Plant Room Renewals and upgrades
Regulations & other factors to consider when renewing a plant room
Commercial boiler heating systems and other HVAC systems are not cheap but with good design they should last 20-25 years. It is important to understand the costs, not just the installation cost but how much the plant room costs to operate and maintain. As every site is different the choice of HVAC equipment will change too, this is to match your expectations for reliability and efficiency.
When surveying a site we look at how the existing plant room is operating and the changes to the use or structural changes to the building e.g. has better insulation or improved windows been fitted? Has the building been added to, which could increase the system load? In the past most heating and hot water systems have been oversized, meaning that many heating systems can operate without any issue when some of the plant room machinery has failed. Renewing a plant room allows for an opportunity to reassess the system load and match the new plant room to that precisely. This often means a significant saving in the installation costs and with modular boilers there will also be a built-in resilience, offering an improved load matching which in turn increases the system efficiency.
One cost that must be factored in is the boiler flue. If the boilers are being upgraded from conventional efficiency to condensing technology, it will more than likely need an upgrade flue system to. Flues can be a quite an expense, especially if the plant room is a long way from the terminal. Another thing in relation to boiler flues to consider is, if the existing boilers are connected to a flue dilution system then there are different solutions to overcoming potential pluming.
With much greater awareness of emissions from heating systems, it is important to select the correct equipment to make the new installation future-proof by meeting future regulations on emissions that are likely to be implicated.
It is important to match the heating plant to match the real site system load, not just at the maximum output but at low load conditions. Doing so will stop the boiler cycling which not only affects the system efficiency but affects the boiler reliability as well. A well-matched modular boiler system to the system load will keep capital costs down as well as minimise running and maintenance costs.
Commercial boilers are designed to work in different ways and can be significantly different sizes for the same output. They can be made of different materials that can make them suitable for different applications. We will guide you through this process, and ensure that all the equipment selected will meet your requirements
Regulations To Follow
Commercial plant-room come under many regulations that cover the equipment, the installation and the maintenance.
There are many regulations that the manufacturer has to comply with and the finished unit should show compliance with the CE mark. The most significant change in the last few years is the ErP directive which ensures that the boilers and water heaters meet set efficiencies and emissions. For example, all boilers under 400kW have to now be condensing and have a NOx emission under 56mg/kWh.
For installation, we comply with various regulations. The most important are BS6644:2011, EN12828, the Institute of Gas Engineers UP2 and UP10 and the Clean Air Act. These regulations cover the ventilation, flues, gas supply and the required safety equipment. It is important to realise that these may well have changed over the years since your plant was installed, therefore the new plant room must now comply with any updated regulations
The Building Regulations will stipulate requirements for existing and new build projects. This will see the introduction of no gas in new dwellings where we will see heat pumps being introduced. The Building Regulations is the way that the government will bring in new rules and use them to reduce emissions to meet the UK carbon targets.
The London Plan covers the Greater London area and has higher standards for emissions standards to try to improve air quality in busy areas. For boilers is a higher standard for NOx emissions of a maximum level of 40mg/kWh.
When we carry out a survey we cover all these regulations and how they will impact on the project. We can guide you through the process to ensure that there will be smooth change with the least effect on the operation of the building. For more information on plant room installations and upgrades, check out this dedicated plant room page or hit the green button below to get in touch!