Sep 25, 2017 Last Updated 11:00 PM, Sep 10, 2017

Efficient heating investment for primary school

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During the development of the new Endike Primary School in North Hull, the decision was taken to significantly reduce the school's carbon footprint and simultaneously enhance its overall heating efficiency by installing a bespoke heating system.

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With the previous school building having been on the same site for over 80 years, Endike Primary was selected for the development of an entirely new school under the Primary Capital Programme (PCP) which was managed as part of Hull City Council’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative. With such an investment it was important for the school to source a heating system which offered not only a truly effective way of keeping emissions and fuel costs to a minimum, but also compliant with key legislation and energy targets now applicable to new public building construction.

Endike Primary is a £6m state-of-the-art facility which can host over 420 students and a 26-place full time equivalent nursery. The principal contractor on site was Sewell Group who had to ensure the new build met all the criteria of the BREEAM New Construction scheme and Part L of the Building Regulations. The BREEAM scheme is used to assess the environmental life cycle impacts of new non-domestic buildings at the design and construction stages whereas Part L of the Building Regulations concentrates on the conservation of fuel and power.

To ensure the incoming heating system met each of these strict regulations, Sewell Group appointed Binks Building Services (BBS) to source, procure and manage the entire installation of the heating system. BBS liaised with Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating and agreed with the installation of six GWPL38 gas absorption heat pumps in a cascade arrangement meeting all requirements set out by Endike Primary.

Tsonka Popova, Design Engineer for BBS, explains: “The purchase and installation of any heating system in a public building is likely to be one of the more expensive investments made. With this in mind, it was vital that we made the right selection at the first attempt.

“By approaching and working closely with Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating, we were able to come up with a bespoke design and, through a thorough commissioning process, we were able to ensure that the system operated to its full potential and met all the needs set out by Endike Primary.

“In addition to the cost and energy efficiency benefits of a gas absorption heat pump, the ability for the installation to be integrated to an existing building management system was of great value. This integration means that the performance of the heat pumps, as well as the temperature levels in each classroom, can be monitored and adjusted by the simple touch of a button from a centralised control system, making future maintenance and servicing work a lot simpler.”

Free energy

Lukasz Bulawa, Commercial Technology Consultant for Bosch, comments: “When Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating was approached by BBS to provide a heating system, which was energy and cost efficient as well as meeting BREEAM and Part L construction standards, we knew that gas absorption heat pump technology would be the best way forward.

“As the technology utilises gas, which is around a third of the price of electricity, running costs can be cut significantly in comparison to the use of other comparable technologies, such as electric heat pumps.

“With the GWPL38 gas absorption heat pump being part of the air-to-water technology group, and designed for external use, we were able to utilise the ample space on the roof of the building. Unique heat pump design helps to generate up to 65% of additional heat by drawing in free energy from the surrounding air, thus further enhancing the overall efficiency of the system in operation. The additional benefit of an external installation is that the pumps do not need to be situated in an internal plant room where they are likely to take up valuable floor space.

“The heat output coming from the six units will cater for the heating demand of the entire school, without the need to install any other back-up heat source.”

A key strength of the GWPL38 gas absorption heat pump is that it draws energy from the air using advanced heat pump technology and a highly efficient, low-NOx condensing heat generator. By using natural gas or LPG as its primary energy source, rather than electricity which is generated largely in coal or gas-fired power stations, the gas absorption heat pump has a significantly lower carbon foot print than comparable equivalents.

Efficient heat output

The school will now be able to benefit from a heating system that remains energy efficient even in the harshest of winters. With a Gas Utilisation Efficiency of over 160%, gas absorption heat pump technology offers a great return on investment. During the peak heating season, when the average temperature is 7°C, an average of 0.5kW of free energy is absorbed for every 1kW of gas consumed. At similar temperatures, the heat output of a single GWPL38 unit can reach up to 38.3kW. When the temperature drops below freezing, each heat pump will continue to work with an efficiency of at least 125%, with a single unit generating 31.5kW of heating output.

Positive performance

This minimised carbon footprint is the strengthening of the appliance’s suitability for a new build project such as Endike Primary School. In addition to this, gas absorption heat pump technology also minimises NOx emissions to qualify for BREEAM 5. The refrigerant used in gas absorption heat pump technology is ammonia which has zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and thus meeting the BREEAM 5 standard. With new legislation and energy targets in force, technologies such as gas absorption heat pumps should be considered key components of a building’s infrastructure.

The energy efficiency of the gas absorption heat pump installation has had an extremely positive impact on Endike Primary School during its first six months of operation, which will reflect positively on the school’s Energy Performance Certificate.

Minimum running costs

Linda Burrows, Head teacher of Endike Primary School, concludes: “Endike Primary is a state-of-the-art facility using the latest technologies. It was important to the school’s Governing Body, the Local Authority and I that we adopted the same approach to the heating system.

“In addition to the obvious cost and energy savings, the aftercare provided by Bosch has been second to none. Once the installation was complete they took the time to re-visit the premises, on more than one occasion, to ensure all relevant members of Sewell Group, BBS and the facilities management team here at Endike Primary had all the necessary training to be fully competent in operating the system. It is those small touches that really do make the difference.

“Having such a committed team on hand to deal with all elements of the aftercare service has ensured we have been able to keep the technology, which is still relatively innovative for the UK, running at its optimum levels. Working closely with Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating has enabled us to receive a bespoke heating system which has higher carbon savings, reduced environmental impact and lower running costs.”

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