an energy centre for the brownfield development, including combined heat and power, to serve the seven blocks that will be built to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. The contract also includes low pressure hot water, boosted cold water and heat recovery systems.

REAL skills move The Institute of Refrigeration has confirmed its participation in REAL Alternatives, a scheme to address skills shortages for AC, cooling and heat pump technicians. Its website opens this month at

Danfoss VLT HVAC Drive family We are an intelligent competence centre Part of the

Alldales Drive Systems Ltd has been instrumental to the introduction of HVAC drives into the building services market sector, providing the technical expertise and specialist knowledge needed to gain the acceptance and confidence of key players in the industry. Due to the retirement of the Alldales Managing Director and subsequent closure of the business, Trevor Edwards (Alldales Commercial Manager) joined us at Greenville Electrical on 21st October 2013. Greenville is the largest Danfoss Competence Centre within the network, with 25 years experience supporting businesses in the UK and Ireland. Alldales have shown support and loyalty during their 13 year partnership with Danfoss, the strength of which has been a crucial factor in enabling Danfoss to grow and increase their market share, therefore

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maintaining their position as the market leader for Variable Speed Drives in Building Services. Alldales customers can be assured that they will continue to receive the same high quality service with a vast stockholding from Greenville. This new arrangement ensures that Danfoss and Greenville will continue to be in a strong position to serve customers in the London/South of England area.

Your new contact details are: Trevor Edwards, Greenville Electrical UK: 0870 178 0056 NI: 028 9064 5060 ROI: (0044) 1890 719 312 Mobile: 07808 039787 Email:

Greenville Electrical: 16 Cedarhurst Road, Newtownbreda Factory Estate, Newtownbreda, Belfast, BT8 7RH, N.I. Tel UK: 0870 178 0056 | Tel NI: 028 9064 5060 Tel ROI: 1890 719 312 | Email:

News Briefs Elipse’s new sales manager

Mark Osborne has been appointed regional sales manager for Elipse Magnetics, specialising in the company’s BoilerMag range of heating system filters. He has 25 years of industry experience, working in both the merchant and specification sectors.

WEMS fills global role

Chris Irwin has been named as the new commercial director for WEMS International, tasked with developing overseas business and new channels in the UK for the company’s wireless building energy management systems. He joins from Distech Controls SAS.

Sentinel boosts support team Jamie Penny has joined the trade support team of Sentinel. Mr Penny has an MSc in geological engineering and will be based in Birkenhead, providing support to merchant branches and installers in the North-west region.

New VRF role for Fujitsu

Paul Lockwood is the new VRF specification manager within the Fujitsu VRF team. He has nearly 30 years’ industry experience, working for a number of HVAC manufacturers and has an MSc in Building Services Engineering.

Biomass post filled

Steven Rawding has been appointed to the role of technical manager for VG Energy’s biomass heating division. He has over 20 years’ experience with British Gas and has lectured on heating, gas, oil and solid fuel systems at industry events.

6 11 DECEMBER 2013

ebm-papst celebrates 50 years of business Following its formation in 1963, ebm-papst has created a timeline to chart the various milestones in its development over the past 50 years. Founded by Gerhard Sturm and Heinz Ziehl and originally known as Electrobau Mulfingen GmbH & Co, the company established a UK presence in 1975 as a motor and fan supplier. The turn of the century saw the opening of an 8,000 sq ft UK facility in 2001, followed by the firm’s UK subsidiary being taken under full ownership to create the ebm-papst brand in 2003. The company has continued its strategy of acquiring complementary operations and achieved worldwide sales of €1.4bn in 2012.

Fuel poverty redefinition branded ‘unacceptable’ Dennis Flower

Changes within the Energy Bill to redefine fuel poverty classification were branded “unacceptable” by the Environmental Audit Committee last week. It was reported that the changes would reduce the numbers of people listed as being in fuel poverty from 3.2m to 2.4m. The cross-party members of the EAC said ministers were “shifting the goalposts” to reduce the numbers, branding it “unacceptable”, the BBC reported. People who spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating bills are currently defined as being in fuel poverty. The changes would see fuel poverty redefined as affecting


Number of people that would be defined as in fuel poverty under the proposals those with higher-than-average fuel costs that drag their income below the official poverty line. The reason for the change was to gain an improved understanding of the issues surrounding fuel poverty, the government said. EAC committee chair Joan Walley told the BBC the changes were being implemented “so that official statistics record far fewer

households as fuel poor”. “The changes to the fuel poverty definition and target, in part being made through amendments to the Energy Bill, should be stopped unless the government is prepared to make a public commitment to end fuel poverty altogether,” she said. Ms Walley added that shortterm measures to reduce energy bills should not adversely impact climate change policies. The political debate over energy bills has intensified over the last two months, with David Cameron coming under fire for comments made on “green levies”. Ms Walley said: “In the longer term, green levies could actually keep bills down if they drive energy-efficiency improvements that cut the cost of heating homes.”


Register to hvnplus for free to join the debate and post your comments on the latest news

Regent’s Place gears up for Excellent BREEAM rating Dina Patel

London’s Regent’s Place, more than 10 years in development and aiming for BREEAM Excellent for its North East Quarter, has started to host visits to the site ahead of its opening next summer. The site features a number of initiatives including 22,000 sq ft of green roof, the design of which was a two-year pilot with Arup. The rare Black Redstart species of bird has been spotted on the roof, highlighting the biodiversity attracted to the Sir Terry Farrell masterplanned site. The estate’s award-winning sustainability features include a PV installation, producing more than 15,000 kW/h each year. Water management systems will harvest around 2.4m litres of rainwater annually, which will then be recycled for toilet flushing, as well as irrigation purposes. In 2010/11, zero waste went to landfill, with 402 tonnes being recycled and the remaining 667


Litres of rainwater that will be harvested each year on the estate

tonnes incinerated and converted to power – the equivalent of a £56,600 saving in landfill taxes since 2008/09. The estate as a whole is designed to be up to 32 per cent more carbon-efficient than current standards. Contributing factors include enhanced building airtightness, high-performance glazing, motion and daylight sensors, electronic energy monitoring and high-efficiency centralised HVAC systems. The TECS HVAC systems installed provide a compromise between low noise attenuation and efficiency. Central AC energy consumption at 10 and 20 Triton Street and the NEQ development has been reduced by 40 per cent compared with other solutions, it is claimed. Buildings on the site have been designed to exceed carbon emissions regulations by 50 per cent. ALL THE LATEST CONTRACTS at our dedicated online section

Briefs Glow Cornwall landmark

The 100th resident has benefited from the Glow Cornwall scheme, which is targeting households throughout Cornwall to help them save energy and money over a five-year period. Up to £100m has been ringfenced for Cornwall to support the scheme.

Green Deal help offered

Cheshire-based building services firm AP Mitchell has launched The Futureproof network to help gas heating engineers to grow their businesses by enabling them to draw down Energy Companies Obligation funding and access Green Deal finance.

AMA report published

AMA Research has launched its latest report, the Domestic Central Heating Market Report – UK 2012-2016 Analysis, offering an up-to-date and detailed review of the market.

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News round-up Training, subsidies, regeneration, safety, business HETAS updates course

HETAS has updated its H005 biomass course with two new versions; a shorter H005 course and five-day H005DE model. Both courses are mapped and recognised as meeting the National Occupational Standards and the high performance requirements of MCS critical for biomass installer skills. Green funding changes

The government is to make big changes to the way it subsidises renewable energy, the BBC has reported. Ministers say they will cut support for onshore wind and solar energy from 2015, but give more backing to offshore wind. Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander described the shift in subsidy as “a rebalancing” and said overall spending would not change. But Labour said “chopping and changing” pricing was bad for business. £200m regeneration boost

Housing in Southall has received a boost after plans from Catalyst Housing and Pollard Thomas Edwards architects for a £200m regeneration of the Havelock estate were approved. The proposals for Havelock will see 922 new homes built – a mix of houses and flats for rent,

Innovative heating system installed at sheltered housing scheme The largest ground source heat pump ever to be installed in a sheltered scheme is set to heat 40 properties in Salford. City West Housing Trust, which owns 14,600 homes in west Salford, has installed the innovative heating system at Shepway Court in Eccles, replacing the old expensive gas heating system. The new ground-source heat pump will extract low level heat from the ground using 12 150 m holes.

shared ownership and sale. The regeneration programme will demolish large sections of the current estate and provide new homes for housing association rent and shared ownership, as well as for outright sale. Firm fined after accident

A Tayside electrical company has been fined £2,000 for safety failings after a worker suffered burns to his face, hands and arms while carrying out live electrical testing. Gordon Roberts from Dundee spent nine days in hospital following the incident in December 2010. The Health and Safety Executive found that his employer,


Number of new homes to be built as part of £200m regeneration of Havelock estate

McGill Electrical, had failed to carry out a sufficient risk assessment for the task of removing and replacing the bolted covers while the distribution boards were live. MicroCHP boiler venture

Flowgroup has entered into a manufacturing services agreement with Jabil Circuit, a manufacturing solutions company, to manufacture up to 390,000 microCHP flow boilers in the UK. Jabil will also assist Flowgroup with the ongoing design of an economical and effective supply chain as well as logistics and other support for international expansion in due course.


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The industry’s trusted source of data, analysis and project leads

Sectors, data, contract leads RETAIL The retail sector has experienced an upturn following year-onyear contraction every quarter since the middle of last year. Intelligence provider Glenigan recorded a 2 per cent increase in the value of underlying starts (valued at £250k-£100m) during the third quarter of 2013. This slight improvement follows a disappointing start to 2013, with the value of contracts awarded in the first half of this year below the level seen during the first half of 2012. The regional numbers for the third quarter were hugely varied across the country. The NorthWest, the South-east and the West Midlands all posted significant year-on-year declines. Wales in particular recorded a sharp drop in retail activity of 73 per cent compared with the same period of 2012; the region’s quarter-on-quarter contraction was even sharper, with Wales going from £21m of starts in Q2 to £3m in Q3. London fared better than other urban areas, going from £37m of starts in Q2 to £97m in Q3. The East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber also recorded excellent results for Q3. Among these stronger regions, notable projects to have started on site over Q3 included a £20m scheme for six retail units in Humberside for Simons Construction, which is being delivered by Simons Construction; a £10m supermarket and petrol filling station in Nottinghamshire for Wm Morrison Supermarkets, for which Bowmer & Kirkland is the main contractor; and a new £5m indoor market in Leicestershire for Leicester City Council, which was awarded to Kier Construction. The near-term forecast for retail activity has improved in recent months, driven mainly by the increase in consumer 12 11 DECEMBER 2013

Starts on site Q3 2013

Q1 2014


£624m Forecast UK retail starts Scotland


Q2 2014



£643m North-east

78% £26m

Northern Ireland

78% £3m


Yorks’ & Humber




confidence and signs that the wider economy is beginning to recover. Glenigan anticipates an increase in refurbishment and fit-out work to account for the expected growth in retail construction activity. In response to the improved market, retailers are integrating their online presence and offering more choice to consumers – ‘click and collect’ systems being one for example. Glenigan says this will require change to existing retail premises, which will need to accommodate the collection services. The outlook for retail is for growth to continue into the final quarter of the year and into the majority of 2014.


East Midlands

315% Wales

West Midlands





East of England



£26m London

125% £97m


32% £30m


50% £35m

Keep up to date with the latest statistics and trends from across the sector

BANK OF ENGLAND MORTGAGE APPROVALS The most recent data from the Bank of England reveals that the total number of mortgage approvals for house purchases rose dramatically over the three months to September 2013. Approvals hit 66,735 in September, an increase of 5.3 per cent compared with the previous month and up 33.9 per cent against September 2012. The three months from June marked the first steady and sustained growth since the last four months of 2012. Help to Buy is unsurprisingly credited with much of this improvement in approvals and the wider housing market, combined with increased confidence in the economy among lenders and homebuyers.


66,000 64,000 62,000 60,000 58,000 56,000 54,000 52,000 50,000 48,000

Sep 12 Nov 12 Jan 13 Mar 13 May 13 Jul 13

Sep 13

BANK OF ENGLAND MORTGAGE LOANS £10.5bn £10bn £9.5bn £9bn £8.5bn £8bn £7.5bn £7bn Sep 12 Nov 12 Jan 13 Mar 13 May 13

NSCC SUPPLIER PRICES The National Specialist Contractors Council State of Trade Survey measures the performance of specialist contractors in the construction industry quarter on quarter. These figures represent the net balance of those firms who said they saw an increase in suppliers’ prices during the quarter minus those who reported a fall. The latest numbers from Q3 2013 show that, for the first time since Q2 2008, no respondents recorded a decrease in suppliers’ prices, down from 4 per cent in Q2. The percentage reporting an increase in suppliers’ prices was at a three-year low of 57 per cent, down from 58 per cent, with the remaining 43 per cent seeing no change in prices during the quarter.

Jul 13

Sep 13

These figures show the total value of mortgage loans for house purchases over the year to September 2013, according to the Bank of England. While changes in the value of loans typically mirror changes in the level of approvals, their increase has been markedly steadier since May this year. This increase has nevertheless been dramatic, with the value of loans passing the £10bn mark in September to hit £10.08bn – representing a whopping rise of 5.1 per cent compared with August’s £9.59bn and an even more impressive 36.9 per cent increase on the same point of the previous year. The newly launched second phase of Help to Buy is likely to spur these rises still further.






Q3 2012

Q4 2012

Q1 2013

Q2 2013

Q3 2013

11 DECEMBER 2013 13

Opportunities Contract leads Midlands/East Anglia plans apprOved

CHESTERFIELD £1.3M n 57 Penrose crescent, Hardwick drive, Arkwright Town Planning authority: North East Derbyshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 18 houses Client: Nidd Park Development Developer: JVN Architecture, Ravenshore Way, Renishaw, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S21 3WY Tel: 01246 432338


COVENTRY £10M n Former Peugeot Factory, Oxford rd, ryton on dunsmore Planning authority: Rugby Job: Appr Reserved Matters for warehouse/distribution/industrial Client: UK Mail Ltd Agent: Michael Sparks Associates, Plato Place, 72 - 74 St. Dionis Road, London, SW6 4TU Tender return date: 17th January 2014 for a Traditional Contract. Tel: 020 7736 6162


LEICESTER n Abbey Lane


Planning authority: Blaby Job: Detail Plans Granted for retail Client: Asda Stores Agent: HGP Architects, Furzehall Farm, 110 Wickham Road, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7JH Contractor: ISG, Aldgate House, 33 Aldgate High Street, London, EC3N 1AG Tel: 020 7247 1717

NOTTINGHAM £2.8M n Town St, 48 Kings road/45 doncaster Ave, Sandiacre Planning authority: Erewash Job: Detail Plans Granted for 33 houses/6 flats/3 luxury houses Client: Community Housing Group Agent: Halsall Lloyd Partnership, 53 Forest Road East, Nottingham, NG1 4HW Contractor: Westleigh Developments Ltd, Tudorgate, Grange Business Park, Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6EP Tel: 0116 277 3324

North/North-east plans apprOved

WALLSEND £0.56M n Land & garages to the south & east of 2 berkley close Planning authority: North Tyneside

14 11 december 2013

Job: Detail Plans Granted for 8 flats & 2 bungalows Client: Riverside North East Developer: Anthony Watson Architects, 5 Douro Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR2 7DX Tel: 0191 565 0174


GATESHEAD £1.2M n mount Pleasant Social club, 69-71 cromwell Street Planning authority: Gateshead Job: Detail Plans Granted for 12 houses Client: Three Rivers Housing Association Agent: HMH Architects, 26 Enterprise House, Team Valley Trading Estate, Team Valley, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE11 0SR Tender return date: 10th January 2014 for a Traditional Contract. Tel: 0191 487 0062


BRADFORD £0.29M n btal House, Laisterdyke, Laisterdyke Planning authority: Bradford Job: Detail Plans Granted for training centre (extn) Client: Appris Management Agent: J H M Designs, Poplar Studios, 12 Liversedge Hall Lane, Liversedge, West Yorkshire, WF15 7DB Contractor: Cleckheaton Construction, Bank St, Liversedge, West Yorkshire, WF15 6BS Tel: 01924 407003

HEBBURN £12.89M n Hebburn community Hub, Glen Street Planning authority: South Tyneside Job: Detail Plans Granted for community hub Client: South Tyneside Council Agent: Faulkner Browns, Dobson House, Northumbrian Way, Killingworth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE12 6QW Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, BEBE House, Dukesway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE11 0PZ Tel: 0191 482 4824

North-west plans apprOved

BOOTLE £0.5M n Former Service Station, 146 Park Lane, Netherton Planning authority: Sefton Job: Detail Plans Granted for 10 flats Client: Mr. Francis Birchall Developer: Christopher Rodgers, West Lancashire Investment Ctr,

White Moss Business Park, Skelmersdale, Lancashire, WN8 9TG Tel: 08702246400


BURY £3M n bury college, Woodbury centre, market Street Planning authority: Bury Job: Detail Plans Granted for college (extension) Client: Bury College Agent: Seven Architecture, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6EQ Contractor: Wildgoose Construction Ltd, Fallgate, Milltown, Ashover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S45 0EY Tel: 01246 590066

CHESTER £1.1M n Land fronting 1-12 deva Lane, land at the junction of Upton and Liverpool road Planning authority: Cheshire West Job: Reserved Matters Granted for 1 restaurant/public house Client: Greene King Plc Agent: John Dixon Design Associates, 618 Oldham Road, Failsworth, Manchester, M35 9JQ Contractor: Details Not Available, Tel: Not Available

LIVERPOOL £7M n Knowsley Industrial Park, Kirkby bank road, Kirkby Planning authority: Knowsley Job: Detail Plans Granted for chemical laboratory/office (extension/alterations) Client: Baker Hughes Agent: DLA Architecture, Pearl Assurance House, 23 Princess Street, Manchester, M2 4ER Contractor: Bardsley Construction Ltd, Globe Square, Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, SK16 4RG Tel: 0161 330 4444

Scotland plans apprOved

PEEBLES £0.46M n craigerne coach House, edderston rd Planning authority: The Borders Job: Detail Plans Granted for 6 residential units Client: Glentress Homes Developer: Laurence Gould Partnership, Buchan House, Carnegie Campus, Dunfermline, Fife, KY11 8PL Tel: 01383 730538

PERTH £0.25M n Site of Scotstoun, dunkeld road, bankfoot Planning authority: Perth & Kinross

Job: Detail Plans Granted for 3 houses Client: Mr. K Paton Developer: Jacobsen French, Shore House, Arduaine, Oban, Strathclyde, PA34 4XQ Tel: 0141 638 9365


GLASGOW £12.5M n North Glasgow Site 1, site bounded by Fountainwell drive and Fountainwell road Planning authority: Glasgow Job: Detail Plans Granted for 109 flats & 32 houses Client: Glasgow Housing Association Agent: Collective Architecture, Top Floor Mercat Building, 26 Gallowgate, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G1 5AB Contractor: CCG Scotland Limited, 1 Cambuslang Road, Cambuslang Investment Park, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G73 3QH Tel: 0141 643 3733

INVERKEITHING £1.4M n boreland reservoir, Stephens drive At Land Adjacent Planning authority: Fife Job: Detail Plans Granted for 19 houses Client: Lochay West (Biggar) Ltd Agent: Dalziel Design, 1 Braefoot Court, Law, Carluke, Strathclyde, ML8 5HY Contractor: Lochay West (Biggar) Ltd, 28 Stafford Street, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH3 7BD Tel: 0131 240 1330

KILMARNOCK £3M n Housing site, campbeltown drive, Kilmarnock Planning authority: East Ayrshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 28 houses & 4 town houses Client: East Ayrshire Council Agent: East Ayrshire Council, Civic Centre South, John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock, Strathclyde, KA1 1HW Contractor: CBC (Glasgow) Ltd, Central House, 119 Whitefield Road, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G51 2SD Tel: 0141 445 4665

South-east/London plans apprOved

LONDON £1.1M n Land at rear of Grove Hall court, Hall road Planning authority: Westminster Job: Detail Plans Granted for 11 houses Client: Freshwater Group of Companies

PLANS APPROVED Projects that are approved but are at pre-tender stage

TENDERS Approved projects which are at tender stage

CONTRACTS Approved projects at main contract awarded stage

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Developer: DP9, 100 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5NQ Tel: 020 7004 1700

TUNBRIDGE WELLS £1M n Newlands, Furzefield Avenue, Speldhurst Planning authority: Tunbridge Wells Job: Detail Plans Granted for luxury house Client: Mr. & Mrs. Peter Leck Developer: 3-D Architecture Ltd, Suite 5 Quarry House, Mill Lane, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5AA Tel: 01825 764 455


BRIGHTON £2M n University of Brighton, Village Way, Falmer Planning authority: Brighton & Hove Job: Detail Plans Granted for sports pavilion building Client: University of Brighton Agent: LCE Architects, 164 165 Western Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2BB Tender return date: 15th January 2014 for a Traditional Contract. This is a retender. Tel: 01273 206710


ENFIELD £0.4M n Enfield Business Centre, 201 Hertford Road Planning authority: Enfield Job: Detail Plans Granted for office/training centre (extension) Client: London Borough of Enfield Agent: RCKa, 3 Dyer’s Buildings, London, EC1N 2JT Contractor: Cuttle Construction Ltd, 28 Sterling Way, London, N18 2XZ Tel: 020 8803 1600

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD £9M n Former Royal Mail site, Park Lane Planning authority: Dacorum Job: Detail Plans Granted for 58 flats/28 houses & 1 storage Client: Hightown Praetorian Housing Association Agent: McBains Cooper, 120 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AR Contractor: Higgins Group Plc, 1 Langston Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3SD Tel: 020 8508 5555

South-west/Wales plans apprOved

BRISTOL £0.67M n The Fellowship, 390 Filton Avenue, Horfield Planning authority: Bristol Job: Detail

Plans Granted for 14 flats (new/alterations) Client: Bristol Community Housing Foundation Developer: Kendall Kingscott Partnership, Glentworth Court, Lime Kiln Close, Stoke Gifford, Bristol, BS34 8SR Tel: 0117 931 2062

CAERSWS £1M n Caersws Recreation Ground, Manthrig Lane Planning authority: Powys Job: Detail Plans Granted for spectator stand Client: Caersws Recreation Association Developer: Caersws Recreation Association, Maesgwyn, Station Road, Caersws, Powys, SY17 5ES Tel: 01686 688315


HAYLE £6.5M n Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, North Quay Planning authority: Cornwall Job: Detail Plans Granted for office & industrial units/storage Client: Cornwall Development Company Agent: Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole, Atlantic Studio, Trelyon Avenue, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2AD Tender return date: 14th January 2014 for a Traditional Contract. Tel: 01736 792000


MARKET DRAYTON £1.823M n 3-5 Stafford Street Planning authority: Shropshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 18 flats Client: Sanctuary Housing Association Agent: BM3 Architecture Ltd, 28 Pickford Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 5QH Contractor: Seddon Construction Ltd, Alexander House, Station Road, Waters Edge Business Park, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 4DB Tel: 01782 599511

PONTYPOOL £15M n Various locations, Blaenavon Planning authority: Torfaen Job: Detail Plans Granted for 2 data halls (new/ extn) Client: Torfaen County Borough Council Agent: Torfaen County Borough Council, Civic Centre, Pontypool, Gwent, NP4 6YB Contractor: Workspace Technology Ltd, Technology House, 14 - 16 Reddicroft, 8 Emmanuel Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AZ Tel: 01213 544894

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Special report Water heating

Timely opportunity for fresh heating solutions While tried and tested methods have their place, there are plenty of other options out there for improving efficiency and reducing costs With the Building Regulations dictating increasing thermal efficiency for new-build projects in recent years, combined with compliance with standards such as BREEAM and increasing acceptance of Passivhaus principles, the resulting reduced demand for heating is increasingly turning attention to the effective delivery of hot water. Due to next year’s domestic Renewable Heat Incentive providing additional support to solar thermal installations, in addition to that already provided by the ongoing grants within the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, increasing uptake of this technology is forecast. Research conducted by the Solar Trade Association shows that the cost of installing solar thermal systems will be considerably reduced if they become more common. However, the survey predicts that this will not emulate the situation within the solar photovoltaic sector, which has seen substantial reductions in the cost of equipment and components due to higher sales volumes and a resulting increase in price competition between suppliers. Where solar thermal is concerned, market expansion by a factor of 10 would result in price reductions of nearly 30 per cent, driven by efficiencies on installation. Equipment price reduction will play a part in this, but not to

the same degree as with PV, the survey predicts. STA chief executive Paul Barwell says: “The message here is not that customers should wait for cheaper systems, but that from a macro-economic perspective, solar thermal is ready to realise its mass-market potential and make a major, cost-effective contribution to the UK’s renewable energy objectives.” The STA study shows that PV equipment costs have fallen by 66 per cent since 2011, while installers’ non-equipment costs have been reduced by 49 per cent. The paper forecasts a reduction of 21.6 per cent in equipment costs and a 35.8 per cent in non-equipment costs for solar thermal – a 29.2 per cent cost reduction overall – if it is able to enjoy a similar level of market growth as PV. Minimum standards

The Building Regulations also include minimum standards for systems, including those with stored domestic hot water, according to Honeywell marketing and communications manager Andy Mansfield. When major changes are made, such as the installation of a new cylinder, the regulations require existing systems to be upgraded accordingly. The use of wireless technology is proposed as a simple and effective method of upgrading a

The average household could reduce energy bills by up to 6 per cent year on year” Paul Strudley, ADEY Professional Heating Solutions

system. The cost of these is often quickly recovered through fuel savings, Mr Mansfield claims. “Stockists hold different types of advanced time proportional and integral control packs that include a wireless enabled programmer and wireless room thermostat,” he says. “The pack for a system with stored domestic hot water also includes a wireless cylinder thermostat. “Room and cylinder thermostats should be easy to install, with, in most cases, the new programmer replacing the original timer on the backplate.” Durapipe building services brand manager Des Dolan 11 December 2013 17

Special report Water heating (continued) cites the energy-efficiency of plastic piping as one consideration, adding that there are further advantages to be had. When compared with metal alternatives, plastic piping is more environmentally friendly, requiring less energy to create and is far easier to recycle, he says. Its lightweight nature also means that it is easier to transport, providing additional transport and installation advantages. Once it has been installed, it will continue to deliver energy savings over the lifetime of the system, Mr Dolan continues. “All plastic materials have low thermal conductivity, resulting in less heat loss through the pipe wall, which minimises the need for insulation,” he says. “The smooth bore of plastic pipework systems means flow will not become restricted, ensuring the same flow rate during the system’s lifetime, guaranteeing that the energy required to pump substances through the system does not increase as the pipework ages.” Effective pumping

Pumps form an equally crucial part of the heating system mix and new research conducted by Spirotech raises some important points to take into account. National sales manager Martin Wilkinson says his company’s analysis reveals that effective dirt separation measures are imperative to derive optimal benefits from new generation, high-efficiency circulation pumps with ECM technology and permanent magnetic motors, he says. “The study has identified how circulation pumps, introduced in line with the Eco Design Directive 2009/125/EC, are sensitive to magnetite present in system water, but will retain their theoretical efficiency as long as water cleanliness standards are protected by the installation of a high-performance dirt separator with magnetic qualities,” he says. 18 11 DECEMBER 2013

Eco pumps will retain their efficiency as long as water cleanliness standards are protected” Martin Wilkinson, Spirotech

Energy-saving pumps are particularly sensitive to magnetite in system water, as their rotors are permanently magnetic and magnetite adheres to the rotors, whereas older pumps are only magnetic when the pump is running. The research demonstrates the effect of magnetite build-up on pump efficiency by comparing conventional, asynchronous pumps with similar new generation eco pumps. “In the case of the modern pumps, magnetite had a clear and substantial negative effect on efficiency,” Mr Wilkinson says. “The situation can be directly compared with what happens in practice in an ordinary system.” In the laboratory tests, the new generation pump efficiency was reduced by between 10 to 15 per cent, with the study also indicating that over time, the pump’s efficiency could even be halved if the water is left untreated. The simple solution to the problem is to install a highperformance magnetic dirt separator to safeguard against magnetite build-up in system water and create optimal conditions for the eco pump to realise its true potential, Mr Wilkinson says. Timely opportunity

The results of another research initiative, commissioned by Adey Professional Heating Solutions, are cited by its sales director Paul Strudley to emphasise how installers can increase their work

levels and deliver effective benefits to customers. Mr Strudley points to the response from 1,300 homeowners, which reveals that one in 20 consider an annual boiler service an unnecessary expense and almost a quarter of people living in their home for at least 15 years admit to never having had their boiler serviced. “Our research suggests many people don’t understand the benefits that having an annual boiler service will bring, and worryingly, just let their good old boiler in the corner keep chugging away without giving it any attention. “ The current climate presents a timely opportunity for customers to learn how a well-maintained and efficient boiler can save money on heating bills, reduce the risk of breakdown and, crucially, ensure it is safe to use. “Installers can be assured that many of their customers will welcome this advice, as threequarters of homeowners surveyed wanted to know about the simple changes they can make to their central heating to reduce energy bills,” Mr Strudley says. Corrosion deposits in central heating systems cause a reduction in performance, noisy pipework, radiator cold spots, low heat levels, slow operation, leaking valves and ultimately the breakdown of the system. “With a better protected system, the average household could achieve maintenance savings of more than 30 per cent a year, reduce energy bills by up to 6 per cent year on year and extend the operational life of their boiler way beyond the industry accepted lifespan of 12 to 15 years. “What customer wouldn’t be interested in knowing how they could achieve that?” Mr Strudley says. BREAKING NEWS, DELIVERED Get our free weekly newsletter

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Special report Heat pumps

Warming up to an established technology The future is looking brighter for heat pump installations, although more education is required for some end-users and installers Following the widespread use and acceptance of heat pumps in other European countries, many industry observers expected that this success would be repeated in the UK. However, these expectations have remained largely unfulfilled for several reasons. The global economic downturn has been a factor, with businesses and homeowners feeling the squeeze and reducing expenditure. Heat pumps continue to cost considerably more than traditional options on average, so convincing end-users to invest in a technology they are unfamiliar with has proved challenging. Unfamiliarity has also led to heat pumps being regarded as new technology by building owners, although they have been around for several decades. A further issue the market has had to deal with is the negative publicity, including reports of poorly designed systems in the national media highlighting the high energy costs experienced by end-users. The initial study by the Energy Saving Trust in 2010 on heat pumps was also seen as largely negative, typically through the issues of poor design and installation. However, The Heat is On, a study published by the trust in August this year, showed a far more positive picture, reflecting the opinion of many in the industry who predict that heat pumps will enjoy a growing market share.

Among its various findings, the EST said heat pumps can perform to a “very high standard in UK homes”, supported by the results from technical data and feedback from users. Better installation standards, following the revised Microgeneration Certification Scheme’s standards, had played a major part in this. The MIS3005 heat pump installer standard was updated in 2012, having been designed to provide consistency within UK installations of heat pumps. The revised version stated that systems should be designed to meet the entire heating requirements of the building, reducing the need for supplementary methods to be used. The extra mile

While The Heat is On report indicated further advantages could be gained through higher levels of understanding of operating options and controls by end users, it also considered systems running continuously and intermittently. The EST said there is “a number” of the latter in existence, which are delivering high levels of customer satisfaction. There are a growing number of voices suggesting that heat pumps will experience higher sales numbers as the economic recovery continues next year. The recent upsurge in housebuilding is seen by many as a key element within this.

The difficulty lies in raising awareness of the technology” Jonathan Tedstone, Baxi

Among those predicting better times for heat pumps in the future is Worcester, Bosch director of marketing and technical support Martyn Bridges. He believes this will in part be driven by Building Regulations and the move towards zero-carbon homes. “The new-build sector in particular will have little choice but to look at air-source or groundsource heat pumps as a primary heating and hot water technology,” he says. “It therefore seems likely that we’ll see big sales of heat pumps from around 2016 onwards, driven by regional and national housebuilders needing to comply with the regulations.” 11 December 2013 21

Special report Heat pumps (continued) A staged process towards renewables is a sensible approach, Mr Bridges continues, and the industry should be encouraging homeowners to invest in boilers – which are typically distress purchases – assisted by air-to-water heat pumps in the future. Extensive insulation is also advised by Mr Bridges within a three-phase process that may take some time to complete, but at least provides an effective roadmap to bringing heat pumps to the forefront of domestic heating in the future. Next year’s launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is also seen as a positive move for heat pumps. Statement of support

Baxi product manager Jonathan Tedstone says this move by the government is a clear statement in support of renewables, and heat pumps in particular, as a workable option for many homeowners over the coming years. “The difficulty, however, lies in raising awareness of the technology,” he says. In a recent government report entitled Homeowners’ willingness to take up more efficient heating systems, very few consumers would actually consider the installation of low-carbon technology in their homes, and awareness of renewable technologies remained very low. Yet with government incentives driving installation of products such as heat pumps and the new-build sector obliged to meet the zero-carbon standards by 2016, it is hoped consumer awareness will begin to rise for all renewable technologies. “Another key aspect that must also be considered, in any new heating installation, is the overarching efficiency of the system,” Mr Tedstone says. “There is no point, for example, in installing a highly efficient heat pump solution in a draughty inefficient home; the potential gains are lost almost instantaneously.” 22 11 DECEMBER 2013

In new-build developments or whole-house refurbishments within off-mains-gas areas, heat pumps can provide energyefficient and viable alternative heating, but only if installed in the correct application. “The key message to installers is that there are real savings to be made from renewables, but there is not a one-size-fits-all solution and homes must therefore be considered on a case-by-case basis,” Mr Tedstone explains. Here and now

While there is increasing optimism for future uptake of heat pumps, Dimplex Renewables product marketing manager Clare Campbell says the current market already offers plenty of opportunities for their use. She highlights the case of larger homes located off the gas grid, where the latest 12 kW and 16 kW air-source models will prove particularly effective. Mr Campbell also points out that the domestic RHI will recognise qualifying installations completed before the launch next spring, offering a further boost to existing opportunities. “Customers are looking at renewable technologies to save money on their heating bills,” Ms Campbell says. “The Renewable Heat Premium Payment Phase 1 Customer Survey, published by the DECC in 2011, revealed that 82 per cent of consumers with renewable heat technology said rising fuel prices were the motivator for their investment. “However, to access the RHI, installers will have to be Microgeneration Certification Scheme-approved. “It is also vitally important to not only attend generic technology training offered by commercial training providers, but also to be trained by your equipment manufacturer of choice – who, after all, are the experts in the technologies and can relay the

Customers are looking at renewable technologies to save money on their heating bills” Clare Campbell, Dimplex

specific requirements for their individual properties. “Nowhere is this more important that in the area of controls. Manufacturers can also support this with correct sizing and system design.” Case in point

Heat pumps’ growing importance has also been evident in the increasing number of heat pump installation case studies featuring in H&V News. This type of information is typically only released when the end-user has given their permission, which usually indicates that a high level of satisfaction has been achieved. Concern has been expressed, however, over the numbers of MCS-registered installers. This figure declined on the back of the Feed-in Tariff cuts last year and has shown little movement in the intervening period. Next year’s launch of the domestic RHI is therefore expected to impact this number, with more installers becoming involved in order to take advantage of the scheme’s introduction. Heat pumps continue to generate considerable debate, including both negative and positive opinion, yet the evidence shows the technology can be effective when correctly designed, installed and operated. THE LATEST RHI NEWS at our dedicated online section

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Special report

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major concerns require collaborative solutions Leading industry figures met to discuss what the industry must do to tackle pressing issues such as retentions, PQQs and skills shortages

With a number of national and industry surveys predicting improving conditions within the construction sector, there are numerous issues to address that will impact the speed with which contracting companies in the industry can benefit from increased opportunities. H&V News assembled 11 industry professionals to debate the current status and thoughts on future developments. Our latest roundtable discussed the different views on how the industry should prepare to move forward within

the context of the new government strategy for construction. Retentions slammed

NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol began the discussion by addressing the issue of retentions. “You have to look at the whole payment and supply chain and the issue of trust when looking into retentions,” she said. “We should be questioning why we have payment issues in our industry. “Looking just at retention will never solve the issue; we need to address it on a wider scale

We’ve been in a buyers’ market for the past five years and we’re all beginning to feel pressure on our labour” Steve Hale, Crofton

and make it redundant.” Others asked why the industry has retention at all. Calling it an archaic practice, some argued the unfairness of withholding money from someone who has delivered their contract. Ms Nichol said: “We all know the reason is to hold on to cash. I don’t think those people withholding realise how damaging it is and tier one contractors recently said the biggest risk to their business is their tier two contractors going bust. “Withholding retention is 11 december 2013 27

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Roundtable (continued)

Attendees a sure way of damaging the tier two contractors. It’s incredibly damaging to our industry as a whole.” Skanska business director Russell Hallmark added: “There are some principal contractors who have a slightly different way of dealing with retention. “There are some developers that charge no retention and we work with developers who have taken it off the table. Providing there are no defections at the end, there will be no retentions. “This still isn’t ideal but it seems more reasonable. We all trade on the back of cash, cash is profit and if cash isn’t there then you won’t be able to do business. We’re restricting advancement and there is the cost of sitting down every time and negotiating.” Interserve strategic development director Ross Mather argued: “I’d like nothing more than to eliminate retention, but by nature business is financially driven and retentions have coexisted for hundreds of years, and yes perhaps a minor number within industry do cheat the system to protect themselves against insolvency by keeping the cash in their own pockets, but wholesale change will be difficult unless supported with a competent, 28 11 december 2013

good-quality supply chain.” Others agreed that clients should be better informed with regards to their contracts, especially with many clients overlooking the small print that shows retention to be 5 per cent. Call to action

Crofton managing director Steve Hale added that now was the time for change. “Now would be the right time, as we’ve been in a buyers’ market for the past five years and we’re all beginning to feel pressure on our labour,” he said. “It will soon become a seller’s market.” Others agreed that there will be a natural transition towards a seller’s market. Ms Nichols argued that the industry needed to become smarter and that there was a strong need for better organisation and good management out on site. “It’s a travesty that clients are saying they no longer trust the industry and as such are going to self-deliver,” she said. The debate identified a real space for good management, good operation and delivering what the clients want. Some agreed that clients are not entirely blameless. It was argued that clients come up with

matthew edwards, sales director, Swale Heating Ian Greenstock, sales director, Kershaw Group Steve Hale, managing director, crofton russell Hallmark, business director, Skanska mike mann, building services consultant and energy specialist, USUS Group ross mather, strategic development director, Interserve bill merry, business development director, balfour beatty engineering Services dave miller, Gardner & co Suzannah Nichol, chief executive, NScc Simon roxburgh, director, boyd & co Ant Wilson, building services engineer, Aecom dennis Flower, editor, H&V News (chair)

We all trade on the back of cash, cash is profit and if cash isn’t there then you won’t be able to do business” Russell Hallmark, Skanska

a number of obscure reasons to prolong payment if their tenants are not ready to take over the building. It was suggested by one attendee that the industry should start with gradual change – for example, by protecting retentions rather than taking them off the table completely. The government was mentioned as one of the biggest culprits when it comes to retentions. Aecom building services engineer Ant Wilson said: “My biggest struggle with getting money is from the government. They keep changing their departments – the money is split between different departments. We’ve lost so much when venturing into European government work and we’ve chased between 18 months to two years to get money out. Also, there is still 10 per cent retention.” United front

It was agreed by the majority that the industry should be standing collectively and saying no to retention from the top to ensure better business practices. USUS Group building services consultant and energy specialist Mike Mann added that retention was once an incentive to complete a job but it had been twisted into a mechanism to manage cashflow and to keep projects financed. It was agreed around the table that if a firm had done the job, they should get their retention. Ms Nichols said the NSCC has had plenty of success with smaller companies who have been successful in asking for retentions to be excluded from their contract. Ms Nichols added that more and more contractors were seeing retentions as an unfair practice. However, Kershaw Group sales director Ian Greenstock said there will always be one contractor who takes the deal with retention. “Some companies take the order to keep people employed, as it is easier to take a job at a low price rather than make their employees redundant,” he said.

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Special report

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Roundtable (continued) It was agreed, however, that retentions should stay out of government contracts for most specialist contractors. Better communication was also suggested to avoid repetitive form-filling. It was suggested that the industry was disappearing into its own paper trail. Mr Hallmark argued that it was down to the government to lead by example and motivate the industry from the bottom up. Ms Nichols countered by saying it was up to the industry to step up rather than asking the government to intervene. PQQ issues

Industry contractors often raise concerns over the burden of prequalification questionnaires and Mr Mann argued that although it was a consultant’s job to be fair to people, PQQs had taken on a solicitor’s role. Others argued that the biggest problem was the large amount of people bidding for every single job. Ms Nichols said main contractors needed to say how they prequalify their supply chain and that the industry needed to develop one simple system. “We drown in unnecessary paperwork because we allow others to dictate how we work,” she said. “We are employing form-fillers and form-checkers when we should be spending time on innovation.” It was suggested that people in the industry sit down with the major trade bodies and come up

with one standard rather than have the government tell the industry what to do. Ms Nichols said the industrial strategy had identified the issue of form-filling as a problem, saying it was inefficient and costly. Mr Hallmark pointed to the Achilles framework, which allows firms to pay only one fee to avoid going through different processes. According to Mr Hallmark, the framework worked well until the downturn hit and people decided to pull out when they could no longer afford it. It was argued that there should be just one fee and one form and that this would drive down costs by creating just one type of accreditation. This would force everyone to buy into one scheme and pay the fee. It was suggested that the industry explain to business secretary Vince Cable how it needs to be done.

It’s hard to get the right people. This is a problem caused by years of not having a uniform way to get people trained”

way but business pressures have caused this area to slow down.” It was suggested that the industry has not invested in the younger generation since the mid-1990s and that it was only just turning the tap back on in terms of spending. Attendees stressed the need for the government to allocate spending in this area. It was also accepted that the industry needed to make itself appear more attractive to the younger generation and to offer a more strategic way into the business.

Matthew Edwards, Swale Heating

Tech savvy

Skills shortages

The industry has increasingly voiced its fears over the loss of its workforce and the need for a recruitment drive, with motivating more apprentices a particularly pressing concern. Mr Edwards commented: “Over the last few years the intake has reduced significantly, but we are trying to drive apprenticeships. It’s hard to get the right people. This is a problem caused by years of not having a uniform way to get people trained. “We’ve done it in our own

It is easier to take a job at a low price rather than make their employees redundant” Ian Greenstock, Kershaw Group

30 11 DECEMBER 2013

BIM was suggested as an attractive job role for graduates who are up to date with computer and visual skills. However, a huge skills gap was identified with regards to BIM, with one attendee arguing that most graduate engineers spend more time in front of computers than they do out on site. Another problem area identified was the lack of training for site apprentices. Many places no longer host the required courses and students in the South-east are now stuck with only two options for colleges: South Bank and Southampton. It was argued that the huge drive for young adults to enter university had led to a fall in the number of people entering the construction sector. It was agreed that more time needed to be dedicated to schools. “Also, restrictions on site are causing more apprentices to start when they are 18 years old,” Ms Nichols said. Some argued this had led many 16-year-olds who did not want to carry on with further education to be ignored. The roundtable agreed, however, that graduate-level managerial and professional posts were expected to increase significantly in the next decade, as construction remained a crucial part of the UK economy.


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Special report Case study

Leisurely retrofit reduces council running costs A leisure centre has slashed its energy bills after spotting an opportunity to replace its ageing boilers with condensing models Totton Health and Leisure Centre in Southampton, Hampshire, prides itself on providing the best leisure activities in the local area. As part of an initiative to enhance the facilities available to visitors, the centre underwent a substantial refurbishment in 2012, which included retrofitting the reception area, extending and refurbishing the gym, re-tiling the main and learner pools and installing a brand new changing village with additional showers. When the works were complete, feedback from visitors revealed they were very happy with the new facilities and Totton’s membership grew. The next step was to increase energy-efficiency and reduce carbon emissions and running costs, so the council looked into replacing the existing standard efficiency boilers with condensing appliances. There was also another issue that needed addressing to meet growing demand for the leisure centre facilities: due to an increase in the number of showers, visitors began to complain of extremely low water pressure, especially when all showers were in use. New Forest District Council commercial gas engineer Rob Sowden used a data logger to record water pressure over a fourweek period. He discovered that pressures dropped to as low as 0.5 bar at peak times, causing showers to trickle and even stop. 32 11 December 2013

The answer was to install a new booster set that would ensure constant water pressure for the showers at all times. This needed to be installed in the plant room, along with a new water storage tank which, due to its size and dimensions, required the boilers to be repositioned. Mr Sowden realised this was the perfect opportunity to replace the boilers. Out with the old

In addition to replacing the old boilers with more modern versions, the new flueing arrangements for these needed careful thought. “The Clean Air Act states that no more than 150 kW can


The claimed efficiency level of the new boilers

be terminated through an external wall with a power flue,” Mr Sowden explains. “As the total output of the new boilers is 400 kW, we had to examine alternative options. The first option was to install five individual vertical flue kits up through the roof of the boiler room; the second was to employ a specialist flue company and have them install one large flue through the roof, connecting all five boilers to the main header. “As terminating through a roof can lead to weathering issues, we decided to go for option two so that there would be only one termination point to maintain.”

Mr Sowden brought in a flue specialist company, which proposed installing a 316 stainless steel liner, 300 mm-grade 304 stainless steel outer casing and 25 mm void packed with dense mineral wool fibre, with 100 mm short plastic branch legs from the boilers to the main stainless steel header. The height of the flue was 1.2 m above the roof line and Mr Sowden ensured that approval was obtained for the flue installation from Building Control at New Forest District Council prior to work commencing, so any potential issues could be addressed at an early stage. Open for business

An additional challenge was that the leisure centre had to remain open during the installation, so the hot water system had to be working during opening times and the swimming pool’s water temperature needed to be maintained. Rather than using the services of a consultant, Mr Sowden tapped his expertise as a highly skilled engineer to design, install and commission the new system. This was completed following an on-site consultation with Ideal Commercial Boilers business development manager Mike Stubbs, and attendance at a training course at the company’s Centre of Excellence in Reading to further expand his knowledge of the products he had chosen. Consultants were then hired to approve Mr Sowden’s design, rather than create the design from scratch, saving the council an estimated £7,200 in fees. Mr Sowden decided the Evomax condensing wall-hung appliances from Ideal Commercial Boilers were the most suitable. He had recommended these to the council, not only because he had installed them before and had found them to be reliable and easy to maintain, but also because of their space and energy-saving capabilities, which would additionally help to meet

the requirements of the centre. The installation was planned for the summer so that the demand for space heating would be low, and at a time when the leisure centre would be quiet. Mr Sowden installed the five new boilers adjacent to the old floor-standing models, which meant 80 per cent of the installation work could be completed without disconnecting the existing system. When no further preparation work could be done, the old boilers were disconnected and the pipe connections transferred to the new ones as quickly as possible. Mr Sowden had allowed two days for the boilers to be connected, though the switchover was completed in less than eight hours, resulting in a seamless transition, with no loss of temperature for the building or swimming pool. The old boilers, which had been in service for 26 years, were removed so that the booster set and water tank could be installed. Fall in complaints

Since the new plant equipment has been installed, Totton Health and Leisure Centre manager Ross Archibald says no visitors have complained about the showers. Mr Sowden confirmed the technical reason for this with the data logger, which showed that the showers were consistently

These types of savings are essential for councils, which are struggling with cuts in funding” Rob Sowden, New Forest District Council

operating at a healthy pressure of 3 bar – even when all the showers are in use at the same time. In meeting the council’s requirement to minimise energy use in the building, the new condensing boilers are reported by their manufacturer to offer efficiencies of around 98 per cent. Mr Sowden predicts the resulting reduction in running costs will save the leisure centre around £6,000 a year, or 15 per cent, dramatically reducing the payback period for these appliances, as well as delivering future energy savings. Additional benefits from the cost savings include the council being able to put vital funds towards much-needed projects in the community. One bonus of Mr Sowden designing and installing the system himself is that he now has extensive knowledge of the installation, which will be of great benefit as he is also responsible for servicing and maintaining

the system in years to come. Mr Sowden told H&V News: “This has been an incredibly successful project and goes to show what savings can be made with good system design, meticulous preparation and quality products, as well as effective teamwork. “These types of savings are essential for councils nationwide, which are struggling with cuts in funding and are looking to find ways of continuing to deliver high-quality services with less capital at their disposal. “Knowledge is vital, as is expertise, and the technical support and advice available from manufacturers is invaluable in helping engineers like myself solve installation issues and meet both the Building Regulations and end-user requirements at minimal cost.” THE LATEST PRODUCTS View new offerings online

11 DECEMBER 2013 33

Special report Awards

entry deadline extended for sector’s biggest night Would-be winners now have extra time to submit their entries to the H&V News Awards, which promise to be better than ever The H&V News Awards promise to be bigger and better than ever before – especially as they celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. Because we want as many entries as possible, we have extended the deadline to 20 December. The H&V News Awards was the first national awards event to be staged for our industry and it has retained its pre-eminent position, with Pipe Center and Climate Center continuing as the head sponsor for 2014. One of the awards’ strengths is that it encompasses the whole industry, from manufacturers and suppliers to contractors, consultants and end users. It is a unique meeting point for everyone with a stake in the building services industry and its future. Peers and clients

Now is the time for you to be shouting about all you have achieved over the last year and showing your peers and clients you are an award-winning business. To allow you to make the most of this opportunity we have extended the deadline to 20 December, giving you another week to submit your entry. The H&V News awards recognise all areas of building services and the fact that they are judged by an interview panel of industry experts means they are the most robust and respected in the industry. Being shortlisted or even win34 11 december 2013

ning will help you win new business by proving to your clients you are the best, boost employee morale by shouting about the work they have achieved, raise your company profile via PR and marketing, and give existing clients another reason to keep their business with you. Get in front of our judging panel who can offer essential advice, constructive feedback, collaboration and even new business opportunities. Pipe Center and Climate Center managing director Lee Jon Newman says: “Our industry faces many challenges and opportunities, from the drive to more

A night at the awards tells you a great deal about what the future will look like” Lee Jon Newman, Pipe Center and Climate Center

sustainable solutions and cutting energy use, to reducing materials wastage and improving lead times. “The awards provide a national stage to recognise and celebrate innovations that help the industry address these vital issues – so that they may be more widely adopted in the future. “A night at the awards tells you a great deal about what the future will look like. It is an absolutely invaluable insight.” Can you afford to not be recognised at the biggest event in building services? Start work on your entry now and ensure you have entered by 20 December. Enter today at

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Better business Meaning of contract terms, pump efficiency directive contract terms

Don’t get caught out over meaning of contract terms It is rare that issues regarding the status of construction drawings make it into the courts, but this is what happened in the case of Emcor Drake & Scull v Edinburgh Royal Joint Venture. Emcor had been engaged under a subcontract to carry out plumbing and heating works as part of the construction of the New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. The dispute arose when Emcor was then invited to enter into another subcontract for the installation of electrical services. The subcontract stated: “Our bid has been prepared on the understanding that the vast majority of tender drawings received are fully co-ordinated and approved for construction.” Emcor claimed this meant the design of its works was complete and further drawings were not necessary, but Emcor had to carry out substantial detailed design work involving the preparation of working or installation drawings. It brought proceedings in the Outer Court of Session in Scotland involving a claim for damages of almost £4.75m for breach of its subcontract, since the tender drawings were not “fully coordinated and approved for construction”, as well as payment of almost £1.5m for variations. Emcor’s claim rested on the meaning of “fully co-ordinated and approved for construction”. The judge examined the processes involved in the design of the various engineering services for a complex building such as a hospital. Traditionally the building services specialist subcontractors coordinate the installation work in detail; this involves defining the precise routes taken by the ducting or piping for the different services 36 11 December 2013

to avoid clashes, the organisation of junctions in such ducting or piping, and the manner in which one service passes over or under other services at such junctions. When the co-ordination process is complete, each specialist subcontractor will have prepared detailed working drawings defining where the service is to run, including heights and the components to be used including bracketry and other fixings. There were detailed protocols relating to design, drawing production and services co-ordination in the subcontract documentation. Emcor was required to develop the designs into working drawings for manufacturing, installation and record purposes; if changes were required to the indicated line and level of the installation to effect a fit within the building, Emcor’s tender was to allow for this and any subsequent effects. Obvious meaning

The drawings produced with the tender package were design drawings rather than working drawings; this must have been obvious to Emcor, the judge said. The subcontract documentation envisaged two stages of coordination of services drawings. The first was the responsibility of the services engineer, who was required to “spatially co-ordinate the services with the structure only in producing design drawings”. The second was Emcor’s responsibility; Emcor was required to produce detailed working and installation drawings to enable its employees to install the services (detailing elements such as types of fixings and components).

Therefore, “fully co-ordinated” referred to the first stage of co-ordination by the services engineer. “Approved for construction” simply indicated that the relevant drawings had attained final release status; further revisions would not be required except in some minor aspect. If you are given drawings described as “fully coordinated” or “approved for construction”, always check what they mean, since they could affect the scope of your responsibilities. rudi Klein is chief executive of the Specialist engineering contractors’ (Sec) Group

pump efficiency

meeting the new hydraulic pump energy directive The European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Plan aims to cut the energy consumption of products. The EEP has continued to mark out key cut-off points for manufacturers to bring their products in line with the latest standards and this year sees the introduction of the Minimum hydraulic Efficiency Index (MEI). The EC has developed a methodology to determine mandatory minimum efficiency levels for some electronic product groups sold in the EU, known as European Minimum Energy Performance Standards (EU MEPS). That list of products now includes clean water pumps. Because 80 per cent of a product’s

Products with lower efficiency levels will not be eligible for CE marking”

energy-efficiency is defined during design, it is precisely this part of the production process that is targeted by the EU MEPS. While pumps were originally exempt from the directive, they were later included when their full efficiency potential was identified as a major area of improvement. Pumps that now fall within the Eco-Design Directive include end suction own bearing pumps and end suction close coupled pumps, close coupled in-line pumps, multi-stage vertical pumps, and multi-stage submersible pumps. The EC evaluated existing pumps on the market to identify those which are not performing in line with the new criteria. The MEI identifies a minimum efficiency cut-off for those pumps performing under the new hydraulic efficiency levels. The first cut-off point was 1 January 2013, while the second more stringent one will come in on 1 January 2015. Products which have lower efficiency levels than the new requirements will not be eligible to carry a CE mark, making it illegal to place them on the open market anywhere in the EU. All pumps placed onto the open market in Europe must perform at a minimum level of efficiency, calculated at the BEP, PL and OL operating points, to meet or exceed the MEI Index of 0.1. Pumps placed on the market by the manufacturer prior to the enforcement of the new directive can be sold by the distribution chain and put into service by the end-user legally. Despite this, contractors and installers should be looking to bring their business practices in line with the new laws as soon as possible. The easiest way to prevent being caught unprepared is to start purchasing and installing compliant pumps straight away. Gary Wilde is business development and marketing manager for Xylem Water Solutions UK

MOBILE YOUR INDUSTRY IN YOUR BACK POCKET Are you short on time and looking for advice on the go? Reach for your phone to access all the latest news, best practice advice, legislation tips and environmental solutions at is now mobile, making it easier for you to keep up to date, on the go. News, Contract Leads and Products are all presented in a format to match your smartphone, reducing the need for scrolling and zooming.

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Better business: technical Thermal stores, smart metering heating

Smart metering

Thermal stores help get the most from renewables

Smart metering offers opportunity on performance

A crucial part of getting the most from renewable energy is suitable energy storage. Storage is affected by many factors, including the storage medium, the size and shape of the storage vessel and insulation properties. There is much industry chatter about electrical direct current storage and inter-seasonal stores. As everyday solutions, the former, although practical, is still in development and may be so for some time. The latter, which would theoretically store heat from summer to winter, is currently impractical due to the physical size and the difficulties of minimising heat loss over time. There are various ways to store heat, but water, as well as being the most economical, also has extraordinary properties of thermal storage. It’s reasonably energy dense and can store large amounts of energy by volume.

Building performance evaluation (BPE) is here to stay, with the government moving towards a 20 per cent reduction in costs for its built estate and an increasing unwillingness across the industry to accept design predictions as sufficient to prove outcomes. In the housing sector, regulation is increasingly focusing on proof of performance (airtightness, for example) and providing owners with objective labelling of homes. All this is happening at the same time as measures to fully introduce smart metering by 2020 are coming on-stream. Smart meters should help with the BPE of both commercial and non-commercial buildings, but how realistic is the objective?

Size matters

However, for thermal storage to work effectively, what we must have is an adequately sized store. There needs to be a balance between its ability to hold a large enough amount of energy and being practically sized. If well designed and produced, a tank not much bigger than a Smart car, 2900 mm long, 1700 mm wide and 1600 mm deep, could easily hold up to 42 kWh over a moderate temperature range. If constructed from fibre glass with an inner and outer skin and insulated with 200 mm of polyurethane, it would only lose around 3 kWh per day even in the worst case scenario of mid-winter. Connected to a solar thermal system offering up to 14 kWh per hour in summer, or around 6 kWh

in winter, this would be sufficient to heat an average family home and supply adequate hot water. Question of circumstance

When sizing a thermal store, the heat requirement of the building and its occupants should be considered. For example, an average row of family houses might require a room temperature of 21 deg C, whereas a sheltered housing scheme might require 23.5 deg C, so size of thermal stores would vary for this. The key to calculating the correct size of a thermal store is working out the amount of heat required to heat a building and provide hot water. This should be balanced with the economics of replenishment. The optimal shape for a thermal store would be spherical, as this offers the minimum surface area for heat loss. However, as thermal stores are most often buried, a cube shape is generally the most practical solution. Thermal stores really are an effective implement for futureproofing against the rising costs of heating and hot water and, as they need no ongoing maintenance, whole-life costs are excellent. If you are able to collect heat energy economically then storing it in a thermal store will allow you to remove the peaks and troughs of usage. Thermal stores enable renewable energy systems to deliver affordable heat and hot water, reducing carbon footprints. mark Wozencroft is managing director of minus 7

The smartness of smart

Just how ‘smart’ is smart metering? At its lowest level, the smart meter simply offers a remote display of energy use (often expressed in £) so that users are sensitised to consumption. Rarely are both gas and electricity monitored. More commonly, ‘smart’ means that meter readings are transmitted back to the supply

Until the tangle of issues with privacy and smart metering is resolved, there is little alternative to expertly run BPE activity”

company on a scheduled basis. This is the type currently planned to be used in the smart meter roll-out. Again, it is unlikely that all services are monitored and the data is often collected at no more than half-hour intervals. Finally, there is the possibility of the ‘really smart’ meter, which permits full two-way communication between utility and user, thus bringing into reality the possibility of sophisticated demand management options for the power companies. This potentially could be a rich source of data for BPE, but ownership of the protocols and access rights are likely to be a serious hurdle to third parties. Data factor

Access to large volumes of user data is one crucial requirement to understanding just how the various interventions in existing dwellings or the application of new regulations in the built environment sector are working. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has developed a restricted-access National Energy Efficiency Data Framework and this has proven invaluable in understanding the impact of certain measures, such as cavity fill retrofits. Unfortunately, this kind of data is not available to the wider research community, nor is it fed from real-time or near real-time sources. This makes it unsuitable for use in the analysis of individual properties. We want to really deliver truly low energy (and carbon) buildings that are also healthy, productive and comfortable to use but, until the tangle of issues associated with privacy and smart metering are resolved, there is little alternative to detailed and expertly run BPE activity. Alan Gilbert is general manager at bSrIA Instrument Solutions

11 december 2013 39


Boosters, fans, boilers, heat pumps DAB Pumps Boosting units DAB Pumps has launched the e.sybox, a water pressureboosting unit with an ergonomic design that brings a ‘plumb and play’ dimension to installation, saving time and money. It can be fitted vertically or horizontally on its anti-vibration mountings or onto a wall. The unit has variable positions for inlet and outlet pipework and can be plugged directly into the mains electricity supply. Once switched on, it automatically commissions. All the tools the installer needs are kept neatly in the lid of the unit, along with a useful QR code that links directly to an online how-to video. The LCD high-resolution display is adjustable and the user-friendly interface makes it possible to access performance information and customise the main settings.

Airflow Extractor fans

Worcester Bosch Group Oil-fired boilers


Fulton Boilers

Airflow Developments’ iCON 15S extractor fans are being incorporated into expedition vehicles manufactured by Bliss Mobil in the Netherlands. Airflow’s iCON 15S extractor fans have been integrated into the onboard automation system, enabling the user to activate the fans with an external control such as a smartphone or tablet computer.

Worcester, Bosch Group, has enhanced its Greenstar oil-fired boiler range with the addition of a System variant of its new Danesmoor boiler. The System – which forms part of Worcester’s revamp of its oil-fired boiler offering – is available in variants of 12/18, 18/25 and 25/32 kW, in order to meet a wide range of property requirements.

LG has launched a new generation Multi V IV VRF heat pump system that delivers energy-efficiency and reduced running costs. It is equipped with four of LG’s proprietary technologies – compressor, heat exchanger, oil and refrigerant – and a new feature, smart control, which allows the user to monitor and adjust settings remotely.

Fulton is introducing a new highly efficient modular hot water boiler. The FHE-250 low temperature hot water boiler will initially be available in a 250 kW model and features a fully condensing stainless steel heat exchanger. A modular approach to its design also means additional boilers can be combined to suit the application.

40 11 DECEMBER 2013


Universities, hangars, shops, offices, hotels New burners at Leeds Metropolitan University The Headingley campus of Leeds Metropolitan University has been fitted with 23 gas-fired modulating burners to provide energy-efficient space heating. Riello has supplied gas-fired modulating burners for use with Ideal Commercial boilers including 22 Harrier models and one Concord. They were specified and installed by Leeds-based ICH Services in 11 plant rooms across the campus. The Riello burners were matched to the different boilers and included RS34 and RS44 two-stage progressive burners as well as GS20 models. The new heating equipment will play a key role in helping the university reduce running costs and carbon emissions, releasing funds that can be used to enhance educational facilities.

RAF hangar benefits from green heating

Bognor Regis furniture store fits air curtains

Government buildings undergo energy retrofit

Bournemouth hotel gets a heating upgrade

A £15m state-of-the-art hangar at RAF Brize Norton has been fitted with sustainable and cost-saving features including energy-efficient Nor-Ray-Vac continuous radiant tube heating from AmbiRad. The layout comprises 28 burners arranged in eight zones with four vacuum fan discharge points, and provides rapid response to changed conditions.

As part of a major refurbishment at its retail store in Bognor Regis, Reynolds Furniture selected JS Air Curtains’ Finesse and Optima air curtains to maintain the internal atmosphere, while complementing its modern interior design. The air curtains maintain the cool conditioned air during the summer and keep the cold air out during the winter.

A programme of energy retrofits at two large government buildings has included the installation of solar thermal hot water systems supplied by Stokvis Energy Systems. Premises for The Office for National Statistics in Titchfield and Newport have benefited from the addition of the firm’s Solar Preheat systems to improve their sustainability profile.

Menzies Bournemouth Carlton Hotel has been fitted with Hamworthy Heating’s Purewell VariHeat boilers to enable a seamless heating upgrade. Cedar Green Commercial Heating and Building Solutions installed seven Purewell VariHeat 180 kW condensing boilers in place of the existing 16 Purewell Classic 70 kW atmospheric boilers.

11 DECEMBER 2013 41

Showcase MHS Boilers

Staff and visitors at the new Portway Lifestyle Centre in the West Midlands will benefit from a low-carbon heating and hot water system from MHS Boilers, which is set to contribute to a BREEAM Very Good rating. The purpose-built building has been installed with four R607 floor-standing gas boilers and 32 sq m of AURON DF evacuated tube solar collectors, supplying


St Aidan’s Church in Leicester fell victim to the theft of external copper piping, leaving it without a gas supply to its church heaters. Vulcana was contacted to carry out the replacement work. New piping was run from the existing gas meter in an external trench and terminating at the heater position. Piping was installed internally from the gas supply to three heater


Two Euroheat Energy Cabins have been installed at a Buddhist retreat in Ledbury, Herefordshire, helping the centre to enjoy a greener, more cost effective future with returns under the RHI of over £1m. The site’s heating and hot water is now provided by two Euroheat Energy Cabins – biomass heating in a pre-fabricated box. This was deemed the most suitable solution


The compressor is at the heart of any RAC system and customers are increasingly demanding products that not only deliver high energy-efficiency, but also facilitate close control of the system and exploit the benefits of non traditional refrigerants, including CO2, propane and ammonia. BITZER’s exhibits at the 2014 ACR event show how this global leader continues to


Renowned for its pioneering advances in boiler technology, Ravenheat continues to raise the bar with the launch of the White Heat boiler brand that provides installers with the next generation of boilers. The new brand not only offers a range of premium boilers that delivers quality and performance at a competitive price, it also includes a unique and comprehensive Total

42 11 DECEMBER 2013

heating and hot water to the entire complex including a hydrotherapy pool, sports hall, gym and multi-purpose activity room. To complete the Lifestyle Centre’s system, MHS Boilers (part of ELCO Heating Solutions) has also supplied two 400 kW plate heat exchangers, two 1,875-litre thermal stores and two 965L INOX-MAXI buffer vessels.

positions. Finally, all nine church heaters were to be connected to the gas supply. This was devised by Vulcana as the most cost-effective and efficient option, which would prevent thieves at the same time. To finalise the project, Vulcana commissioned a number of items, including heaters, copper piping and three plinths.

for end-users and installers as the cabins arrived on site, ready to plumb-in, wire-up and go, saving a considerable amount of time and cost. Each Energy Cabin is home to a HDG Compact 200, 194 kW pellet boiler, which qualify for just under £22,000 over a 20-year period, equating to nearly £440,000 per boiler over the RHI’s lifetime.

develop products that meet these demands and shape the thinking of specifiers, end-users and contractors. The new CSVH Screw Compressor range features intelligent application control software, offering one of the most energy- efficient compressor solutions now available for liquid chiller, heat pump and AC applications.

System Care package that gives protection for the entire heating system. A five-year guarantee also comes as standard. The range features compact, highperformance, high-efficiency condensing combination and system boilers, available in both natural gas or LPG with combi model outputs of 29 kW to 36 kW.

For more product showcases exhibiting the latest and greatest from the sector, visit


UK manufacturer Keston has designed and supplied a boiler rig solution for QPR Football Stadium in London, to meet challenging installation requirements. Just a few weeks before the first home game of the season, officials presented QPR with strict regulations that demanded the replacement of the entire hot water system. In addition, the boiler room had to be split

in half to create two interview rooms. Keston was called in, as a dedicated bespoke service was required, with boiler capabilities that could accommodate the long flue runs needed. Keston worked quickly to supply technical specification drawings, ensuring the boiler rig could be delivered and installed as soon as possible.

AET Flexible Space

AET Flexible Space has completed several projects with its new Direct Expansion (DX) underfloor cooling range from its marketleading Flexible Space Under Floor Air Conditioning (UFAC) System – an effective solution to common refurb challenges. Projects using this range include some of London’s historic buildings, including Film House at 142 Wardour St [right], the

Tripadvisor HQ at 7 Soho Square and the Booking Hall at King’s Cross Station. The CAM R410A and R407C DX Coil options can be matched with all the major manufacturer’s two-pipe and three-pipe heat pump and heat recovery systems to supply an area or zone of up to 300 sq m with conditioned air.

Kingspan Tarec

Kingspan Tarec has announced that its next-generation Kooltherm Pipe Insulation has become the only pipework insulation to hold LABC Registered Detail status. To obtain the status, Kingspan Tarec submitted technical details and third-party accreditation for Kooltherm Pipe Insulation. The application was rigorously assessed, considering all aspects of the physical and

thermal properties, to confirm the product complies with the Building Regulations in its end-use application. The registration means all local authorities in England and Wales do not have to repeat this assessment, streamlining the Building Control process and bringing time and cost savings to design, construction and assessment.

BSS Industrial

As part of its Capital Service campaign to support the growing needs of Greater London’s industrial sector, a number of BSS-branded taxis are now on the road to raise awareness among contractors under pressure to deliver on large-scale projects. BSS Industrial’s Capital Service implements a five-point Five Star Service plan which sees Greater London branches


To investigate the benefits of fitting basic, standard controls to UK heating systems, members of BEAMA Heating Controls Group TACMA, including Danfoss, supplied a range of controls to a research project conducted by Salford University into home energy consumption. Independent tests showed energy use in a typical house can be cut by up to 40 per

open for longer; faster delivery times either to branch or direct to site; and improved access to its expert sales teams. The campaign is also being supported by dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages, with further information available on (search BSS London) and on Twitter @BSSLondon.

cent by installing a room thermostat and a set of TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves), which is far more than previously assumed, and payback is typically 9 to 18 months. Danfoss is a leading manufacturer of world-class heating controls, from programmers and thermostats to TRVs and motorised control valves.

11 DECEMBER 2013 43


RING ALEXANDER JAM For more product showcases AIR CONDITIONING exhibiting the latest and & HEATING greatest from the sector, visit

Waterloo Air Products

With glimpses of a recovery in the HVAC market and business confidence increasing, Waterloo is taking a long-term view on future growth and increased demand for quality-build energy-efficient products by expanding its marketing operations. As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of chilled beams, air louvres, grilles and diffusers, Waterloo Air Products has appointed

Rachel Roots as the company’s new business development manager. Her appointment is part of the firm’s strategy to maximise resources and fulfill customer demands for energy-efficient solutions. Ms Roots boasts a 15-year track record in the freight forwarding industry, bringing a wealth of experience to the role.

Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric’s fourth generation of Ecodan air-source heat pumps has been recognised as Best Home Energy Solution at the National Home Improvement Council Awards. The judges praised the system for providing “a sustainable way of reducing the burden of energy costs for those struggling in tough economic conditions.” Ecodan units have now been installed in

thousands of homes right across the UK and the system remains the only air-source heat pump to receive the prestigious Quiet Mark of the Noise Abatement Society. The system is available as a monobloc or split system, in sizes from 4 kW to 14 kW to provide complete flexibility in terms of both installation and operation.

Charlton & Jenrick

Paragon’s new super-versatile P series gas fire portfolio, by Charlton & Jenrick, is set to stimulate the replacement gas fire market by offering something different to the standard 16-inch inset. The new P4 is a modern 500 mm-wide fire that can be installed in the home in three different ways for optimum flexibility and choice. The large 22-inch glass-fronted P4 fits


Ferroli has added yet another great benefit to the incomparable Modena HE range of high-efficiency condensing boilers with the option of a seven-year parts and labour warranty. The Modena, which is the smallest and lightest complete combi boiler on the market, can now be purchased from January 1 2014 with the choice of a seven, five or two-year warranty.

most back panels and surrounds, making it ideal for fireplace suite packages; it offers a substantial upgrade from a standard 16/18-inch glass-fronted fire for very little cost difference. The P4, when used in a suite, is free of an external trim frame and so can enhance and complement a range of traditional or modern fireplace designs.

Increasing numbers of installers have been switching their allegiance to the Modena from their previous preferred model when they discover they can buy a boiler with a five-year warranty at such a good price. The new option of a seven-year warranty is further proof of the boiler’s reliability and superb build quality.

Hotchkiss Air Supply

As a further stage in the development of Hotchkiss Air Supply (HAS), Phil Johnson has been appointed managing director and joined the business in November. Mr Johnson brings a wealth of experience from the ventilation and air distribution equipment market after holding important positions with Senior Hargreaves and Waterloo Air. Hotchkiss Group

44 11 dECEMBER 2013


Insignia Consultin Limited 104 The Street Little Waltham Essex CM3 3NT

• All types of building services drawings produced from schema to coordinated working drawings • Fast turn around • Surveys undertaken • Design services available • Good quality at reasonable prices • Outstanding service since 1994

T. 01245 360121


chairman Michael Ohly said: “We are delighted to welcome Phil to Hotchkiss Air Supply who will lead the business through the next period of growth.” Phil Johnson will be joining an experienced management team. He said: “I look forward to working with George and his team who have a great reputation.” T: 0161 946 0088


products & services

MES ON 020 7728 4615 OR MARY CONSTANTINOU 020 7728 4606 ring Sean redmond 0203 0334 255








For all your requirements in air flow measurement instrument hire and sales.



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BESPOKE COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR ALL YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS • Contractual Advice • Quantity Surveying • Commercial Management • Dispute Avoidance & Resolution • Adjudication HVAC Mechanical Electrical & Pipe Contractors Specialist Tel: 01335 360716 Mob: 07925 532 632


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t: 0115 8714 777 e: Job details at 1220: Design Engineer Ventilation Manufacturer Salary £40k North Somerset

1128: Design Engineering Mgr HVAC Contractor £75k tax free + exc bens Nigeria

1090: Estimator AHU Manufacturer Salary to £35 North East

1238: Design Engineer Ventilation Basic to £32K West Midlands

1156: Project Manager Air Handling Equipment Salary to £45k North East

1133: Trainer Heating Basic to £38K South East

1088: Product Manager Grilles & Diffusers Basic to £45k plus comm South East, Home Counties

1217: Sales Engineer Commercial Heating Basic to £40K, Good Bonus North and Midlands

1239: Estimator Kitchen ventilation Salary to £35k South East

1094: Sales Engineer Commercial HVAC Basic to £44K, Bonus £12K Home Counties, London

1127: Mechanical Ops Manager HVAC Contractor £75k tax free + exc bens. Nigeria

945: Sales Engineer Heating Basic to £42K Bonus c£10K Home Counties & North London

Sales, Marketing, Technical and Management jobs in HVAC. Expert career management for above average performers.


Call us now on 01474 338705/338725 Or email us on COUNTRY SERVICE MANAGER


Middle East Excellent Tax free salary & package This specialist chiller service company requires an experienced service manager to be responsible for running a regional service operation. You will have good chiller knowledge, be a good man-manager and have excellent commercial and business development skills. Ref:R3081

London/SE c£28k+vehicle A supplier of medical devices requires an experienced refrigeration engineer to cover the London and South East region. The ideal applicant will have experience of the service and maintenance of blood banks and ultra-low temperature freezers but training can be given. Ref:R3075



Surrey/Sussex Competitive salary & benefits. Our client, a small, well established air conditioning contractor has an immediate requirement for a self-motivated, senior engineer to work on the installation and service of VRV/VRF and splits and occasional chillers. NVQ Level 2/3 and F Gas cert. Ref:R3080

M42 Corridor c£30k+o/t+travel+Van This air conditioning service contractor has a vacancy for an experienced engineer to join its service team. Suitable applicants will need to be able to work independently on the service & maintenance of a range equipment including chillers. Ref:R3053



S.E. London & Kent Neg. salary & benefits Busy refrigeration and air conditioning contractor are currently looking for additional engineers to work on commercial refrigeration and air conditioning service and maintenance contracts. 5 years relevant experience and F-Gas certificate required. Ref:T3055

Various areas c£28k+car+o/t This specialist industrial refrigeration contractor has current requirements for additional service engineers with previous industrial refrigeration experience to work on a wide range of industrial plant, including ammonia. Applicants should have suitable qualifications and experience. Ref: R2982

For further details contact TERRY WHITE or ROGER PRICE at ASHBURY ASSOCIATES LTD, The Old Rectory, Springhead Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8HN t 01474 338705/338725 f 01474 338749

11 december 2013 47

And finally... I give myself an This month in 2004 In the saddle The government announced a hour’s talking to further £140m investment boost for Humidity Solutions director John Barker has completed a 980-mile Warm Front initiative as part of before I set off the cycle ride from Land’s End to a new action plan to eradicate fuel John O’Groats in aid of Cancer poverty by 2010. for the day, to Research UK. Insurers involved in a test case Mr Barker completed the to reduce compensation payouts to ensure I’m in a people suffering from asbestoschallenge in nine days and from suppliers Neptronic, positive frame related diseases returned to court. donations Devatec, Fisair and Airtec, as well Construction unions UCATT as colleagues and friends, enabled of mind” and TUC pledged their support Paul Hardy, managing director of Baxi Residential and Commercial Boilers, on Forrest Gump, Father Christmas and curry What would your dream job be? My current job is my dream job! I started out as an apprentice and worked my way up over 33 years to be MD of one of the best-known heating brands. I love golf, but if I was a professional golfer, it would be my job, not my hobby, and I don’t know if I’d enjoy it so much. What’s your favourite quote? ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get’ – Forrest Gump. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Leeds United winning the Champions League. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I’d love to be able to cook a curry that tastes as good as one from an Indian restaurant or takeaway. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Give it away.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Father Christmas. I love Christmas and I keep missing him, although I usually find the remnants of food that has been left out for him. What’s the best gift you have ever received? The Rolex watch I wear, given to me by my wife for my 50th birthday. She saved up to buy it for me, and I remember that every time I look at it. What motivates you each morning? I give myself an hour’s talking to before I set off for the day, to ensure I am in a positive frame of mind. That, and four black coffees! What should the building services industry be doing to help itself? We need to stop working in silos and work more collaboratively to ensure buildings are delivered to the end-user as they were intended to be at conception. What’s the best work-related thing that you did recently? Working with colleagues from the UK in a team alongside our Dutch counterparts on a very important project. It’s inspiring to work collaboratively in a multi-national team where every individual has so much to offer.

for a private member’s bill that would hold individual company directors accountable for workplace casualties. The construction sector and its related businesses were on the Office of Fair Trading’s hit list for 2005 because of concerns about price-fixing and cartels, the competition watchdog warned. The OFT claimed it had evidence to suggest that anti-competitive behaviour was harming the industry. Bus users were set to enjoy heated bus shelters this Christmas courtesy of a novel British Gas campaign. They were being used to demonstrate that the company was helping its customers stay warm in winter.

him to raise more than £3,000.

Footie fundraiser Cool Designs and Toshiba Air Conditioning, sponsors of the recent star-studded football match at St James’ Park against Milan Glorie to say farewell to Newcastle United’s Steve Harper, helped to raise £327,000 for North-east charities. The money will be distributed to the Newcastle United Foundation, Great North Children’s Hospital and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and through them the Alan Shearer Foundation, the Toma Fund and the Clarke Lister Brain Haemorrhage Foundation.

Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year From everyone at

Fläkt Woods Limited

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2013 04/12/2013 16:52

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