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13 NOVEMBER 2013

London poised for office sector boom Chloe Stothart

Next year will see the largest amount of office space constructed in central London for a decade, a new report has said. According to Deloitte Real Estate’s Winter 2013 London Office Crane Survey, 6.6m sq ft of office space will complete next year in the capital’s main markets – 2m sq ft of which has already been let. The report said there had been marked increases in occupiers preletting offices under construction. Nearly three-quarters of new central London office space was unlet when completed a year ago, while only a third of space built in the past six months is available to let. The study predicts that demand for space will push up rents and therefore entice developers to begin new office schemes in the next six to 12 months. The volume of London office space under construction fell 1 per cent compared with summer 2013 to 9.7m sq ft. However, the amount of space completed was the highest for three years at 2.6m sq ft and 28 new schemes had started in the six-month period since the previous survey.



Sales of oil boilers have increased by more than 14 per cent in the past 12 months according to OFTEC but thefts of oil from storage vessels have also increased on the back of fuel price rises. Page 3


The management team of Mears’ M&E division Haydon has bought the company for just £1, with a deferred sum of up to £7m owed if the company of acquisition vehicle Curzon or Haydon and their assets are sold. Page 4

Office construction in the City rose for a third consecutive year to its highest point for over five years. But the capital’s second-largest office market, the West End, experienced a 36 per cent drop. In the City, construction was up 15 per cent in the past six months, with nine new starts totalling 1.3m sq ft. Development exceeded 5m sq ft for the first time since 2009, the report said. It predicted there would be more refurbishment projects in 2015 and new-builds in 2016-17 to meet rising demand. The report said the slowdown in the West End reflected a lack of sites rather than depressed demand, as two-thirds of the space built in the past six months was rented pre-completion. It said there was also growing

demand for high-end space for hedge funds and private equity firms around Mayfair. Midtown, the area near Holborn, experienced a 47 per cent rise in development in the past six months driven by a low level of building in 2012, tenant demand and the anticipation of Crossrail. King’s Cross, Docklands and Paddington saw no new starts over the six months. Deloitte Real Estate head of research Anthony Duggan said: “This latest report reflects the improving confidence being seen from both office occupiers and from developers.” THE LATEST BUSINESS NEWS at our dedicated online section

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A timely reminder has been issued to ensure that EU member states publish effective first version retrofit strategies by next April as part of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Page 6

80% The UK’s 2050 carbon emission reduction target Special report, page 25

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 director James MacLeod 0203 033 2939 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)

GOOD NEWS BUT LIFE IS STILL TOUGH While there is positive news about the trading results of the wider construction industry, we are continuing to hear a wide variety of differing experiences from readers. This is to be expected, given the fact that performance levels in some sectors continue to remain at disappointing levels, combined with considerable variance between UK regions. With some commercial contracts also taking years to come to fruition, a number of building services providers are having to keep their businesses somehow ticking over while waiting for work levels to increase. The major concern here, of course, is that unexpected issues can have a serious impact on the business. This is also a relevant factor in the frequently expressed

I have yet to hear anyone express more than cautious optimism for trading levels in the next few months”


Editor’s choice Lessons in humidity

Efficiency gains

M&E focus

Our special feature on humidification includes wide-ranging advice from industry experts explaining the various benefits, especially when systems are given consideration at an early stage in the building design process, saving costly interventions in the future.

The rising cost of energy and materials is driving a growing number of businesses and building owners to make savings where possible, providing building services engineers with opportunities to deliver these and gain more business.

In an exclusive interview, SRW Engineering Services managing director Martin Neeson tells H&V News that Skanska is determined to continue to operate within the mechanical and electrical sector, despite others withdrawing from the market due to spending cuts and declining profit levels.

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opinion that company failures increase when markets recover after a downturn. Perhaps the most encouraging news is that confidence is rising in a number of important areas. While this is always a difficult area to quantify due to its intangible nature, the current improving levels nevertheless indicate optimism for the future. Regardless of recent individual experiences, I have yet to hear anyone express more than cautious optimism over trading levels in the next few months. Having witnessed how our readers have shown considerable stoicism over the last few years, however, I look forward to hearing a growing number of reports of successful business ventures in the future.

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Oil boiler sales on the rise as theft warnings increase Dennis Flower

Figures released by the Oil Firing Technical Association reveal that oil boiler sales were more than 26 per cent up in September compared with the same period in 2012. OFTEC added that total sales for the year to date have also increased by 14.6 per cent on the 2012 figures. The association has used the positive results to call for the government’s Green Deal to be reformed to encourage further take-up of high-efficiency boilers. Referring to the “relatively few” number of boiler replacements taking place due to the scheme’s cashback option, the majority of which have been


Rise in oil boiler sales in September compared with the same month last year gas to date, OFTEC suggested that a simpler boiler scrappage scheme, such as Northern Ireland’s current initiative, would be more effective. The well-received UK boiler scrappage scheme, introduced in early 2010, continues to be referred to by many in the industry as a highly successful example

reader input required for major industry survey The H&V News Building Services Profitability Survey is calling on readers to offer their views on current markets conditions and thoughts on future opportunities. The survey consists of multiple choice questions and has been designed to be completed in less than five minutes, with comment boxes available for most questions. Entrants also have the option of entering a draw to win an iPad Mini. The responses received to date have ranged from describing the current market as “on the up overall” and “steady”, to “tough” and “overly reliant on main contractors”. The survey can be found at

of how initiatives can succeed if they are easy to engage with. OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley said: “Clearly there is a latent demand and many consumers are choosing to upgrade to a new condensing boiler, which can greatly reduce carbon emissions and save up to 20 per cent on fuel bills.” He partly attributed the lack of uptake to the need for homeowners to pay for their initial home assessment. “The cost-saving incentive just isn’t there – even with the cashback element,” he said. The association has also warned of the need to protect oilfired systems from theft, following rising crime figures that have been attributed to higher fuel prices and harsh winters.

Interserve wins gold at Quality awards

The survey can be accessed at F2vL79C

He Simm has completed full mechanical, electrical, heating and plumbing works for the 80,000 sq ft victoria road, north London for Downing Construction, and secured a further £9.9m of contracts with the same client.

Safer working hailed

The Health and Safety executive has reported that UK workplace deaths have halved in the past 20 years, with 148 recorded in 2012/13, but work-related diseases continue to kill 13,000 per annum, 40 per cent of which relate to the construction industry.

energy secretary ed Davey has restated the government’s support for renewable energy in a speech at the renewable UK conference, stating that capacity has increased by almost 40 per cent since 2012.

Business costs on the rise

building information modelling and offsite assembly are predicted to increase in 2014, according to respondents

Different approaches and partnership bidding on projects will develop further in the future

Accommodating performance

Davey reaffirms support

Facts Signs of recovery are evident, but prices are still too low and need to be raised


The British Quality Foundation has awarded its 2013 Gold Medal for Excellence to Interserve for its outstanding and continued commitment over several years. The event took place in London last month, hosted by the BBC’s Louise Minchin, with CBI director-general John Cridland CBE attending as the guest of honour.

The recent Forum of Private business Cost of Doing business survey has revealed that 94 per cent of respondents have seen an increase in business costs, following rises in energy, transport, marketing and raw material prices.

Skills issue in trade rises

Increasing order levels have been highlighted by the nSCC State of Trade survey for the second successive quarter, with order figures at their highest since 2007. However, 13 per cent of respondents to the survey said they were unable to bid for work due to skills shortages.

13 november 2013 3


Keep up with all the latest business news in one place with our dedicated section

Briefs BSRIA CEO announced

Mears sells M&E division to management in £1 deal Tom Fitzpatrick

Julia Evans will become chief executive officer of BSRIA next May, when Andrew Eastwell retires from the role. Ms Evans is currently the CEO of the National Federation of Builders, representing the industry at both government level and industry forums.

Senior appointments made

Senior estimator Paul Stanley and senior contracts engineer Tim Brockes have joined J S Wright. Both will be based at the company’s head office in Aston, with Mr Brockes predominantly working on sites in London.

Mears has sold its specialist M&E arm Haydon to its management team for just £1. Acquisition vehicle Curzon 3003 has been set up to buy the firm, with a deferred sum of up to £7m owed if Curzon or Haydon and their assets are sold. Mears is also converting an existing intercompany loan into a £2m interest bearing secured loan to be repaid after five years. A £7m unsecured loan is to be repaid out of sums received on certain existing contracts and a share of future profits generated. For the year to 31 December 2012, Haydon had revenue of £62.3m and made a pre-tax loss of £1.8m. For the six months to

The transaction will allow the group to focus solely on growing its core operating divisions” 30 June 2013, it had unaudited revenue of £18.7m and made a pre-tax loss of £1.4m. Gross assets as at 30 June 2013 were £29.8m. The company was acquired by Mears in 1999 and in 2012 it represented 9 per cent of the group’s turnover. It had been running at a loss due to what Mears described as

Contractual development

A survey of 1,300 homeowners commissioned by Adey Professional Heating Solutions has shown that just 55 per cent have an annual boiler service and 25 per cent living in their homes for over 15 years have never completed one. This showed considerable opportunity for more business for heating engineers, the company stated.

West Midlands role filled

Will Jones has joined Remeha Commercial in the position of area sales manager for the West Midlands. He replaces James Porter, who will now focus on national business development and account management.

Darren Ling is the new sales director of Ventilation Surveys & Services. His appointment signals the company’s intention to capitalise on its recent acquisition of Hygienic Maintenance and to continue its growth in the future.

4 13 NOVEMBER 2013

THE LATEST BUSINESS NEWS at our dedicated online section

Survey shows savings potential

Mark Harris has been appointed to the role of contracts director for BSW Building Services. Mr Harris has 30 years’ experience within the housing sector and will play a leading role in maintaining and developing BSW’s portfolio of clients.

Sales director appointed

“limited new-build opportunities and increasing competition”. Mears chief executive David Mile recognised the role played by Haydon, thanking the management team and wishing them future success, but said its activities had become “non-core”. “The transaction is good for Mears and will now allow the group to focus solely on growing its core operating divisions.” Mears estimates the deal will generate cash of £5m within a year of completion with payments from Curzon and tax benefits. The deal will go before shareholders later this month.

Suppliers given recognition at national event The annual national conference and roadshow for Pipe Center and Climate Center has been held at Hinckley. Worcester Bosch was recognised as Pipe Center’s Supplier of the Year 2013 for sales growth and support, with Advanced Engineering winning the same award for Climate Center for its impressive performance. The event was attended by more than 50 suppliers, including A-Gas, Daikin UK, Danfoss, Ideal and Wilo.

Gas Safety success The third annual Gas Safety Week, organised by Gas Safe Register and held in September, saw more than 2,700 industry supporters pledging support, contacting around 10,000 people with the ‘get it checked’ message and launching the online gas map tool.


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increase their market share, thereby maintaining their position as the market leader for Variable Speed Drives in Building Services. Our customers can be assured that they will continue to receive the same high quality service, as this new collaboration ensures that Danfoss continue to be in a strong position to serve customers in the South of England. Your new contact details are: Trevor Edwards, Greenville Electrical 16 Cedarhurst Road, Newtownbreda Factory Estate, Newtownbreda, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT8 7RH, Mobile: 07808 039787 Office: 08701 780056 Email:

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Join the conversation: register for free on hvnplus and post your views on the latest news

Briefs Passivhaus venture progress

Call for European countries to develop retrofit strategies Dennis Flower

Mark Group has extended its collaboration with housing specialist Lovell to deliver four highly insulated Passivhaus homes in Norfolk that meet U-value and airtightness requirements, achieving air test results of <0.6.

60th member for UKDEA

The UK District Energy Association has announced the joining of its 60th member, Viridor Waste Management, representing a tenfold increase since its launch three years ago and providing further evidence of the growth of district heating.

MCS accreditation achieved

The UK Accreditation Services has accredited the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors as a certifying body for a range of measures under the government’s microgeneration certification scheme.

EU member states have been urged to develop strategies to retrofit buildings by the World Green Building Council and the Renovate Europe Campaign, in the build-up to next April’s deadline within the Energy Efficiency Directive. Article 4 of the directive calls for the first version of strategies to renovate residential and commercial buildings to be published by member states by 30 April 2014. The strategies are expected to provide a major contribution to meeting long-term energy and climate goals as well as potential benefits such as the reduced energy bills and CO2 emissions and the creation of up to 2m jobs. The move to improve existing commercial and domestic buildings has particular relevance for the UK, which has one of Europe’s oldest housing stocks and given concerns over the Green Deal. GSH associate director of energy services Aneysha Minocha

It seems as though businesses are focusing too heavily on the short term”

expressed support for the directive to “kick-start” long-term thinking for commercial and residential properties. “However, a key point underlying the business case for energyefficiency is payback periods and, more importantly, the part energy plays in the operating cost of a business,” she said. “From a commercial perspective, this needs to stack up on its own and property owners need to be able to see the commercial case for investment.” Incentive deputy managing director Bill Pollard also expressed support: “Without action, the Ofgem forecast suggests that electricity supplies could be squeezed in 2015. Usage has to be moderated, as we don’t want blackouts.” Referring to low uptake of the Green Deal, he said: “It seems as though businesses are focusing too heavily on the short term, while energy-efficiencies are typically longer-term paybacks.” WHAT DO YOU THINK? Post your comments online

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Industry figures urge MPs to adapt heating incentives Ewen Rose

Industry witnesses have told the all-party Energy and Climate Change Committee that heating policies are failing. The committee, which oversees policy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, heard that the number and complexity of accreditation schemes is undermining initiatives to improve heating efficiency in buildings. “The Green Deal is seen as just another accreditation scheme by contractors and installers so they are not participating and are not promoting it to householders,” said B&ES head of sustainability David Frise (pictured). “To put a solar thermal array on the roof you have to be a member of three accreditation schemes. It is much easier just to be a member of Gas Safe.” Mr Frise said the DECC should underwrite the Green Deal to make it more attractive. The committee was also urged to consider lower rates of council tax and stamp duty for energy-

The Green Deal is seen as just another accreditation scheme by contractors and installers”

efficient homes and advised that planning rules for onsite power generation were leading to “inappropriate technology choices”. “There is a ‘tick-box mentality’ to achieve planning consent that doesn’t consider the actual outcome,” Mr Frise said. Committee member Peter Lilley MP complained that the government was being told to invest “billions” in technologies that delivered no immediate benefit. Engineering the Future’s Peter Bonfield said cavity and loft insulation was a relatively low-cost measure, although there was an issue with some Victorian homes. Consumer Futures policy manager Liz Laine said better control of heating systems should be the top priority. “Seventy per cent of homes don’t have proper heating controls. Solving that problem would save more carbon than fitting insulation,” she said. ALL THE GREEN DEAL NEWS at our dedicated online section

Briefs Life in the fast lane

Five installers have been treated to a Silverstone Challenge Day, driving fast cars including Aston Martins, Ferraris and Audi TTs, after being selected from those installing the Worcester, Bosch new Greenstore range of hot water storage cylinders.

Vince Cable visits Dimplex

Business secretary Vince Cable has toured the Dimplex headquarters in Southampton, praising the company for its growth, product innovation and staff development.

Distech appoints new partner Distech Controls has appointed integration specialist One Sightsolutions, based in Yateley, Hampshire, as its UK distribution partner as part of its ongoing expansion throughout the European region.

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News round-up Energy, engineers, heating controls, recovery, recruitment Cash for Cornish energy

Offshore renewable energy has been given a boost with hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment, according to news website This is Cornwall. FaB Test, a renewable energy device testing facility located in Falmouth Bay, has received £777,000 from the government’s Regional Growth Fund. Secured by Lars Johanning and Dave Parish, of the University of Exeter’s renewable energy team at the Penryn campus, the money has already resulted in the creation of two research posts at the university as well as the appointment of Alex Whatley as FaB Test operations manager. Call for more engineers

A report has concluded that substantially increasing the number of engineers would help to boost the UK economy. Professor John Perkins, the chief scientific adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, reviewed the provision of engineering skills in the UK. His findings endorse the view that increasing the supply of engineers entering the labour market would benefit the economy. The review includes 22 recommendations for government, industry, the engineering profession and the education sector. Heating controls cut bills

Heating controls can cut household heating bills by up to 40 per cent, according to research from BEAMA. The trade body recently hosted an event in Parliament to present findings from the study. Colin Timmins from BEAMA said: “We currently estimate that there are around 11 million homes without suitable heating controls. This new research shows clearly how controls provide a cost-effective solution to those people struggling to stay warm, without incurring excessive fuel bills.” Alongside the event, BEAMA 10 13 November 2013

Hyde seeks out Keepmoat for housing contracts worth £82m Housing and regeneration specialist Keepmoat has continued its expansion into the south by winning two refurbishment and maintenance contracts with housing association The Hyde Group. Hyde, which manages more than 49,000 homes in England, has awarded Keepmoat two contracts worth £82m combined. The wins come a year after Doncaster-headquartered Keepmoat merged with Essexbased Apollo to create a £1bn housing provider with a reach across the whole of Britain. Hyde has awarded

published a white paper outlining how government policy could be tweaked to support the greater uptake of controls in UK housing. Green paper announced

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint has announced plans to release a green paper in 2014 with proposals on energy efficiency. The proposals include a temporary 20-month energy price freeze and putting all over-75s on the cheapest tariff, as well as structural reforms to the way the energy market works. At the end of the 20 months, Labour hopes to have a new regulator in place with the power to force companies to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall.

Keepmoat a three-and-a-half year contract to deliver internal refurbishment works across London and the East Midlands in a deal expected to be worth around £31m.


Construction activity in October according to the Purchasing Managers Index, the strongest rise posted since September 2007

Hyde also chose Keepmoat for a £51m, 10-year contract to look after responsive maintenance and out of hours emergency repairs for 12,500 homes in the South-east. Keepmoat’s property services division has grown over recent years by establishing regional teams across the UK. The division’s managing director Mike Edwards (pictured) said: “This is a huge endorsement of the high-quality work and reliable service we deliver. “Through this new contract, we have created employment opportunities and so far recruited 28 people from local communities,” he added. Recovery gathers pace

Construction activity entered the fourth quarter of the year with the strongest rise in activity posted since September 2007. The latest Purchasing Managers Index from Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply hit 59.4 in October 2013, up from the August peak of 59.1. Under the measure, a reading of 50-plus signifies growth, while a figure below 50 represents a fall. Housing was the leading sector within the index, though its pace of growth has slowed from the high posted in September. But commercial and civil engineering also posted strong rises, with commercial growing at the fastest rate since April 2012.

Charity ball success

Recruitment drive at Swale

The Carl Burrows Trust’s second annual fundraising ball has raised £24,000 to support industryrelated initiatives. The event was attended by 260 people and featured an auction, a silent auction and a raffle, with prizes including two tickets to the H&V News Awards in April, reflecting the trust’s position as charity partner for the 2014 event.

Swale Heating has launched a recruitment drive for experienced engineers, electricians and installers to meet rising workloads. Swale Heating sales director Matthew Edwards said gas service and maintenance engineers, heating installers and electricians were needed throughout Kent, London, East Anglia and the South-east.

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Your views

Q3 figures show recovery in the industrial sector, plus fresh price rises in materials opportunities, pages 14-17

Letters Soaring utility prices are holding industry to ransom Dear Sir, The answer to your question is that compliance, in my opinion, is not the next big issue (H&V News 16 Oct, p2). We are being held to ransom by the utilities who keep putting up the price of energy to ensure that their pockets are well and truly lined. Why do we persist in pursuing a policy which only delivers energy at an efficiency of 34 per cent at best? Centralised generation can never improve on the generation and transmission losses, so if we continue to use this method we will continue to see an increase in fuel poverty and wastage of 65 per cent of the potential energy contained in our fuel stocks. We need to persuade the government to adopt localised power generation based on combined heat and power units sited strategically around the UK, which are owned and operated by people through the local government authority structure. This would break the utilities monopoly/stranglehold, give us a more flexible structure and more efficient use of our fuel stocks. For me, as a practising heating engineer, this is the only tenable way forward. Otherwise we will continue to

be impoverished, while the few grow fat on the profits. Tony brunton master plumber

AC energy assessors need more support, not criticism Dear Sir, I was interested to read the article on the issues surrounding air conditioning energy assessment compliance (H&V News 16 Oct). NAACEA, as reported, has called for ACEAs to enjoy the same legal recognition as EPCs. Our call is for the same level of penalty to apply to landlords and property owners – issuing fines of up to 12.5 per cent of the rateable value, capped at £5,000, as a penalty for non-compliance. The current level of penalty for non-compliance with ACEAs of £300 is inadequate and although ACEAs are required on all air conditioning systems with a duty over 12 kW, we believe improved compliance would be achieved if linked to the contractual process involved with a sale or let. While I am not in a position to challenge B&ES head of technical and safety Bob Towse’s view, it would have been more relevant if some actual figures

It is not helpful to undermine the work being carried out by energy assessors when ACEA compliance, not quality, is the issue”

had been quoted. Since the introduction of mandatory lodgement (6 April 2012) the Landmark database has detailed 16,542 inspections in England and Wales (as of 18 October 2013). ACEAs are averaging at around 800 per month, whereas EPCs average at approximately 7,000 per month. BSRIA chief executive Andrew Eastwell’s comments are not constructive. Every energy assessor delivering DECs, EPCs and ACEAs is subjected to audit via their accreditation body and these bodies are in turn audited for compliance with the relevant standards. It is not helpful for senior figures to undermine the work being carried out by energy assessors at a time when ACEA compliance, not quality of work, is the issue. There are more than 9,000 DECs, EPCs and ACEAs being lodged each month and this market sector has real relevance in reducing energy consumption. There may be room for improvement, but there are a lot of hard-working energy assessors that desperately need support from trade bodies, accreditation companies and the DCLG. neil Dady Technical business Solutions

Your view on David Cameron’s intention to review ‘green levies’ H&v news’ LinkedIn group responds to the question: Is the government heading for another FiT-style disaster? To join the group and offer your opinions, visit:

Incredible that, rather than review the current UK energy supply chain to get full transparency about costs and profits, the cannons have been pointed straight at the investment in green solutions” 12 13 november 2013

What we saw from prime minister’s question time last week was the paper tearing from the cracks of an energy policy in disarray and policymaking for the benefit of tabloid headlines”

The argument for maintaining a diverse energy mix has already been well made, so why throw the rattle out the pram just because Ed Miliband drops in a well-timed and pertinent question?”

The Hinkley project has overshadowed the agreement to build two gas-fired plants and another biomass-powered plant in the South. Localised energy generation at a fraction of the cost and no mention of the strike price”

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

Sectors, data, contract leads INDUSTRIAL The industrial sector recovered in the third quarter having contracted in Q1 and Q2. Underlying starts (valued at £250k-£100m) in Q3 totalled £701m across the UK, which represented an increase of 31 per cent when compared with Q3 2012, according to intelligence provider Glenigan. The sector has rebounded from a sharp year-on-year contraction of 37 per cent in Q1 2013, which was followed by a less severe 8 per cent decline in Q2. There was an almost 50-50 split across the regions between those experiencing weak and strong levels of industrial activity in Q3. The East of England, Northern Ireland, the South-west and Wales all recorded poor figures for Q3. The North-east in particular saw a harsh drop in industrial activity of 72 per cent year on year; the quarter-on-quarter contraction was even sharper, with the region going from £90m of starts in Q2 to £18m in Q3. However, the overall UK picture was salvaged by strong performances in both the East Midlands and the North-west. The West Midlands also contributed an impressive absolute value during the three months and was the most lucrative area of the UK for industrial starts in Q3, recording a 148 per cent increase when compared with the same period of 2012. Among the highlights to have started on site in Q3 were a £50m deal for a parcel hub in Hinckley, Leicestershire for client DPD, being delivered by Winvic; a £50m manufacturing technology facility in Birmingham for Aero Engine Controls, who have engaged Bam Construction as main contractor; and a £9m contract for three warehouse units in Liverpool for Maro 14 13 NOVEMBER 2013

Starts on site Q3 2013

Q1 2014


£689m Forecast UK industrial starts Scotland


Q2 2014



£582m North-east

72% £18m

Northern Ireland

71% £3m


Yorks’ & Humber




Developments, being undertaken by Eric Wright Group. The forecast for industrial activity has continued to improve over the past few months as a range of wider economic statistics and surveys have indicated a steady improvement in the economy as well as the construction sector’s prospects. The weakening in the euro is also beginning to encourage some exporters to increase their production and therefore invest in further capacity. Glenigan expects a strong finish to 2013, though the value of starts for the year as a whole is forecast to be slightly down on 2012. Nevertheless, the outlook for 2014 and 2015 is broadly positive.


East Midlands

355% Wales



West Midlands


East of England






116% £94m


25% £45m




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

BIS MATERIALS PRICES – PLASTIC PIPES AND FITTINGS (FLEXIBLE) The average price of flexible plastic pipes and fittings returned to growth in August and September having faltered over the previous four months. The index from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills shows that the index has experienced a relatively unstable 12 months, growing sharply in autumn last year before dipping over the winter then shooting up once more in the early months of 2013. The latest available index figure for September 2013 of 140.6 represented a minor 0.14 per cent increase compared with the previous month but was 2.63 per cent higher than the same point of 2012.

141.0 140.5 140.0 139.5 139.0 138.5 138.0 137.5 137.0 136.5 Sep 12

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The price of rigid pipework and fittings has been even more volatile over the past few months than that of flexible pipes. September’s average price of 136.7 was a whopping 3.8 per cent down on the previous month, following a 2.8 per cent increase in August and a 2.01 per cent rise in July. September’s figure was still 2.09 per cent higher than 12 months before. Nevertheless, these peaks and troughs are a concern given the risks that cost changes bring as the wider construction industry recovers. Distorted by these recent fluctuations, the nine months up to July appear reasonably steady on the graph; however, movement in the index was still relatively pronounced during the period.

BIS MATERIALS PRICES – SANITARYWARE Compared with the example of piping, sanitaryware prices have been far less unsettled over the past year. Having been flat for the majority of 2012, price increases in the new year saw the sanitaryware index accelerate in January and February 2013, before stability returned – interrupted only by a slight increase between July and August. This latest index figure was flat month on month at 120.8, having risen by 0.4 per cent the previous month. September’s mark was 1.85 per cent higher compared with the same month of 2012. Sanitaryware is not expected to record any significant further upheaval until the turn of the year.

121.0 120.5 120.0 119.5 119.0 118.5 Sep 12

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13 NOVEMBER 2013 15

Opportunities Contract leads Midlands/East Anglia plans apprOved

COVENTRY £0.36m n University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill road Planning authority: Coventry Job: Detail Plans Granted for university engineering hall (extension) Client: BMJ Architects Developer: BMJ Architects, 72 - 82 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4RW Tel: 020 7833 9974

IPSWICH £1.2m n Springvale, Hadleigh road Sproughton Planning authority: Babergh Job: Detail Plans Granted for swimming pool building Client: First Strokes Swim Schools Ltd Developer: Wincer Kievenaar Partnership, Market Place, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 5DN Tel: 01473 827992


GRANTHAm £1.75m n Kesteven & Grantham Girls High, Sandon road Planning authority: South Kesteven Job: Detail Plans Granted for school art/ drama building (extension) Client: Kesteven & Grantham Girls School Agent: Gelder, Tillbridge Lane, Sturton by Stow, Lincoln, LN1 2DS Contractor: Gelder, Tillbridge Lane, Sturton by Stow, Lincoln, LN1 2DS Tel: 01427 788837

LEEK £0.32m n The Three Horseshoes Inn, buxton road, blackshaw moor Planning authority: Peak District National Park Job: Detail Plans Granted for hotel spa facilities (extension) Client: TheThree Horseshoes Inn Agent: Sammons Architectural Ltd, 10 Cawdry Buildings, Fountain Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6JP Contractor: TheThree Horseshoes Inn, Buxton Road, Blackshaw Moor, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8TW Tel: 01538 300296

North/North-east plans apprOved

FERRYHILL £8.3m n Thrislington Depot, Thrislington Industrial est, West Cornforth Planning authority: Durham County

16 13 november 2013

Job: Detail Plans Granted for 121 houses & 12 flats Client: Banks Group Developer: Banks Group, Inkerman House, St.Johns Road, Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8XL Tel: 0844 209 1515

HALIFAX £3.3m n Former Square road Church, Square rd burial Grounds Planning authority: Calderdale Job: Detail Plans Granted for library & archive building Client: Calderdale Council Developer: Gillespies, 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G5 9JP Tel: 0141 420 8200


mIDDLESBROUGH £4.8m n Land off brookfield, Low Lane, brookfield Planning authority: Middlesbrough Job: Reserved Matters Granted for 77 residential units Client: Miller Homes (North East) Agent: Miller Homes (North East), Nautilus House, Redburn Court, Earl Grey Way, Royal Quays, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 6AR Contractor: Miller Homes (North East), Nautilus House, Redburn Court, Earl Grey Way, Royal Quays, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 6AR Tel: 0870 336 4100

ROTHERHAm £6.4m n Waverley new Community, Catcliffe Planning authority: Rotherham Job: Reserved Matters Granted for 98 houses Client: Taylor Wimpey (Yorkshire) Agent: Barton Willmore Partnership Northern Ltd, 3rd Floor 14 King Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HL Contractor: Taylor Wimpey (Yorkshire), Sandpiper House, Peel Avenue, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 7UA Tel: 01924 241500

WIDNES £0.91m n riverside College, Kingsway Planning authority: Halton Job: Detail Plans Granted for college workshop migration works (extension) Client: Riverside College Halton Developer: MEG Design, 35 Partington Square, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1LW Tel: Not Available


CREWE £0.29m n Land at Weston Ln, basford Planning authority: Cheshire East Job: Detail Plans Granted for industrial workshop/office/storage (new/refurb) Client: Rolling Solutions trading as D & G Bus Agent: M.J Barrett Constructions (Staffs) Ltd, Brookside Business Park, Brookside Rd, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 8AT Contractor: M.J Barrett Constructions (Staffs) Ltd, Brookside Business Park, Brookside Rd, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 8AT Tel: 01889 564295

LANCASTER £2.2m n moor Platt, Lancaster road Caton Planning authority: Lancaster Job: Detail Plans Granted for 33 houses Client: Persimmon Homes Lancashire Agent: Persimmon Homes Lancashire, Lancaster Business Park, Caton Road, Lancaster, LA1 3RQ Contractor: Persimmon Homes Lancashire, Lancaster Business Park, Caton Road, Lancaster, LA1 3RQ Tel: 01524 542000

Scotland plans apprOved

KELSO £0.31m n north-east and west of Jedburgh Larkhall Farmhouse


ISLE OF SKYE £2.5m n Sabhal mor ostaig, Kilbey Planning authority: Highland Job: Detail Plans Granted for college (extension) Client: Sabhal Mor Ostaig Agent: Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Sleat, Teangue, Isle Of Skye, IV44 8RQ Contractor: Robertson Northern, 10 Perimeter Road, Pinefield, Elgin, Highlands, IV30 6AE Tel: 01343 548621

KEITH £1.2m n Site r4, Alexandra road Planning authority: Moray Job: Detail Plans Granted for 17 residential units Client: Springfield Properties Ltd Agent: Springfield Properties Ltd, Alexander Fleming House, 8 Southfield Drive, Elgin, Highlands, IV30 6GR Contractor: Springfield Properties Ltd, Alexander Fleming House, 8 Southfield Drive, Elgin, Highlands, IV30 6GR Tel: 01343 552550

PAISLEY £1.7m n Gauze Street/Lawn Street Planning authority: Renfrewshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 31 flats Client: Park Lane Investments Agent: Cooper Cromar, Eagle Building, 215 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G2 7ED Contractor: Westpoint Homes Limited, 3 Arthur Street, Clarkston, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G76 8BQ Tel: 0141 644 2223

South-east/London plans apprOved

DARTFORD £9.1m n Plot 35, The bridge, rennie Drive

Planning authority: The Borders Job: Detail Plans Granted for 4 houses Client: Lothian Estates Developer: Lothian Estates, Lothian Estates Office, Jedburgh, Borders, TD8 6UF Tel: 01835 862201

Planning authority: Dartford Job: Detail Plans Granted for warehouse Client: Prologis UK Limited Developer: RPS, Sherwood House, Sherwood Avenue, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1QQ Tel: 01636 605700

ORmSKIRK £0.82m n Car park, The Stiles

LINLITHGOW £1.1m n Land adj to east mill road

FELTHAm £1.4m n Surface Car Park, South rd

Planning authority: West Lancashire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 17 flats & 2 commercial units Client: CHP Property Group Developer: Falconer Chester Hall Architects, 12 Temple St, Liverpool, Merseyside, L2 5RH Tel: 0151 243 5800

Planning authority: West Lothian Job: Detail Plans Granted for 14 houses Client: Miller Homes Developer: Miller Homes, Miller House, 2 Lochside View, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH12 9DH Tel: 0870 336 5000

Planning authority: Hounslow Job: Detail Plans Granted for 24 flats Client: Hounslow Homes Developer: Peter Taylor Associates Ltd, The Roller Mill, Mill Lane, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5AA Tel: 01825768377

North-west plans apprOved

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

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


LONDON £1.6m n 27-29 Blue Anchor Lane, Bermondsey Planning authority: Southwark Job: Detail Plans Granted for 36 apartments & 1 house Client: Family Mosaic Agent: Goldcrest , Hurlingham Business Park, Sulivan Rd, London, SW6 3DU Tender return date: 16th December 2013 for a Traditional Contract. Tel: 020 7731 7111

READING £10m n Foudry Place & 22 Commercial Road, Drake Way Planning authority: Reading Job: Outline Plans Granted for 19 serviced apartments & 2 commercial units Client: Inchcape UK Agent: MDG Group, The Old Combine Store, Newhouse Farm Business Centre, Edstone, Wootton Wawen, Henley-in-Arden, West Midlands, B95 6DL Tender return date: 22nd November 2013 for a Traditional Contract. Tel: 01789 730767


HITCHIN £1.5m n St. Andrews House Planning authority: North Hertfordshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 10 luxury houses & 3 houses Client: North Hertfordshire Homes Agent: Vincent & Gorbing, Sterling Court, Norton Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2JY Contractor: Court Homes, Ladygrove Court, Hitchwood Lane, Preston, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 7SA Tel: 01462 440606

LONDON £0.99m n Business, 260 Knights Hill Planning authority: Lambeth Job: Detail Plans Granted for 9 flats & 4 offices Client: Milford Group Ltd Agent: Matthew Lloyd Architects, Studio 1 The Hangar, 38 Kingsland Rd, Perseverance Works, London, E2 8DD Contractor: Milford Orion House, 854 Brighton Rd, Purley, CR8 2BH Tel: 020 8763 3500

SLOUGH £8m n Kilnwood, Dorney Wood Rd Planning authority: South Buckinghamshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for house Client: Mr. Thilo Sautter Agent: Quinlan & Francis Terry, Old Exchange, High Street, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HA Contractor: Walter Lilly &

Co, Waddon House, 283 Stafford Road, Croydon, CR0 4NN Tel: 020 8730 6200

South-west/Wales plans apprOved

EXETER £0.8m n Exeter-Exmouth Railway Line, Old Rydon Lane off Liberty Way Planning authority: Exeter Job: Detail Plans Granted for railway station Client: Devon County Council Developer: Jacobs UK, Renslade House, Bonhay Road, Exeter, EX4 3AY Tel: 01392 219340

PLYmOUTH n Plot D4, Millbay


Planning authority: Plymouth Job: Detail Plans Granted for school Client: Free School Trust & Kier Developer: Savills, 3rd Floor Embassy House, Queens Ave, Bristol, BS8 1SB Tel: 0117 910 0300


HEREFORD £10.1m n Land south of the B4349 Planning authority: Herefordshire Job: Detail Plans Granted for 130 houses / 20 flats & 6 commercial units Client: Architype Agent: Architype, Upper Twyford, Hereford, HR2 8AD Contractor: Architype, Upper Twyford, Hereford, HR2 8AD Tel: 01981 542111

NEWQUAY £2.9m n Summer Lodge Holiday Park, White Cross Planning authority: Cornwall Job: Detail Plans Granted for central facilities & vehicle maintenance buildings Client: Darwin Property Investment Management Agent: Bratherton Park Design, Mollington Grange, Parkgate Road, Mollington, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 6NP Contractor: Phelan Construction, 1 Brunel Court, Brunel Rd, Clacton-OnSea, Essex, CO15 4LU Tel: 01255 433000

REDDITCH £0.69m n 150 Evesham Street Planning authority: Redditch Job: Detail Plans Granted for 14 flats & 3 retail units Client: Mr. G Waring Agent: HCD Architecture, The Coach House, 12 College Road, Bromsgrove B60 2NE Contractor: Mr. G Waring, The Coach House, 12 College Road, Bromsgrove, B60 2NE Tel: 01527 880196

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Special report Humidification

environmental protection demands humidification Industry experts discuss how humidification must suit the environment it serves and how going the extra mile can reap significant results Humidification is an area of building services where added value and improved performance can be achieved with a little indepth consideration. For example, how many installers and contractors consider the effects that improved water quality can have on humidifiers? This can result in such units being cheaper, easier and more effective, says JS Humidifiers UK sales manager David Marshall-George. “It is inevitable that when boiling mains water to create steam for air humidification, limescale will build up,” he says. “How a steam humidifier deals with this issue has a large impact on its overall running cost, how easy the system is to use and how accurate its humidity control will be.” Mineral solution

The best way to combat limescale in steam humidifiers that do not rely on conductivity is to remove the minerals from the supply water before introducing it to the humidifier with a reverse osmosis water filter, he continues. By supplying demineralised water to the humidifier, steam is created without the headache of regularly dealing with limescale. “Maintenance is still necessary but it is much simpler to carry out and the intervals between services are greatly extended,” Mr Marshall-George says. “This means the humidifier is simpler

Preserving the Mary Rose required unique humidification and air-handling solutions by Vapac and Colman Moducel

to use and has less downtime.” A demineralised water supply will also improve performance. Most steam humidifiers that operate on mains water will run occasional drain or dilution cycles to reduce the mineral concentration within the boiling chamber. This combats scale but reduces the steam output, as the temperature of the water fluctuates. This in turn affects the humidity control the unit is providing. A humidifier operating on RO water does not need to run these cycles so humidity control is consistent. “By stopping these flush cycles and preventing hot water regularly being sent to drain, operating

By stopping these flush cycles and preventing hot water regularly being sent to drain, costs are greatly improved” David Marshall-George, JS Humidifiers

costs are greatly improved,” Mr Marshall-George says. “In fact with the price of water versus energy, the increased cost of the water supply needed to use a reverse osmosis water filter is more than covered by the reduction in energy required to maintain the water temperature in the boiling chamber. A specialist RO filter for use with humidifiers can pay for itself within a year.” Stable influence

Stabilising air quality through the use of humidification is essential for a number of settings, says HygroMatik UK and ROI national sales manager Andie 13 november 2013 19

Special report Humidification (continued) Chessun. Humidity is particularly important for maintaining valuables such as those exhibited in museums and galleries. “Many objects have fiscal, educational and historical value so it is of the utmost importance to adhere to the correct storage atmosphere,” he says. The typical humidity level for antique books in museums and galleries is 40-50 per cent rH and if this fluctuates by more than 5 per cent rH it can cause irreversible damage. Paper is hygroscopic, which means that it reacts to changes in the humidity level and can become frail as a result of too little humidity. Antique wood furniture and musical instruments can crack or warp and fluctuating humidity can cause paintings to peel. Cracks can appear in the canvas while the frame may become warped. Natural materials of sculptures shrink and crack due to variations in the humidity. A uniform air humidity matched to the material in question safeguards the artwork at their value.

Specialist services The Humidity Group is a specialist section within HEVAC/FETA. It consists of the key companies in the humidification sector and provides a centre of expertise for understanding the importance of correct humidity control in domestic, commercial and industrial applications. The group has co-operated with CIBSE to produce the important Knowledge Series booklet: KS19 – Humidification. The document presents a concise overview, for the first time, of the need for humidity control and how to meet those requirements. Despite its efforts, the group says there is a continuing reluctance among owners and their advisers to install appropriate humidification

20 13 NOVEMBER 2013

Many objects have fiscal and historical value so it’s important to adhere to the correct storage atmosphere” “Many artefacts in museums are owned by private collectors and are loaned out to the museum via a contractual agreement,” Mr Chessun says. “The requirement for regulated air is therefore paramount as it now involves an insurance company and a private owner as well as the museum and the general public.” Monetary value is therefore placed on ensuring top air quality. If the museum’s relative humidity is of an unacceptable quality, then the artefact could be removed from the museum entirely. LAPADA (the Association of equipment initially. Members are often brought in to solve a problem retrospectively and at greater expense than if it had been tackled at the design and installation stage. Waiting until after complaints have been received from occupants, and jeopardising their comfort and health until proper humidity control can be installed, is clearly the wrong approach, says the Humidity Group. “It is not the mindset of museum curators or gallery owners, who recognise the value of their property and protect it from the start with accurate humidification measures,” says FETA directorgeneral Cedric Sloan (pictured). “Nor is it a commercial risk that owners of food storage sites are prepared to take. They preserve their fruit, vegetables and cereals

Andie Chessun, HygroMatik

Art & Antiques Dealers) suggests that dealers should check humidity levels with a light meter and hygrometer during transport or storage of artefacts. “Another factor to consider will be the number of people visiting these artefacts, as fresh air can be let into the building or body heat can cause issues,” he says. “In addition, the outside weather will be a constant consideration to maintain the humidity, heat and atmosphere. It is important to ensure the correct humidification is specified for environments where such expensive objects are stored.” Evaporative systems

at exactly the right temperature and humidity for long-term storage. “Hence, the Humidity Group’s ongoing campaign to persuade those responsible for hospitals, hotels and offices to follow best practice and install adequate humidification measures at the outset. Prevention is better than cure – it’s an old adage, but one that is completely valid for humidity control.”

Also suitable for museums and galleries, in addition to many other settings such as offices and data centres, are evaporative humidifier/coolers, says Munters UK business unit manager of spot climate control Martin Pyne. He explains that such units require ultra-low energy and have been specially designed for integration into air-handling systems within both residential and industrial buildings. “The design is compact and sizes conform to all typical airhandling units,” he says. By applying effective, BMS-compatible controls, this technology ensures efficient, hygienic, low-cost and controllable humidification. Evaporative humidifier/coolers are suitable for a variety of areas, he adds, especially for applications where organic compounds are present in the air or the water quality is unsuitable. The product can also be used as a direct cooler – cooling and humidifying the supply air, or as an indirect cooler in conjunction with a heat recovery rotor, cooling the supply air without adding any humidity. THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY View new products online at

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Humidification showcase Rotronic

Precise and stable temperature and humidity measurement is essential for the accurate control of environmental conditions in offices, museums and galleries, conference halls, cinemas and public buildings of all types. Comfort levels will be maximised, occupants satisfied and energy costs reduced, resulting in lower running costs. Accurate control of building management systems or environmental systems is crucial in production, packing and storage areas in the pharmaceutical and food industries to maintain product quality. Rotronic is a Swiss-based manufacturer of temperature, humidity, CO2 indoor air quality and pressure products. Measurement transmitters are available as wall, duct and

space mount types. Interchangeable digital probes have high performance as standard that is in a class of its own, 0.8 per cent rh and 0.1 deg C with low annual drift. Meeting customer’s specified tolerances is easily achieved; the sensors have a long life without requiring attention. Probes can be exchanged in seconds due to the digital interface, and no adjustment is required. Self-diagnostics, integrated data back-up and transmitter configuration for the HVAC controller with analogue and digital outputs available are standard features. It is even possible to validate the loop to the controller with any two fixed values for temperature and humidity, thereby saving a great deal of time on site.

Humidity Solutions

Humidity Solutions is the UK’s leading independent specialist in the field of humidity control, combining an unparalleled range of high-quality products with many years of application knowledge. With no ties to particular manufacturers, Humidity Solutions is able to deliver innovative and creative solutions tailored to the specific requirements of each customer. In particular, the company has built a reputation for devising innovative and creative low-energy solutions using adiabatic or gas-fired humidifiers, while also having a comprehensive range of more traditional steam units employed to achieve excellent humidity control. The product range also includes dehumidifiers for a total humidity control solution.

A key factor in the company’s success is an in-depth understanding of the specific requirements of customers, whatever sector they operate in. Recent projects undertaken by the company range from data centres and clean rooms through specialist manufacturing and process industries to yoga studios, offices and cold rooms. Humidity Solutions offers a comprehensive turnkey service, from initial feasibility and design through to installation and commissioning to ongoing after-care. The company undertakes installation and maintenance of all models of humidifiers, including Neptronic, Devatec, ElectroVap, Fisair and many more.

JS Humidifiers

JS Humidifiers is the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial humidification systems with a nationwide technical sales team and network of specialised humidifier service engineers. As part of Condair, the world’s largest humidifier manufacturing organisation, JS Humidifiers offers a comprehensive range of humidifiers and boasts more than 30 years’ experience in solving dry air problems. The company offers free advice and site surveys, system design, installation, commissioning, servicing and spares supply for all makes and models. JS Humidifiers manufactures a range of low-energy evaporative and spray humidifiers from its 25,000 sq ft

22 13 NOVEMBER 2013

headquarters in West Sussex, which are distributed across the world through the Condair group. The company also offers the Condair range of steam and spray humidifiers to its UK customers as well as the ML System and Draabe ranges. An in-house design and development department creates custom-built humidification solutions for process industries requiring exceptional control or unusual construction. JS Humidifiers’ clients include RollsRoyce, Buckingham Palace, Wellcome Trust, Facebook, The Tate Galleries, HSBC, Whitehall, Intel and Canary Wharf to name but a few.

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Special report Commercial and industrial heating

energy-efficiency is the hot topic for buildings Rising cost of both raw materials and energy means building owners are looking to save money by improving their heating efficiency Businesses in all areas have become far more cost-conscious in recent years, as the global recession has hit revenues for many. Companies providing building and facilities management services to the commercial and industrial sectors can provide solutions to reduce heating bills, a number of which have short payback cycles that will make them even more appealing to clients. Improved management of combined heat and power systems, the number of which is expected to increase, is recommended by Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating commercial technical operations manager Pete Mills, as this can deliver savings and reduce carbon emissions. “The number of small-scale CHP systems that have been designed to prioritise financial gains over efficiency benefits is a huge concern as the industry attempts to reduce emissions in the non-domestic sector,” he says. “A worrying number of CHP systems are being designed to reject large proportions of the heat generated via dry air coolers.” In the majority of cases this should be considered poor practice as it not only reduces efficiency levels but also hampers CO2 and cost-saving potential. More thought needs to go into the ways heat can be used. “What stakeholders must remember is that CHP modules have been developed to cater for

the provision of both heat and electrical demand within a building,” Mr Mills says. “If the product of one of these functions is wasted, it is impossible for the system to perform to its full specification. “Although voluntary, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Quality Assurance scheme offers a significant number of additional benefits for CHP investors. “Those with small-scale schemes where heat is not rejected can benefit from further savings through the Climate Change Levy exemption, access to Enhanced Capital Allowances, and metering arrangements to monitor the quality of the scheme. These are all opportunities which should be taken advantage of.” Mind the gap

Remeha Commercial managing director Mark Northcott says the ‘energy performance gap’ between predicted and actual building energy use is a particularly hot topic, with industrial and commercial buildings consuming as much as three times the amount of energy predicted at the design stage. This is arguably not just restricted to new build, as the real problem in terms of carbon reduction is the UK’s existing building stock. Mr Northcott points out that 60 per cent of buildings in 2050, the year by which UK carbon


The percentage of buildings in 2050 that have already been built

emissions need to be cut by 80 per cent, have already been built, making refurbishment crucial. “In terms of heating, retrofitting condensing boilers is one of the most affordable and effective efficiency measures,” he says. “However, here’s the unacknowledged ‘energy performance gap’: most condensing boilers in the UK do not achieve their maximum combustion efficiencies due to the way they are installed.” The efficiencies manufacturers quote are achieved under optimal conditions, typically at low temperatures (30/50 deg C) and half load. When installed on old systems, these boilers will operate at full load and higher 13 November 2013 25

Special report Commercial and industrial heating (continued) temperatures (for example at 82/71 deg C) which results in a drop in efficiency of around 10 to 15 per cent. “The real challenge for boiler manufacturers lies in these inefficient existing buildings, so it’s time to question perceived wisdom and think beyond condensing to what we call ‘super condensing’ technology, to achieve 10-15 per cent higher efficiencies on old systems under all conditions and eliminate the energy performance gap,” Mr Northcott says. Safety in numbers

Retrofit projects are an ideal opportunity for installing cascade boiler systems, according to MHS Boilers technical manager Peter Gammon.“The main reason for considering them is that they provide an inherent standby in case of breakdown,” he says. “So, if there are eight boilers in a cascade and one suffers a breakdown, a building still has at least 85 per cent functionality. However, if there’s only one boiler and it breaks down, 100 per cent is lost. “This can be disastrous in commercial applications, especially if the building requires heating and hot water 24/7 and a problem occurs in winter.” A further advantage is deeper turndown ratios. “Design conditions dictate boiler size, but these are rarely encountered as they’re set to meet a worst-case scenario

The DECC’s Quality Assurance scheme offers a number of additional benefits for CHP investors” Pete Mills, Bosch

26 13 November 2013

when a maximum call for heat is required,” Mr Gammon says. “Consequently, in the spring or autumn, when there is a reduced demand for heating, the system needs to be turned down. “If there is only one or even two larger boilers installed, the kind of turndown required is much trickier to attain compared with a cascade system.” One boiler might give a 6:1 turndown rate, whereas an installation of five units in cascade would deliver a ratio of 30:1, and the closer the heat generation can be matched to the load, the more seasonally efficient the system becomes – saving fuel and reducing emissions, Mr Gammon says. Boiler shift

With boilers continuing to prove popular for heating industrial and commercial buildings, Vaillant commercial and renewable systems director John Bailey highlights several factors that have contributed to the recent shift away from floor units towards wall-hung appliances. “Five years ago, wall-hung boilers accounted for more than half of the commercial boiler market; today they represent two-thirds of sales,” he says. “Aside from the technical advances that are making this possible, there are several factors influencing this evolution.” Wall-hung units are generally less resource-intensive to manufacture, transport and warehouse

Condensing boilers may not achieve their maximum efficiencies because of the way they are installed” Mark Northcott, Remeha Commercial

than their floor-standing counterparts, and therefore retail at a lower price. They also tend to cost less to install and commission in terms of expertise required and transport costs, he continues. When specified in a cascade, wall-hung boilers offer higher levels of efficiency thanks to their wide modulation range and flexibility of heat output that can be achieved. The smaller units also enable installers to overcome the challenges traditionally posed by wall-hung boilers. “The final driver is performance, and while longevity of service, low noise, intelligent control, fail-safe operation and low-impact maintenance are not the preserve of wall-hanging models, the fact is they do hold the trump card on most points,” Mr Bailey says. “Having seen significant growth in recent years, the commercial market for wall-hung boilers is set to continue to flourish.” High priority

Any system that can reduce heating costs will of course be attractive to businesses, and Schwank UK managing director Steve Sherman says investment in energy-efficient heating should be high on every company’s agenda. He says gas-fired infrared radiant heating systems are ideal for large distribution centres, as the impact on temperatures from open doors is minimal. “These

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Special report Commercial and industrial heating (continued) systems are flexible, economic on space and with accurate temperature control can heat specific zones, thus conserving energy and reducing costs,” he says. Radiant heating also provides temperature and humidity control that can protect high-value stock, such as the huge and “very valuable” steel coils used by Tata Steel. “Having lost coils in previous years from corrosion, none have been affected since the company installed radiant heating,” Mr Sherman says. Corrosion issues

Industrial and commercial heating also requires effective, inhibited cooling fluids, as Kilfrost Speciality Fluids Division senior manager Andrew Murray explains. These ensure the quality and longevity of systems, including both ground and air-source heat pumps. Not all companies are paying sufficient attention to the composition or quality of heat transfer fluids used to harness and transfer naturally occurring heat, he says. A key consideration is the impact that heat transfer fluids can have on the condition of a system due to the potential effects of corrosion. “If sourced or used incorrectly, heat transfer fluids can potentially become the most expensive aspect, despite the low initial cost,” Mr Murray says. “The lifespan of any cooling or heating system depends on the quality of

If there are eight boilers in a cascade and one suffers a breakdown, the building still has 85% functionality” Peter Gammon, MHS Boilers

the heat transfer fluid used.” Glycol, used to transfer heat through the system, is not particularly corrosive in concentrate form, but when diluted with water to achieve the required frost protection, system corrosion becomes a real problem, he states. Bacterial growth and scaling can also become an issue as a result of hard and/or inferior water. To prevent rust and increase system longevity, it is best to use a less corrosive heat transfer fluid, namely inhibited glycol mixed with water of a sufficient quality. This will enable the cooling system to last longer by reducing corrosion, bacteria and scaling. In addition, corrosion within a system can result in leakages that result in the need to repair or replace the equipment. Suppliers and installers of systems therefore face significant reputational and financial risk if the fluid they are installing falls short. “An international standard, known as the ASTM 1384 corrosion test standard, is now playing an increasingly important role,” Mr Murray explains. “An efficient inhibited heat transfer fluid that is proven to meet this standard gives the installer and the end-user greater peace of mind.” Punctuality matters

Equally important to a client’s peace of mind is reliability of supply – another key aspect within any project and relevant to those

We have an emergency ‘buffer’ stock system and changed suppliers for complete consistency” Neil Ginger, Origin

installing new systems or updating existing systems in commercial and industrial buildings. Origin chief executive officer Neil Ginger’s cites the example of bi-folding doors, the issues around which can apply to a variety of other components. Lead times of between six and eight weeks are not uncommon in the construction sector, he says, which can create issues if projects are not correctly planned or if customers are let down by their suppliers. His company has therefore instigated a ‘your lead time, not ours’ service. “We have applied the principles of Dr Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints to our UK manufacturing model,” he says. “We have introduced an emergency ‘buffer’ stock system and changed suppliers for complete consistency and reliability in the supply chain. “A bespoke online traffic light system alerts staff to all production output and delivery dates. As a result, we’re able to manufacture and deliver quicker and more efficiently. “This not only significantly shortens the timescale of a project, but also means our customers won’t be left out in the cold this winter.” BREAKING NEWS, DELIVERED Sign up for our free newsletter

13 NOVEMBER 2013 29

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Industry interview Martin Neeson

New skills, new tricks, new resilience

SRW Engineering Services MD on how diversification has paid off Skanska dates back to 1887 when Aktiebolaget Skånska Cementgjuteriet was established in Sweden. The firm was founded on experiences from its predecessor which specialised in manufacturing concrete products. The company quickly diversified, and within 10 years it had received its first international orders as well as playing a key role in building Sweden’s infrastructure. In 1984 the firm changed its name to Skanska. Today, the company focuses on construction operations and development of commercial, residential and PPP projects in selected home markets covering the Americas, Europe and the Nordic region. After attending university at Glasgow, Martin Neeson spent the first 10 years of his career working in the manufacturing industry. Armed with a degree in economics and biotechnology, he began as a graduate trainee within the food industry, working for household names such as McVities, KP Foods and Black and Decker. Having been encouraged into taking a managing director position when he was 27 years old, Mr Neeson moved to a £20m per annum blue chip telecom infrastructure SME. The company built telecom networks for BT and in 2001 it was bought by Skanska.

In 2010, Mr Neeson was appointed to head up the facilities management business, which included healthcare and education. During his time with Skanska, Mr Neeson has had the opportunity to work on many prestigious buildings in London. As part of SRW, Mr Neeson oversaw the M&E department for 12 months. “Skanska is intent on being in the M&E sector, despite a lot of companies choosing to exit because of market conditions,” he says. “We’ve had similar concerns to other companies. In 2010 when the government decided to reduce public spending, we chose to stay in.” He adds: “The key thing I’ve been looking at in the past four months with my senior team is whether the market is viable. We’ve seen profitable growth in the sector, but at a smaller size to what we saw in the previous decade.” New sectors of growth

Despite slow growth in the market, Mr Neeson explains that Skanska’s expansion plans are based on growth in new sectors. Skanska won the contract to carry out the mechanical and electrical engineering at the One Tower Bridge project. The company also made a decision to move into the rail sector, taking on work on the Crossrail project. As part of a joint

Skanska is intent on being in the M&E sector, despite a lot of companies choosing to exit because of market conditions”

venture with Costain, Skanska was awarded the C405 – Crossrail Paddington Station contract in 2011. This was the first station to be awarded as part of the £14.8bn Crossrail programme. Mr Neeson explains that Skanksa has become a significant player in the industry through its plans to diversify. “We’ve diversified into other sectors because of the downturn,” he says. “Some of our competitors have gone bust and some have exited the market. “You can either choose to shrink back your business, or you can decide to learn new tricks. We definitely weren’t going to go bust or exit the market, so we focused on the last two options.” In-house investment

Skanska is investing significantly in developing the skills of existing employees to ensure they have a rewarding career with the company. Mr Neeson says the firm’s growth plans are entwined with developing their employees. According to Mr Neeson, one of the biggest sectors Skanska is involved in is healthcare. The Ministry of Defence is also a big client for the business. “You see the Skanska brand everywhere in London,” he says. Commenting on Skanska’s approach to conducting its business, Mr Neeson says: “SRW 13 November 2013 31

Industry interview Martin Neeson (continued) You can either choose to shrink back your business, or you can decide to learn new tricks”

Skanska won the H&V News Awards Time-Proven M&E installation gong

takes a flexible approach in its mindset when forming business relationships. We are comfortable operating as a subcontractor. “We are also very successful when we embark on joint ventures, as this creates a single-team approach to delivering our clients’ requirements. Waste is eliminated and the team acts as one.” A school project in Essex is one example of where Skanska used a joint venture approach. From the beginning of the project the builders had chosen to involve mechanical electrical engineers. The project director had decided to make heating and electrical systems, one of the most difficult aspects when working on a project, a priority. The benefit of this, Mr Neeson says, was the ability to be involved during the commissioning stage and getting the details right the first time. Skanska is also a strong advocate of using building information modelling on projects. The company has been using BIM since 2007 and views it as integral to ensuring its future success. The company says BIM brings together all those involved on a project, helping to ensure an efficient and accurate project – from design to the on site construction activity operation and then handover to the ultimate client. It allows the business to deliver the right 32 13 November 2013

information to the right people,at the right time. Skanska’s design and technical services team enable projects to adopt the principles of BIM. A group of specialists work across the business ensuring Skanska takes advantage of all that BIM has to offer. Mr Neeson says one of the biggest barriers with using BIM is the confusion surrounding it in the M&E sector. Prioritising safety

In 2010 Skanska also launched its Injury Free Environment programme. The IFE programme aims to involve everyone to raise the safety values and beliefs to a new level. This approach has proved very successful in the UK and US. Although the construction industry only employs 5 per cent of the total UK workforce, it accounts for 27 per cent of all fatal injuries and 9 per cent of reported major injuries, according to the Health and Safety Executive. The Costain Skanska JV work-

SRW takes a flexible approach in its mindset when forming business relationships – we are comfortable operating as a subcontractor and also in a joint venture”

ing for Crossrail recently supported an event at Bond Street aimed at improving safety in the UK haulage industry. The Crossrail campaign is aimed at encouraging widespread change in this area. It includes vehicle upgrades, such as the installation of new safety equipment to alert drivers to vulnerable road users. Measures include fitting HGVs with Fresnel lenses or cameras, blind spot detection equipment that warns the driver when a cyclist is in the near-side blind spot, and under-run guards to prevent cyclists from coming into contact with lorry wheels. Vehicles must also carry warning signs to alert cyclists and pedestrians of the risks they face by getting too close to HGVs. Award-winning company

The future looks promising for Skanska after a year featuring several award wins, including the 2013 H&V News Award for the Time-Proven M&E installation category. SRW won the award for the green retrofit of Hollywood House, Woking, Surrey. The work at Hollywood House has seen carbon emissions, energy consumption and water use significantly reduced while providing an energy-efficient environment for the Skanska team based there. Much of the building’s electricity and heat supply comes from Woking’s own district energy centre, which has helped to considerably reduce the building’s carbon footprint. Mr Neeson says: “Hollywood House is a flagship project and is a shining example of what we do. All the hard work and effort from the initial idea, the planning, implementing, monitoring and maintaining has paid off. Everyone involved in the project should be very proud.” Looking to the future, Mr Neeson says he will continue with his business to make Skanska even more resilient.



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Special report Case study

Hi-tech solution pays off for radisson blu A room monitoring system is set to make cost savings of between 35 and 45 per cent per 24-hour occupancy at a Cardiff hotel The need to save energy has risen towards the top of corporate strategies across the business world. With energy prices continuing to rise and further increases predicted in the future, introducing measures to reduce expenditure in the heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings can provide a welcome boost to help balance the books and increase profits. This of course opens up opportunities for the building services sector, which has both the tools and the expertise to deliver considerable savings, especially where outdated plant has continued to operate to the point when it has become expensive to run. While a like-for-like replacement alone will achieve impressive results in these instances, there are many other options that have the potential to provide the client with even more savings. An example of a successful exercise in reducing energy consumption is that of the Radisson Blu hotel in Cardiff. Along with 47 other establishments around the UK and Ireland within the international Carlson Rezidor chain of hotels, it received a board-level directive in 2007 to reduce its energy consumption by 5 per cent per year over five years. There are a number of facilities management companies with established operations that guarantee this type of saving as part of their service offering. Depending on the individual buildings

and locations concerned, the installation of LED lighting and adjustment of building energy management systems can provide results exceeding 5 per cent. Additional edge

The hotel began its energysaving efforts by approaching SaveMoneyCutCarbon, which provides a range of services for clients seeking to reduce energy and water consumption. Its UK-wide service team provides both consultancy and installation services for businesses, with a focus on heating


How much Carlson Reizdor hotels aim to lower their energy consumption by

and ventilation, lighting and water consumption. SaveMoneyCutCarbon managing director Mark Sait previously worked in the hotel and leisure industry, which provided his company with an additional edge when considering the needs of the Radisson Blu Cardiff. “We recommended the GEM system, which senses room occupancy and turns the heating down if there’s no one in the room,” he said. “When you consider that people who stay in hotels frequently spend a small amount of time actually in their rooms, it 13 november 2013 35

Advertisement feature

Ideal situation for British manufacturer Ideal Commercial Heating is leading the way in developing highly innovative heating solutions specifically designed for the UK market Over the past year, Ideal Commercial Heating has introduced a range of initiatives, expanding its product and service offering still further. The latest is the launch of condensing boiler building information modelling objects, a BIM hosting site, new specification literature, updates to Ideal’s training course, numerous printed and online newsletters and CPD modules – to name just a few. National sales director Darren Finley explains: “It is clear Ideal has one of the longest pedigrees in the business, as well as one of the strongest commercial boiler ranges available. Building on our years of experience and the renowned quality of our products, the focus has recently been on enhancing communications both internally and externally through the expansion of our sales and marketing teams – including the addition of eight highly experienced members of staff.” Ideal Commercial’s launch of the BIM library represents the entire range of flagship condensing boilers: the Evomax wall-hung and the Imax Xtra and Evomod floor-standing models. The Evomax offers outputs up to 150 kW, one of the highest of its type, and has become one of Ideal’s best-selling condensing boiler ranges, with the expertly designed floor-standing Imax Xtra and Evomod ranges extending the specification options still further. All Ideal Commercial condensing boiler ranges offer exceptionally high seasonal efficiencies of up to 97.2 per cent and extremely 36 13 november 2013

low NOx emissions that qualify for maximum BREEAM points. The Evomax and Evomod are also featured on the Energy Technology List, enabling the customer to claim 100 per cent tax back in the first year via the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme. “We are very proud to be able to offer our flagship boiler ranges as BIM objects, for a variety of reasons,” Mr Finley says. “Ideal Commercial communicates with all members of the supply chain, from consultants, contractors and building services engineers to the merchant, and this new development not only demonstrates our willingness to step confidently into the future by embracing new approaches, but also supports the industry’s journey towards a more collaborative approach in order to enjoy healthy and sustained growth – both now and in future. “That is why we are continuing to enhance the ways in which we share information with every one of our customers, so all parties can utilise the huge bank of product information and expertise available from Ideal Commercial.” The Evomax, Imax Xtra and Evomod condensing boiler ranges exemplify the firm’s commitment to manufacturing high-quality, efficient products, with all ranges exceeding both current and expected energy-efficiency legislation – including those outlined in the ErP Directive, due in 2015. Ideal’s commitment to innovation was recognised this year through the Queen’s Award for Innovation for the Logic and

2014 will see Ideal go from strength to strength as we continue to enhance our products” Darren Finley, Ideal Commercial Heating

Logic+ domestic boiler ranges. Ideal’s R&D team, who were also responsible for the Evomax, Imax Xtra and Evomod ranges, were praised for developing products of exceptionally high quality, design and reliability, demonstrating that innovation is a key driver within the organisation. Skilled communication is also an essential aspect of good training, and Ideal’s expertise is regularly shared through in-depth courses at Ideal’s Centres of Excellence in Reading, Leeds and Hull. Mr Finley says: “If 2013 is anything to go by, 2014 will see Ideal Commercial go from strength to strength as we continue to enhance our products, service and communication channels, thereby leading by example to create a more efficient, collaborative and productive industry.” Produced in collaboration with Ideal Commercial Heating. To find out more about collaborating with Hvn, contact

Special report Case study (continued) makes sense to look at making savings where possible. “Guests are often in the restaurant or bar, or out sightseeing or attending meetings, so there is no need to maintain a high room temperature level.” Wireless sensors were installed in the hotel’s 215 rooms that use a combination of infrared bodyheat sensors and an intelligent algorithm. These are invisible to guests and detect if a room is occupied. The system is linked to the hotel’s Toshiba HVAC units installed on the building’s roof. The 28 three-phase MMY-MAP 1002FT8 units provide heating and cooling. When the sensors record no occupancy in a room after 30 minutes, the GEM system reduces the level of heating. Radisson Blu Cardiff general manager Jens Hallman told H&V News: “We are not energy experts, so it was essential to recruit expertise for this. One of the advantages of this solution is that it does not require any guest involvement and is completely automatic.” SaveMoneyCutCarbon completed the installation of the system at the Cardiff premises in July and carried out a similar installation in a London hotel. It has monitored both over the following months and the company says the data shows energy savings of between 35 and 45 per cent can be expected within a 24-hour occupancy.

“The project is a no-brainer: we need to save on consumption to help protect the bottom line from ever-increasing energy prices and new levies,” he says. “To do this with minimum guest disturbance and to have a payback which owners cannot argue with is fantastic. It means this project ticks all boxes.”

Mr Sait emphasises that the most important requirement of any hotel is to maintain comfort levels and stresses that any exercise to save money has to concentrate on this. Stealthy system

By only reducing heating and cooling requirements when rooms are unoccupied, guests remain oblivious to any costsaving exercise, he states. “HVAC is the biggest energy drain in any commercial building but especially in the 24/7 operations of the hotel environment,” he says. “We wanted to find the best management solution and one that had no adverse impact on guest satisfaction. “We also needed to be sure that it delivered great savings because it is crucial for us to offer solutions that offer quick return on investment – and GEM has certainly proven itself. It is a great addition to our money-saving, carbon-cutting range of sustainability solutions.” Mr Hallman says the Radisson Blu Cardiff expects to save an average of 32 per cent on the running of its HVAC plant following the system’s installation. This would represent a saving of around £35,000, he says, adding that the cost of installation would be covered within 14 months. Radisson Blu financial controller Martin Perkins also welcomed the results of the system.

Corporate responsibility

We wanted to find the best management solution and one that had no adverse impact on guest satisfaction” Mark Sait, SaveMoneyCutCarbon

Project details Lodging Technology Gem energy management system 28 Toshiba mmY-mAP 1002FT8 HvAC units role performed: heating and cooling Capacity: 28 kW output: 31.5 kW Power consumption: 8.75 kWh number of rooms serviced: 215

Mr Perkins says the exercise is “not all about protecting profit conversion” as there are other factors involved, such as corporate environmental responsibility. “As the world’s population is ever increasing, travel for both business and leisure also increases,” he says. “It is important that hotel chains such as Carlson Rezidor drive their responsible business activities to do their part for the environment. “The goal is a 25 per cent reduction in consumption over five years for each hotel, and this project will certainly help the Radisson Blu Hotel Cardiff achieve this.” The response from the hotel shows that the building service sector has a genuine opportunity to provide valuable services for clients in a number of settings that have the potential to improve comfort levels within buildings, while reducing consumption of energy. In many cases this can mean that the service provided is covered by the savings delivered, or that any expense is quickly accounted for. The overriding message for building services companies, of course, is that this will result in increased levels of business. When results are monitored, the data generated can also be highly influential when shared with potential clients in the future to persuade them to make the type of ‘no-brainer’ business decisions made by the Radisson Blu Cardiff. 13 november 2013 37

Better business Heat pumps, simplified installation heat pumps

Step-by-step shift makes sense for pump market Without doubt, a great deal of frustration has surrounded the repeatedly delayed Renewable Heat Incentive. That said, however, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment has been boosted for heat pumps, with an attractive grant of up to £2,300 now available to those homeowners with properties suitable for a ground-source heat pump installation. This level of commitment has encouraged the industry to keep faith in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s push for renewables. What’s more, the latest drafts of the Building Regulations appear to show a progression towards zerocarbon homes. This means the new-build sector in particular will have little choice but to look at airsource or ground-source heat pumps as a primary heating and hot water technology. Compliance boost

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. When it comes to retrofit installations, installers continue to face a mounting challenge. The

The new build sector will have little choice but to look at air source or ground source heat pumps” 38 13 november 2013

postponement of the RHI, coupled with the Green Deal’s slow start, has failed to entice the public into taking up the option of supporting finance packages. Despite the level of criticism directed towards the two initiatives, however, a more suitable solution is yet to be put forward and it remains likely that in five years’ time, the question homeowners will face is ‘can we afford not to take advantage?’ Compromise system

Looking ahead, it seems likely that a middle ground for households will end up being a boiler assisted by an air-source heat pump, which means we are patiently waiting for the introduction of the RHI to turn people towards this type of arrangement. Those in the industry know only too well that a new boiler tends to be a distress purchase, so we need to be encouraging homeowners to invest in a boiler which can be supplemented by an air-towater heat pump in future. This staged process in moving towards renewables is a sensible approach. In the first instance, the boiler gets replaced, which covers the homeowner’s heating and hot water demand. The next step is to supplement the boiler over the spring and the autumn with the use of an accompanying heat pump. Finally, the property is then insulated extensively to futureproof it in the event that the heat pump alone turns out be sufficient to heat the property in years to come. This is an idealistic concept and the process is one which is likely to happen over the course of a few years rather than a matter of months, but it does at least provide us with a roadmap to follow in order to bring heat pumps to the forefront of domestic heating. martyn bridges is director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, bosch Group

side of installation, strip and rebuild, as its name suggests, consists of a supplier stripping down the HVAC system before it leaves the factory, so that it can be delivered to the site and rebuilt in situ at the customer’s convenience. This kind of service not only helps to solve many of the sitelogistical problems, but also helps keep down costs.


Logistics made simple with strip and rebuild Designed to ease the logistical side of putting in HVAC, a strip-andrebuild service can take the stress out of installation and cut costs at the same time. Installing or specifying HVAC equipment is a complex issue, with many factors such as BREEAM guidelines and Building Regulations, energy-efficiency and specific climate control requirements needing to be considered. The logistics surrounding installation can also have considerable cost and time implications on a particular job. Crane hire, road closures, time delays for processing applications with local authorities and adverse weather conditions can all add to both stress levels and cost. With this in mind, it is worth considering opting for a supplier that offers a strip-and-rebuild service. Designed to help relieve some of the administrative burden and to simplify the logistical

A strip-andrebuild service can take the stress out of installation and cut costs at the same time”

Hire example

If you consider the cost of crane hire, for instance, and factor in application costs for full or partial road closure in London and other major cities – which can be stressful when meeting tight project deadlines – then your lifting costs soon start to soar. A strip-and-rebuild service is likely to save you money – and costs are transparent so that you can keep track of your budget. Another issue to consider is that councils advise applicants to allow eight weeks’ processing time for road closure applications. Add the site survey from your lifting company, along with possible cancellation due to bad weather and arranging a crane lift, and this can be a long process. A quality strip-and-rebuild service will have your unit stripped, delivered and rebuilt at a time to suit you, providing peace of mind. In addition, health and safety regulations may mean your site is closed or cleared prior to and during the lifting process, thus leading to downtime and lost labour hours. There is no need for site closure with a quality strip-andrebuild service. One of the most attractive features of a strip-and-rebuild service is the assurance that fully trained and qualified engineers are used for the rebuilding and that the service is fully covered by the supplier’s warranty. It also carries a full CE declaration. matt blanchard is manager at Daikin UK

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Better business: technical Carbon steel pipework, district heating pipework

District heating

How to save time and money with carbon steel

Future of district heating crucial to green goals

Carbon steel pipework has a number of benefits over its copper counterpart, particularly when it comes to cost, but correct install and commissioning procedure is key to getting the most from it. Carbon steel pipework can be used for a range of applications that may have traditionally relied on copper piping, including closed-circuit heating and chilled water, wet sprinkler systems, solar heating, certain industrial and technical gases, plus compressed air. Copper was historically chosen over pure steel due to its durable and lightweight nature, with excellent resistance to fire and rot. It is particularly corrosion-resistant, so can be used for portable and open heating systems, as well as closed systems. However, it’s expensive and open to price fluctuations. It also has poor resistance to the cold and acidic water. Carbon steel delivers many of the benefits of copper but with a lower price tag. Overall, it is significantly cheaper than copper and, crucially for contractors tasked with planning the costs of jobs in advance, carbon steel’s value is more constant. Whether using copper or carbon steel, press-fit systems can reduce costs further when compared with using traditional welded pipe. One of the key benefits of carbon steel is its anti-corrosive nature in closed-circuit systems; however, this claim can only be made when the product is installed and commissioned correctly. Prior to fitting, piping must be protected from dirt and damage and, ideally, transported in its original packaging. Pipes should

One of district heating’s greatest strengths is being able to accept energy from pretty much every conceivable source – making it a highly adaptable proposition and one which is largely futureproof. With the drive towards lowcarbon energy, district heating’s stock is certainly rising. To date, in the UK there have been a wide array of heat sources used to feed district heating networks and this has included the following. Natural gas boilers Having largely replaced the original coal and oil-fired boilers installed in the first generation of district heating schemes, natural gas was, to many, an obvious and relatively clean choice for powering district heating networks. However, as carbon targets have increased, so has the focus on greener fuel choices. Natural gas still has a role to play, but this will largely be confined to that of a back-up and top-up for lowercarbon alternatives. Energy from waste Some of the UK’s biggest district heating networks have been developed on the back of utilising waste heat from waste treatment facilities – well demonstrated in cities such as Sheffield and Nottingham.

40 13 November 2013

also be protected against moisture and the influence of weather. Carbon steel products should not be stored alongside stainless steel items. For chilled-water applications, a vapour barrier must always be maintained in areas where condensation is likely to occur. If the carbon steel pipe is coated in plastic, extra protection is not required (although the fittings and pipe ends still need full protection). Oxygen problems

Crucially, the probability of corrosion is increased if oxygen is present in the circuit – concentrations in excess of 0.1 g/cu m indicate a greater probability of corrosion. This could occur through compression glands, screw connections or automatic air vent valves if there is negative pressure in the heating system. However, there is no risk of corrosive damage from oxygen that enters when filling and supplementing with water, since the amount of oxygen is very low. Care should be taken when pressure testing carbon steel with water, ensuring that the system is either left full between testing and commissioning or fully drained and dried to prevent the formation of corrosion. Further measures to delay corrosion include adding an oxygen binding substance to the circulating water, setting the pH value at 8.5-9.5 and only using water additives tested and approved by the manufacturer. Simon Spridgeon is product and technical manager at Geberit

One would hope that the next generation of large-scale power stations are designed to use their waste heat”

CHP Typically using natural gas as its fuel source, over the last couple of decades combined heat and power and district heating have been good bedfellows. Opportunities for efficient local generation of electricity and the utilisation of the heat produced in the process – when carefully matched with demand – allow systems to operate at reasonably high levels of efficiency. Renewable CHP Where fuelled by low or zero-carbon fuel sources such as bio-liquids like rapeseed oil, biogas from anaerobic digestion of organic waste or gasification of biomass, the carbon savings significantly increase – as do the opportunities for financial incentives such as Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). Biomass boilers A lowcarbon option, these have become near ubiquitous in the UK, largely spurred on by emissions targets and the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive payments. With well-designed fuel storage and handling systems, biomass boilers offer automated operation and a high degree of flexibility, including modulation of output – again enhanced if coupled to thermal storage systems. With ever-larger district heating schemes being developed, it will become more common for multiple energy centres to feed a pre-insulated pipe network, offering diversity and a level of redundancy that will help ensure the security of supply and boost consumer confidence. Low and zero-carbon energy sources will prevail and one would hope that eventually the next generation of large-scale power stations are designed to use their waste heat in district heating networks. This will be the key to significantly reducing emissions in the built environment. mark Whettall is managing director at CPv

Hot Water Cylinders The Smartline tank-in-tank is unvented cylinder available in the UK today.

ACV are the pioneers of this unique domestic of which include: • Resistance to scaling • • Reduced boiler cycling which in turn increases boiler life • 9 minutes heat up from 15-60°C (SLE+210) • 689 litres @ 60°C in the

For more information on the Smartline SLE & SLME or the full range of ACV products visit our website or contact ACV on 01383 820100

ACV Ltd, St David’s Business Park, Dalgety Bay, Fife KY11 9PF

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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Hybrid systems, fires, water and gas detectors, filters Worcester Hybrid system Worcester Bosch Group has underlined its commitment to green heating and hot water technologies with the launch of its Greenstar Plus Hybrid System. The innovative system enables installers to upgrade an existing compatible boiler to a hybrid renewable system, with the addition of four components. The 5 kW external heat pump, indoor hybrid manager, 50-litre buffer cylinder, and intelligent weather compensation control can be seamlessly integrated within an existing heating system to reduce the homeowner’s dependency on fossil fuel. By combining the advantages of both a gas-fired boiler and a split air-to-water heat pump, the Greenstar Plus Hybrid System is able to calculate and control the optimal fuel efficiency across both technologies.

Charlton and Jenrick Infinity gas fire

Cooper Security Water detection system

MagnaClean Miniature filter

Murco Gas leak detector

Charlton and Jenrick’s new Infinity 880FL built-in conventional chimney gas fire can complement a contemporary or classical home interior. The fire has a 6.6 kW input, with a heat output of 4.85 kW, which means no additional ventilation is required. It is up to 81 per cent efficient and can be operated from a thermostatic remote control.

Cooper Security has launched a water detection solution that can be fully integrated into the firm’s Scantronic intruder detection system. Suitable for both domestic and commercial environments, DET-RWATER sends an alert to a control panel when the presence of water is identified. This gives the homeowner or business manager the chance to react before the problem develops.

MagnaClean Micro2 is the smallest filter launched yet by Adey, award-winning pioneers of magnetic filtration. The filter, which has a total canister height of just 151 mm, also claims the smallest installation and servicing height in the industry, according to the firm. Clearance of just 25 mm above and below the filter is all that’s required to carry out a service.

Murco’s Infrared Refrigerant Gas Leak Detector (MGS-IR-RS) provides accurate low-level detection of the most common halocarbon refrigerant gases – R134a, R404a, R507, R407a, R407 and R22. The detector is immune to interference from other onsite gases or changes in temperature and humidity and includes on-board alarm LEDs and audible alerts.

13 NOVEMBER 2013 43


Hotels, hospitals, colleges, housing Fan heaters installed at St Andrew’s hotel Four of Myson’s innovative iVector fan heaters have been installed at the Best Western Scores Hotel in St Andrew’s, Scotland, as part of a major refurbishment. The iVectors were installed by Cook Plumbing and Heating of Fife, a third-generation family business boasting more than 75 years of experience in the heating industry. Originally home to an 1880s Victorian townhouse and a boys’ school, the hotel has undergone a major refurbishment. As part of this, the heating system in the multi-function suite, which is used for weddings and conferences, has been replaced. The Myson iVector was launched 18 months ago and has been widely adopted for use in hotels as well as schools, colleges and hospitals.

Flatpack systems for Norfolk hospital refurb

Boiler plant installed at top London university

Housing development fits designer radiators

Hospital undergoes vital ductwork cleaning

Big Foot Systems worked with Eyre Building Services Group on the £14.9m redevelopment of the new Cromer and District Hospital in Norfolk. Big Foot designed all the frameworks for the rooftop plant in 3D CAD and issued drawings for approval before the frames were manufactured. Once manufactured the systems were delivered flatpacked.

University College London has installed an innovative new boiler plant in its Torrington Place building. The boiler house, supplied by Atlantic Boilers of Lancashire, operates throughout the year at 95 deg C flow and 75 deg C return. The Atlantic RT add-on condensing exchanger leads to year-round efficiencies of 92-97 per cent GCV (102-107 per cent NCV).

Quinn’s Compla flat panel designer radiators are being installed in a luxury housing development led by Greenwich Partnership. The Compla has a completely smooth front, clean lines and slim profile, finished with a top grille and decorative side panels. The sleek front has been designed to fit in with modern interiors for both new and retrofit projects.

System Hygienics has completed a ventilation ductwork cleaning project at Gartnavel General Hospital and the Western Infirmary, both in the west end of Glasgow. The contract involved the ductwork that supplies fresh air to 18 operating theatres. The team used the Jetvent powervac system, a remote cleaning method employing compressed air.

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Showcase Albion

Albion has announced the launch of a new Monolink system, as part of its growing building services range, supplied by the firm’s manufacturing partner Cimberio. The product is already very popular with installers as it reduces the number of connections required and so lowers installation time and costs. The Cimberio Monolink has a unique patented one-piece

H-block design that provides exceptional reliability and is supplied with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. For more information on the Monolink and Albion’s extensive range of building services valves, contact your local independent distributor or visit or call its sales office on 01226 729900.

Thermal Earth

Thermal Earth has unveiled the MasterTherm range of high-efficiency heat pumps, which use award-winning inverter technology not only on air-source but also for its groundsource pumps – a first from a UK supplier. This inverter technology gives huge benefits to users as the MasterTherm heat pumps provide full modulation between 30 and 100 per cent to match the building’s


Water heating expert Rinnai has opened a London sales office in response to rising demand for its condensing and highefficiency gas-fired continuous flow water heaters in the capital and the South-east. The new office will work in tandem with Rinnai UK technical department engineers and supplements the sales support centre located at the company’s Runcorn HQ.


Flogas has taken a lead role at the World LP Gas Forum to successfully showcase LPG’s bright future as an increasingly critical contributor to the energy mix. The World LP Gas Forum London 2013 was a timely platform to reinforce the financial and eco benefits of switching to LPG. Flogas showcased the power of LPG at a specially created bar, treating Forum

heat loss. This significantly reduces the number of on and off cycles, meaning the compressor is hardly ever switched off, so avoiding high starting currents, high electricity costs and extending the product life. The variable output control from the heat pumps also eliminates the need for a buffer tank – cutting space requirements and cost.

Rinnai’s comprehensive range of energy-efficient hot water solutions qualify for additional energy-efficiency points, boosting building energy performance as they far exceed energy-efficiencies called for in the recently announced proposed changes to Part L Building Regulations (conservation of fuel and power).

delegates to Scottish whisky produced by a business making the most of fuel cost and carbon savings as a result of switching from oil to LPG, and working with Flogas as an energy partner. The Inver House Distillery switched to Flogas LPG from heavy fuel oil, saving 8 per cent in annual fuel costs and 18 per cent in emissions.

Firebird Heating Solutions

Firebird Heating Solutions has introduced a cascading controller which automatically maximises energy-efficient performance by multiple boilers. The Firebird cascade controller is capable of sequencing up to eight modulating boilers and can be programmed to use each boiler for a similar time to equalise boiler wear, or to prioritise specific boilers if preferred.

46 13 novEMBER 2013

It can also control boilers of different outputs to precisely meet the demands of the system and automatically configures the optimum boiler sequencing. The controller is also designed to integrate alternative energy systems such as solar, heat pumps or biomass and can be programmed to meet the specific needs of the individual system.

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

Toshiba Air Conditioning

Toshiba Air Conditioning (a division of Toshiba Carrier UK) has delivered a ground-breaking total refrigerant leak detection and containment system for Accor Group’s new Ibis Hotel in Brighton. The system provides complete protection against both gradual and major leaks, automatically isolating and pumping down the refrigerant circuit in the event of a

sudden loss of gas. It also triggers audible and visual alarms in the room affected and centrally via the supervisory control system. Toshiba met Ibis owner Accor’s challenge to provide an outstandingly energy efficient system, while achieving BREEAM credits and full compliance with BSEN378 in relation to potential refrigerant leakage.

Marflow Hydronics

As part of Marflow Hydronics’ complete solution offering, the firm has introduced the Optergy Energy Management system to its portfolio. Working in conjunction with a building management system, it provides energy management capabilities to help users optimise their building efficiency. It delivers industry-leading integrated energy management, building automation

and security solutions. Optergy includes real-time monitoring, total operations reporting and alarming, as well as auto set capabilities that work alongside weather forecasting and room allocations. The integrated building solutions bring together diverse systems for increased energy efficiency and savings.

Ability Projects

State-of-the-art EC/DC fan coil units, manufactured by Ability Projects, are providing conditioned air for aircrew and maintenance crew at the recently opened Lynx Wildcat helicopter training centre at RNAS Yeovilton. To deliver high-grade Army and Navy type conversion and mission training, the centre will use a high degree of synthetic training technology


Pakefield High School in south Lowestoft has specified cutting-edge Priva BMS technology for its brand new £12m building, setting the standard in terms of sustainable excellence. As the first new secondary school to be built by Suffolk County Council in more than 20 years, Pakefield High School marks an important addition to the


Vent-Axia, a leader in low-carbon ventilation, is celebrating winning an award at this year’s prestigious Electrical Industry Awards. The Sussex-based manufacturer received the accolade of Innovative Residential/Domestic Product of the Year for its Lo-Carbon Solo Plus at a gala ceremony in Kensington, London. The Electrical Industry Awards recognises

based around full mission simulators and flight and cockpit training systems. Almost 70 advanced Ability EVO190 and EVO270 chassis type, 4-pipe fan coil units supply conditioned air to the centre’s briefing rooms and integrated electronic classrooms at capacities from 1.5 to 3.7 kW (cooling) and 2.5 to 4.5 kW (heating).

surrounding community. The school put a premium on sustainability from the design stage through to its long-term operation. The building has been equipped with eight Priva panels, situated both indoors and outdoors, to provide optimum performance while remaining highly efficient in terms of control and power consumption.

the achievements of the UK’s electrical sector. After a rigorous judging process, Vent-Axia scooped the award for its Lo-Carbon Solo Plus centrifugal bathroom/ toilet fan. The new and improved Lo-Carbon Solo Plus was launched by Vent-Axia in February 2013 following a re-design of the company’s popular Solo Plus range.

13 NOVEMBER 2013 47


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A Myson Floortec underfloor heating system has been installed throughout the ground floor of a renovated pig barn, creating a comfortable home for David Ward and his wife Judith. A bespoke underfloor heating system was designed by Myson, whose representative made site visits during the installation to ensure an outstanding result; safeguarding the


Neo by Heatmiser is set for launch in January 2014 and has been designed with the retrofit and the new-build market in mind, with the sole aim of allowing more people to control their heating from their smartphone. Smart control of your heating is the best way to reduce energy usage. Heatmiser, a UK-based family firm, has been involved in the manufacture of heating


Xpelair Ventilation Solutions has introduced a CPD training programme to help specifiers and installers better understand changing ventilation requirements and legislation in the education sector. Ventilation in Education provides an overview of the key market drivers within the sector including the BB101 and the Building Regulations, along with how systems are changing to adapt to the

integrity of the barn’s original features and allowing usable space to be maximised. Myson Floortec underfloor heating is suitable for use with all types of wet central heating which, when used in a well-insulated property, alongside a renewable heat source or high-efficiency condensing boiler, can deliver impressive domestic fuel savings.

controls and thermostats for 30 years, with its products used by some of the UK’s leading manufacturers. A neoStat replaces existing thermostats and a neoStat-hw replaces programmers. Users plug their neoHub into their broadband router and now you have remote access of your heating and hot water from anywhere at any time.

challenging needs of the school environment. It looks particularly at the legacy of the BSF programme and what the future holds for the industry as it moves towards greater efficiency. The course also explores how energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies such as mixed-mode ventilation and MVHR solutions are redefining the market.

Mitsubishi Electric

As part of a £12m two-year programme to fit energy-efficient, low-carbon technology to properties, Stroud District Council can now boast its first residential property with an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate. The council is using the one-bedroom bungalow in King’s Stanley as a show house for tenants wanting to find out how renewable technology works and what the


Stylish, good-looking and highly efficient space heating consumes half the energy required to run conventional radiators is now available from a new UK company, Infrarad. Founded in May 2012 by Peter Ferguson and Avic International Renewable Energy Co (part of one of China’s largest industrial groups), Infrarad offers three product ranges that are new to the UK.

48 13 NoVEMBER 2013

benefits are. The property uses a 5 kW Ecodan air-source heat pump as the primary source for heating and hot water, working in conjunction with a solar thermal hot water system. The Ecodan unit sits on a base outside the rear of the property and extracts heat energy from the outside air – even in sub-zero temperatures.


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And finally... I’d love to buy a horse racing stables and a horse capable of winning the Grand National” David Shouksmith, director at J H Shouksmith & Sons, on racing, rowing and appearing on The Simpsons

horse capable of winning the Grand National.

What would be your dream job? Race horse trainer – horse racing is my passion, and I have always had a fanatical interest in it.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? Middle Child Syndrome – I am a ‘sufferer’ of this and put my weirdness down to it.

What’s the most played song on your iPod? KLF’s 3am Eternal, because it reminds me of my younger partying days. What’s your favourite saying? Better late than never – as I always seem to be rushing and have a distinct lack of time-keeping. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Me as a cameo role on The Simpsons (in the future of course). If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? John Bishop – it would be good fun to row across the channel with him. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Buy a horse racing stables and a

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Predict the lottery numbers – so the answer to the previous question would become a reality.

What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received? Plug hole cleaner! I thought it was the worst gift but was received as the best gift. What should the building services industry be doing to help itself in the current climate? Bring in a new law to ringfence construction project funding/ monies all the way down the supply chain to alleviate the problem of clients and contractors going bust.

The number of main contractors refusing to pay on time or trying to impose onerous contract conditions significantly increased. Three industry associations told H&V News that members had noticed a rise in this form of ‘abuse’ as trading conditions throughout construction became more challenging. Spanish industry minister Jose Montilla said that anyone wanting to build a home in Spain would be obliged to include solar heating panels in their plans from 2005. Proposals to double the Climate Change Levy were greeted with surprise and alarm by the HVAC industry. The plan was put forward by the Institute for Public Policy Research as part of a move to boost the UK’s climate change credibility in Europe. The government revealed a new initiative to drive demand for biomass heating. It set up a task force, headed by former National Farmers’ Union president Sir Ben Gill, to stimulate the supply and demand of biomass crops specifically grown for use as environmentally friendly fuels.

Cycling success Adey Professional Heating Solution area sales manager Davie Robb was part of a winning team that took part in an all-night mountain biking race in Scotland. The race closed Mr Robb’s busy cycling season, which has also seen him ride the length of Ireland to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, as well as finish sixth in an international 24-hour event in Canada in June.

Help for GB star Wilo UK and CPL (part of the Wilo Group) along with two Wilo customers – G Stow and Arfon Rewinds – are sponsoring Emily Oakes, the youngest member of the Team GB taekwondo team. Emily is seeded number one junior in the UK and in Europe, and next year she should have an official junior world seeding.

What’s the best work-related thing that you did recently? Finally cleared out our work store. Amazing achievement as it was packed to the rafters and keeping things for a rainy day never seems to materialise.

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