Category Archives: Energy Saving

Building services can help everyone be lean, mean and green

Martin Fahey Head of Sustainability and Commercial Business at Mitsubishi Electric looks at how the building services industry can help us all be energy efficient.

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It may seem strange for a manufacturer of heating, cooling, ventilation and controls to say to its customers “use less equipment”, but that is exactly the message that Mitsubishi Electric is urging everyone involved in the built environment to take on board.

The Green Gateway philosophy asks everyone involved in the industry, from architects, consultants, specifiers, installers, facilities managers, building owners and individual households to ‘Do the right thing’ with regards to energy use by adopting a ‘Lean, Mean and Green’ approach.

We need to work together to do this because buildings currently account for around half all UK greenhouse emissions, which is more than both industry and transport.  It is therefore clear where the challenge lies and our industry can have a significant role to play in helping the country meet the ambitious carbon reduction targets that have been set.

Read the full article here: https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

 

Vent-Axia Helps the UK Green Building Council Beat Records

Vent-Avia

Vent-Axia has supplied its Lo-Carbon T-Series fan as part of a new office fit-out for a renowned green building charity requiring improved ventilation. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has refurbished its London headquarters, with the aim of challenging industry thinking as to what is achievable in a small scale fit out.

The Lo-Carbon T-Series has been installed in windows and a partition wall and was selected as UK-GBC wanted CO2 control for occupancy comfort. Energy efficiency was also key so a low carbon unit, such as the Lo-Carbon T-Series, was essential. Now completed, the project has achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment in the UK, with the embodied carbon footprint 22% below a comparable “standard” fit-out.

“We are delighted to be part of this landmark project and for our Lo-Carbon T-Series to have contributed towards achieving such an impressively low embodied carbon footprint” said David Cook, Product Marketing Manager – Non-Residential at Vent-Axia. “It’s 30 years since we first launched the T-Series and it has become the UK’s favourite commercial fan. Known for its robustness and reliability, the T-series’ high quality design has stood the test of time and has evolved with new and improved motors, impellers and grilles.”

Wellbeing measures were another important element of the project and were incorporated into the design in order to improve staff satisfaction, productivity and overall health and wellness. A study by BESA found that 70% of office workers believe poor workplace air quality is having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being, and a third are concerned that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative effect on their health. Meanwhile, the report from WorldGBC ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The next chapter for green building’ states that the health and productivity benefits of good indoor air quality (IAQ) are well established. With this in mind the UK-GBC office’s innovative ventilation system, which includes Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon T-Series fans, has delivered a massive 750% increase in background fresh air provision

Ideal for refurbishment projects, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon T-Series Fan range can simply replace traditional commercial extract/supply fans with a low carbon alternative. Central to the Lo-Carbon T-Series is a low energy DC motor, developed to improve performance, lower running costs and carbon emissions while maintaining the T-Series’ rugged reliability. Offering up to 70% energy saving over traditional commercial extract/supply fans the Lo-Carbon T-Series’ DC motor also lasts twice as long as conventional motors. Available in 9 inch and 12 inch models the Lo-Carbon T-Series range includes wall, window and panel fans, offering installation flexibility in retrofit applications. With energy saving in mind, units are supplied with an integral instantaneous automatic louvre shutter concealed behind the interior grille to minimise energy wastage when the fan is idle.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590.

http://www.vent-axia.com/

Mr Slim R32 models bring advanced benefits at the same price

Mitsubishi Electric has launched of a new range of air conditioning units utilising the new refrigerant R32 which will be available at the same price as the equivalent R410A units.air conditioning units utilising the new refrigerant R32

The R32 Mr Slim Power Inverter split type models are the second product range in the company’s UK line-up to utilise R32 refrigerant – which has a low global warming potential (GWP).

“We have kept the price exactly the same as our current R410A Mr Slim Power Inverter line up as we see this eliminating a big hurdle in the adoption of this new refrigerant, which is an important change to help combat global warming,” explains Carl Dickinson on behalf of the company.

“Anyone planning on using, designing or installing air conditioning in the coming years will now need to take into account the GWP of the system to meet the requirements of the F-Gas Regulations,” adds Dickinson.

In March 2014, the European Parliament passed the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation legislation with the key objective of reducing F-Gas emissions by 79% between 2015 and 2030. The overall intention is to cut the availability of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a high GWP.

The F-Gas Regulations will have a major impact on the air conditioning sector and any option for the next generation of refrigerant gas must be able to meet the demands of this stringent legislation in reducing the environmental impact of HFCs.

air conditioning units utilising the new refrigerant R32

R32 has a GWP of 675 compared to R410A refrigerant which has a GWP of 2,088 and Dickinson sees this as an important reason why the market is expected to move quickly to the new refrigerant: “Not only will this help businesses demonstrate what they are doing to help the environment, the use of R32 also allows the Mr Slim units to offer increased efficiency compared to equivalent R410A models.”

Mitsubishi Electric is first to the UK market with such an expansive line-up and the new R32 Mr Slim Power Inverter models have been built specifically for the new refrigerant.

The range includes ten outdoor units offering single-phase and 3-phase options, with a capacity range from 3.5 to 14kW.  25 individual indoor units are also available as ceiling cassettes, ceiling concealed ducted, wall-mounted and ceiling suspended models.  Mr Slim Power Inverters are also available in twin and triple multi-split configurations delivering complete flexibility for system designers.

The Mr Slim R32 Power Inverter models bring together the latest technology, whilst maintaining the familiarity of the current Mr Slim Power Inverter range as Dickinson explains: “The size, look, feel and controls for the new R32 models remain the same as existing R410A Power Inverter models so that changing over to R32 will be as easy as possible for building owners.

“We have recognised that familiarity is important for global brands, such as high street retailers that need to ensure consistency of design, whatever size of building they operate,” he adds, “this should make it easier for companies that want to embrace R32 to show how they are helping combat global warming.”

Not only do the systems offer better performance at the same price, they also offer longer pipe runs with 100 metres available on the 10kW, 12.5kW and 14kW models – 25 metres longer than the equivalent R410A versions and the longest currently available on the market. This includes a 30 metre lift that is unique in the UK. The longer pipe runs are designed to make Mr Slim R32 even more flexible and allow systems to be installed where previous site restrictions would not allow.

Mr Slim R32 Power Inverter models are available in twin and triple split configurations and offer full heating capacity down to -3ºC. The range also includes Mitsubishi Electric’s unique Replace technology which can utilise existing pipework, making it ideal for office and retail refurbishments.

R32 units have already been available in Japan for over two years now and we have taken that knowledge and experience and refined it to develop this advanced line up, which improves efficiency, increases pipe runs and adds other benefits too,” explains Dickinson.

The new R32 Mr Slim line-up is available from July 2017 and further information is available on the dedicated website www.timeforr32.co.uk/pr4, which also includes product information sheets, videos and infographics on the background to the introduction of R32 refrigerant and our products. 

Double Success for Vent-Axia Winning Two Major Awards on One Night

VENT-AXIA

Vent-Axia is celebrating winning not one, but two categories in the prestigious H&V News Awards 2017. Within the Air Movement category the company scooped the award for its Lo-Carbon Revive, designed specifically for social housing ventilation. Meanwhile, in the Domestic Ventilation Product of the Year category, Vent-Axia collected the award for its innovative Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit. The Sussex-based company received the accolades on Thursday 20 April 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London. Attended by the biggest names in the heating and ventilation sector the event was hosted by comedian Russell Kane.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won two awards at the prestigious H&V News Awards,” said Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia. “Our company has just celebrated 80 years of innovation in the ventilation sector and is committed to improving indoor air quality. We are therefore very proud to have been acknowledged for our pioneering Sentinel Kinetic Advance and our revolutionary Lo-Carbon Revive which lead the market with the latest ventilation innovations.”

Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic Advance is a new breed of MVHR unit. With best in class performance and offering near silent, energy efficient and high pressure operation, it is perfect for New Build residential properties as well as care homes and student accommodation. ‘Advance’ extracts warm, moist air from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting which passes through the heat exchanger bef ore being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers over 93% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Designed for air-tight thermally efficient new build properties, the Advance is the first UK-manufactured web-enabled App-controlled MVHR unit, providing energy efficient ventilation and pioneering control. Featuring groundbreaking commissioning and control via the App, Advance encourages best practice and high performance through simplified commissioning, saving installers time on site.

The Advance also tops the PCDB list as the best performing MVHR system in its class, boasting a specific fan power of 0.38W/l/w with 93% heat recovery and airflow of 100l/s at 150Pa, offering high pressure development. This new breed of MVHR is not only efficient, it is also extremely quiet with trickle settings up to 40% staying below 20dBA, achieving the Holy Grail of high efficiency and low sound levels. Advance also features a revolutionary programmable summer bypass to ensure year-round thermal comfort.

Meanwhile, the intelligent Lo-Carbon Revive is a new filter-less unitary fan designed to meet the specific needs of social housing, boasting powerful, quiet, efficient ventilation. It improves indoor air quality and comfort for tenants while being quick and easy to install, low maintenance and reliable. Highly versatile the Revive offers a choice of run speeds for multiple installation options and can be ducted or through the wall, making specification easy. Revive is also low maintenance since its market-leading Multi-Vortex™ technology does not require a filter and the highly sculpted interior actively repels dust, avoiding clogging, thus helping to avoid call backs. Revive also boasts reliability backed by up to seven years’ warranty.

Featuring Smart Sense™ intelligent technology Revive is quick and easy to install with the fan featuring a simple alpha numeric LED display which is clear and easy to read and a three-button menu for commissioning and data gathering. Smart Sense™ also provides real-time data via an intuitive interface to communicate the fan’s energy efficiency; a Day Logger which tracks how many days a fan has been running to ensure it is used as intended; and features an ambient response humidistat to avoid nuisance tripping. Tenants will appreciate that Revive has been designed to be powerful enough to remove moist air to avoid mould and condensation and ensure good IAQ, but at the same time quiet enough not to disturb them, while remaining energy efficient.

The H&V News Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the UK’s diverse heating and ventilating sector with the winners selected by an expert panel of judges. Attended by the biggest names in the sector the H&V News Awards have firmly established themselves as the awards for the building services industry.

For further information on the Sentinel Kinetic Advance MVHR and the Lo-Carbon Revive, as well as other products and services offered by Vent-Axia, telephone 0844 856 0590.

Mark this renewable day in your diary and celebrate

by Russell Jones ~ Communications Manager at Mitsubishi Electric

Russell Jones asks whether a whole day of electricity produced without burning a single lump of coal spells out the end of an era for the nation.

Last Friday, 21st April 2017 was a very special day for the UK as the country generated a whole day of electricity without needing to use coal-fired power stations.

This landmark moment is the first working day in since 1882, when the first public coal-fired generating plant opened in London when no coal has been needed to help supply power to the nation – as reported by many news outlets such as the BBC and the Financial Times.

Whilst low demand for electricity in the week after the Easter holiday is quite normal and Friday’s are the day of the working week with the lowest power demand, this move away from what has been a bedrock of the UK’s energy production since the start of the industrial revolution is a real achievement.

This shows how the nation’s energy system is changing to embrace low-carbon electricity production through the use of nuclear, solar panels, wind turbines and a switch from coal to biomass and gas-powered stations.

In 2016, the government reported that it was working to phase out the last coal plants by 2025 in an effort to cut overall carbon emissions.

As we move towards low carbon power generation, renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps become even more viable and attractive.

So it looks like we are really starting to see a greening of the electricity grid which is tremendous news for renewable technologies such as heat pumps, which consume electricity but use it to maximise renewable heating for our homes.

Earlier this year, we produced an infographic looking at the history of home heating so I’m delighted to see that we are starting to enter the last phase of that and set the scene for a low-carbon power generating grid, feeding low-carbon heating systems – all of which will help minimise energy bills for homeowners and aid the country as we strive to meet stringent carbon reduction targets.

We look forward to discussing this more on The Hub over the next few years as we strive to move towards a truly zero-carbon society.

At Mitsubishi Electric, we also love to discuss this topic over on our Green Gateway Twitter page, so please join the conversation.

Russell Jones is PR & Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK.

If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.

https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

The history of home heating and the rise of renewables

Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

We’re all users of a home, whether we own it, rent it, or just occupy it and ensuring we have a comfortable and warm home environment is now seen as an expectation of modern life.

But it hasn’t always been possible to take a warm home for granted and things haven’t always been as easy as they are today.

Since the days when early man first discovered fire and used it to keep the ‘cave’ warm and the wolves from the door, we have found ways to refine how we use that flame.

From the wood-burning days through to the industrialisation of the Victorian age and the introduction of coal, lighting a fire has been the main source of heat for the home.

renewable energy

Until the turn of the 20th Century therefore, this open flame in a home wasn’t just for aesthetics – or to make you feel Hygge it was the only option available and for those petticoat wearing Victorian women, the hazard of accidental death from fire was a very real threat.

In the 1930’s, we started to see the introduction of electric forms of heating, and the introduction of a gas network from the 1950’s and 60’s, saw this fuel start to dominate the world of domestic heating.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s and 80’s that we started to see an increase in central heating, predominantly using gas boilers and this still remains the standard for most.

But a reliance on fossil fuels; gas, coal and oil will soon need to become history because as we all know, we cannot continue like this.

So what does the future of our home heating and hot water look like?

As a heat pump manufacturer, you would expect us to promote air source systems but we are not the only ones saying it – The UK government has already recognised that heat pumps have a major role to play in keeping our homes warm and cosy well into the future.

By extracting and harvesting ‘free’ heat energy from the outdoor air, heat pumps are recognised as renewable and qualify for government incentives in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

This is designed to offset the slightly higher capital costs of investing in renewables and is starting to have a significant impact on the traditional heating market as more people accept that they have to play their part.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub
Heat pumps are suitable from a variety of homes including pre-1930s, 1930-2010, 2010 – present and new build / self build properties.

At the moment, this is also taking the form of adding a heat pump to an existing heating system but as pressure on new housebuilders grows to clearly demonstrate they are delivering sustainable homes for the future, the government fully expects heat pumps to become the norm for home heating.

The other important factor to consider is that as the nation ‘greens’ production of energy with the increased use of wind, solar and even tidal energy production, then heat pumps become even greener.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

So, the history of home heating has been an interesting journey so far but has relied predominantly on burning something to produce heat – a large part of which is often wasted up a chimney or flue.

In reality though, it’s quite scary to see how slow things have changed. It’s only now that the clock to a low carbon future really is ticking so we have to pull together to ensure we pick up the pace and move with the times.

https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

The environmental lessons to be learnt from Dr Seuss

Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

To celebrate International Children’s Book Day it only seems appropriate to talk about a book with an overarching environmental theme.

The book in question is The Lorax by Dr Seuss which tells the story of the effects of pollution, deforestation and climate change after the forest of “Truffula trees” is chopped down.

Dr Seuss was a writer who was frequently inspired by political topics like the environmental movement, which allowed him to channel his negativity into magical and meaningful children’s literature – such as The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who and Oh! The Places You Will Go.

To some his underlying use of political themes might be viewed as controversial, especially in children’s storybooks, but as an adult reflecting on this story – which was a must-read of my primary school curriculum, the environmental messages are certain…and scary. Nevertheless, I’m glad that these books have subtly informed me and taught me that even though the world is full of issues, if you care, you can help to make them better.

To start, I’m going to give you a quick summary of the story:

A boy living in a polluted area of town seeks to discover what happened to the Lorax. To discover this he visits a man called Once-ler in the place where the “Grickle –grass grows”. While visiting Once-ler he hears the sad story of how Once-ler chopped down all the Truffula trees to fund his manufacturing business, destroying the home of the animals and polluting the air and water. This in turn drove the Lorax away and the Once-ler now lives alone and with deep regret of his selfish actions.

Re–reading the short story of the Lorax which was published in 1971, it’s clear what the important themes are that Dr Seuss has focused on and it’s sad that over 40 years later (and well over 20 years after the death of Theodor Seuss Geisel) these themes are still major issues that we face today.

So what are the themes and how are they still relevant today?

Deforestation

The major catalyst to the Lorax leaving was the cutting down of all the trees. The Lorax speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues” and unfortunately all his speaking did could not save them – especially as the innovation in Once-ler’s axe technology quadrupled his turnover of tree harvesting!

In real life and in today’s terms, deforestation is devastating to our planet and at the current rate of deforestation the world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years. The most common reasons behind deforestation are agriculture, logging and urban sprawl. The biggest impact deforestation has is on the 80% of the earth’s animals and plants that live there. While for climate change, no trees means dryer soils and less absorption of greenhouse gasses.

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Deforestation is a primary threat to animals like the Orangutan

Poor respect for the environment

If you work for a large corporation, the term Corporate Social Responsibility might be something you have heard quite a lot about.  Respecting the environment from a business level has thankfully become quite important in the past few years, but for the average individual, is respecting the environment still a challenge that we need educating on? In 2015 The Telegraph reported on a government survey that showed how only 18% of Britons are “very concerned” about climate change. So does that show that they have no driver behind pro-activity respecting the environment – like Once-ler?

It’s a question we ask ourselves over on our Green Gateway Twitter page (@green_gateway) so feel free to discuss your thoughts with us on there.

The importance of plants

As previously mentioned, less trees means drier soils and less absorption of greenhouse gasses. But on an everyday scale, trees and plants are so much more than that. Plants, like in the story of the Lorax, provide shelter, food, oxygen and water purification. Without the Truffula trees the pollution from Once-ler’s factory destroys the quality of the air and the water, changing the landscape and driving the animals away. Beyond this, plants also provide medicine and store carbon dioxide, helping us reduce the impact of other environmental threats like the burning of fossil fuels.

The impact of pollution

Aside from the physical impact of pollution, the Lorax touches on the impact of pollution from over manufacturing “your machine chugs on, day and night without stop, making gluppity-glupp. Also schloppity-schlopp”. According to Conserve Energy Future, any form of pollution can be traced back to industrial practices. This can be seen in countries that face a rapid growth of industry. The contamination and effects of this are so vast that they would require an article in themselves to do them justice. But if Dr Seuss’ exploration of this theme is something you want to delve into further, the more in-depth Lorax film from 2012 is definitely worth watching.

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Industrial pollution
Industrial waste is a large contributor to global pollution

So relating this back to International Children’s Book Day, I hope you appreciate why The Lorax is not just an enchantingly poetic story. It is also worthy of being in the realm of children’s classics, like his other work: Oh! The Places You Will Go, this has deep and touching meaning that will leave children and adults alike questioning their impact in the world we live in today.

Ellina Webb is a Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.

London’s Riverwalk incorporates Passivhaus standard Schöck Isokorb

On the north side of the Thames in central London, the three riverside embankments, Chelsea, Victoria and Albert, are the result of extensive civil engineering works that reclaimed marshy land, narrowed the width of the river and provided a large-scale new area of development during the late 19th century.    Today almost 150 years later, much of the area is once again being transformed as the result of a scheme designed to replace many of the outdated buildings which have characterised these areas for so long. There will be high specification property construction, promenades and parks; and at Millbank, one of the major residential riverfront developments is Riverwalk.

Passivhaus standard Schöck Isokorb

Riverwalk features two organically shaped buildings of seven and seventeen storeys, connected by a central podium and incorporating 116 high specification one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, plus penthouses. The design focus is on light, space, service and exceptional views across the Thames.   Aesthetically the buildings are enhanced by horizontal bands of limestone on the curving facades between the glazing and ceramic panels, with the stonework wrapping around the lower parts of the balconies to create a continuous organic shape.

The avoidance of thermal bridging is critical

With such a high specification development, early consideration was given to the avoidance of the thermal bridging at the critical balcony connections. Thermal bridges would result in higher heat transfer through the assembly and colder surface temperatures on the warm side of the assembly.

Some of the consequences of this being higher energy use for heating and cooling, non-compliance with UK Building Regulations, potential building structure corrosion and the risk of mould growth and associated health concerns from respiratory problems. To help minimise any risk of thermal bridging, the structural thermal break module specified throughout the Riverwalk development is the latest generation Schöck Isokorb for concrete-to-concrete applications, the type KXT.

Isokorb type KXT

This latest example of Schöck engineering means even better performance, which is critical in meeting the inceasingly stringent EU guidelines and the imminent need for nearly zero-energy building standards. The Schöck Isokorb type KXT pushes the technical boundaries in meeting these demands.

In addition, through close collaboration with its clients, Schöck has also now optimised the load capacity of the Isokorb range. As a result, the load capacities most frequently in demand have been identified and appropriate refinements applied to the product portfolio.   The range now provides planners with not only a structurally optimised product solution for the construction of cantilevered components, but cost advantages as well.

Schöck Isokorb

Verifiable performance values

The product offers such a high level of insulation, that in Germany the Passivhaus Institute in Darmstadt has awarded the product with the low ‘thermal bridge construction‘ certificate and confirmed its suitability even for Passivhaus construction. The product has also just been awarded the very latest BBA certification.   All units meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations, which require that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI) must be greater than or equal to 0.75 for residential buildings. The range also provides Local Authority Building Control Registration and there is compliance too with the UK government Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 2012) concerning CO2 emissions from buildings and respectively heat losses through non-repeating thermal bridges.

Here, the lambda values of the Schöck Isokorb enable energy loss in various connective situations to be reduced by as much as 84% to 91%.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

Washroom design for the well educated

With so many rules and regulations surrounding the practicalities of washroom design in educational settings, Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, talks us through the dos and don’ts of sanitary specification for the school environment.

Specifying products for washrooms within the education sector may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure not only that regulations are met, but that the space is well designed, comfortable and practical.

Lack of privacy, vandalism and inadequate cleaning and maintenance can make a visit to the toilet an unpleasant and unhealthy experience for students. In fact, recent research undertaken by charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness. Therefore the design of washrooms in education premises needs to be about a lot more than simply providing enough toilets and washbasins.

Laying out the order

The overall layout of school washrooms is a good place to start. As well as adhering to regulations regarding wheelchair accessible cubicles, all standard cubicles must have a minimum 450mm-diameter manoeuvring space that is clear of the door swing. And of course, when you are designing spaces for growing children, the sizes and fixing heights of sanitaryware must be suitable for the relevant user age groups too. Short projection WCs offer a good solution here, creating the necessary space while still ensuring user comfort. Wall-mounting the pan with a suitable framing system will enable the height of the WC to be easily adjusted during installation, to better meet the needs of the user.

Hygiene first

Aside from layout, hygiene in this environment is extremely important too, with ease of cleaning being key to students’ health and wellbeing. So much so that the Department for Education offers guidance on the issue, stating that to avoid build-up of dirt and germs, the toilets in schools should be wall-hung or back to wall.. This also offers a solution with regards to ensuring plumbing work is tamper-proof, a particular point of note when specifying for colleges and universities which serve older children and young adults. The cistern and pipework concealed within the framing system, preventing interference, while being easy to access for maintenance purposes. A dual-flush cistern sitting neatly behind the wall will also help to significantly reduce the amount of water used, while not affecting overall flushing performance. This is particularly important in educational establishments, which are high-traffic areas with the potential for toilets to be flushed literally hundreds of times in any one day.

It is also worth noting that in schools, particularly where younger users are present, the recommendation is also to avoid urinals, but where they are specified to opt for individual bowls rather than a trough, with modestly panels for privacy.

sanitaryware
Twyford offers a Rimfree school pans and Flushwise water-efficient WC flushing options.

Water-saving pays off

The washbasins in school washrooms should also be subject to a number of practical considerations. Of course, ease of cleaning for hygiene reasons remains imperative, making ceramics that are coated with an easy to clean glaze a particular benefit, while the choice of brassware is also important. Not only should mixer taps for washbasins be robust and tamper-proof, ideally they should be fitted with an automatic shut-off too, either through a built-in timed delivery feature or infra-red sensors.

Energy and water are a major proportion of non-staff costs in schools, colleges and universities and a major part of their environmental impact. While some schools will have greater scope for savings than others, overall more than 20% of energy is wasted, and a school that is equipped with water conservation devices, such as taps with automatic shut-offs or flow restrictors, plus dual-flush WCS, typically use less than half the amount of water used in schools where such features are not present.

Longevity guarantee

Keeping maintenance levels as low as possible is an important requirement in school buildings, where downtime in washrooms can be at best inconvenient for staff and students. This makes the specification of quality sanitary fittings that will be hard-wearing and durable, of particular significance. To limit the frequency of replacing such fixtures and fittings, their life expectancy should be around 15-20 years, with a manufacturer’s guarantee providing the best scope for this.

There are undoubtedly a lot of things to consider when designing washrooms for educational establishments, with all elements really carrying an equal weight of importance. The trick to ticking all of them off and achieving a successful design is to establish a strong relationship with a manufacturer who is able to respond to all aspects of a washroom’s design, from layouts and dimensions to styles and materials as standard, so that there is never any need to compromise.

For more details contact Twyford on 01926 516800 or visit www.twyfordbathrooms.com.

All hands on deck for refurbishment of The Ship

When the owners of one of Plymouth’s most iconic building were looking to refurbish and upgrade the derelict office within weeks instead of months, they needed a team of installers able to hit the ground running, and a flexible heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that would still deliver the energy savings needed.

HVAC

“When we first decided to buy The Ship we knew that the existing HVAC system was just inadequate and the whole system would need upgrading,” explained Rob Monroe, managing director of owners Burrington Estates.   “New tenants were keen to move in so we also had limited time in which to make the drastic changes that were required.”

What was needed was a company that would be able to design, install, commission and maintain a far more energy efficient and sustainable system and be able to do this in a very short space of time.

“We would normally expect the timescale for completion of a job like this to be three or four months and we were given 10 weeks,” said Kurt Hedgley, managing director, JCW Energy Services Ltd.  “Not only this, the client needed us on site just seven days from the date of receiving the purchase order.”

The company was able to build a team from a number of its nationwide offices and called upon the technical and logistical support of manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric.

“JCW Energy Services was a perfect fit,” said Monroe, “To finish a project of this size in the tight timescale given, I applaud their speed, organization, engineering team and work ethic.”

Built in 1993, The Ship used to be home to The Herald and Western Morning News but in recent years it has been left empty and was even being considered for demolition until a leading city property development company, Burrington Estates, acquired the building
Now The Ship is being restored to its former glory, and has been renamed Spirit of Enterprise with hundreds of jobs being created by the businesses that will take up residence.

Mitsubishi Electric

“It was clear that reducing the building’s energy consumption was of paramount importance to Burrington Estates, who are renowned for their sympathetic development of historic sites in the region,” commented Kurt Hedgley.

“We worked within our partnership agreement with Mitsubishi Electric who provided us with innovative support to ensure the most suitable system that could be designed, installed and commissioned within the tight deadline specified.”

For the first phase of this impressive project, 12 City Multi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) outdoor condensing units and four Mr Slim split air conditioning systems were installed to serve 89 individual ceiling units.

City Multi was chosen as it could be installed in a modular fashion providing JCW engineers with the flexibility needed to work around the other elements of the refurbishment.

“We chose this VRF system because of its high performance and that fact that it only uses two pipes rather than the usual three which was ideal in a job with such tight deadlines,” added Hedgley. “It also comes with intelligent controls that make it easier to interface with the Building Management System.”

As a Business Solutions Partner with the manufacturer, JCW is also able to offer a seven-year warranty on the equipment.
With the whole building under refurbishment, it was also imperative that JCW engineers could work alongside a large number of tradespeople and engineers from shop fitters, life system installers to window cleaners and even mural artists.

Working around existing equipment was also a challenge with regard to integrating systems and negotiating new pipework around old. The shape of the building and also the positioning of the plant has added to the challenge with some units being fed through over 150 metres pipe runs, putting added pressure on the system.

“One of our engineers told me that this was one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding projects he’s ever worked on,” added Hedgley.

The final solution needs to provide a regular temperature, even with the architectural challenges of the building. It also demanded a system that can be easily controlled, provide the best energy efficiency and be sustainable.

“The energy rating will drastically improve immediately and our design provides effective, simultaneous heating and cooling which can offer substantial savings on the annual running costs,” explained Hedgley.

A complete planned preventative maintenance programme has also been prepared to run alongside the seven-year warranty.

The Ship’s next phase will include the completion of the restaurant and gymnasium for the use of the staff within the offices. And finally, the amazing Board Room with its spectacular views.

This will see the completion of the plan to breathe new life back into the building and see it restored to its former glory and become a major hub for business in the area.

Further details on the services provided by JCW can be found at http://www.jcwes.com/.

https://airconditioning.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

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