An energy-efficient commercial heating system is helping Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust achieve savings for its social housing properties. Alpha Heating Innovation has all the details.
Housing associations will be well aware that the Department for Communities and Local Government includes within its definition of a ‘decent home’ that properties must provide a ‘reasonable degree of thermal comfort’. This might sound straightforward enough, but when it comes to the installation of a new or replacement heating system, there are a multitude of issues to consider.
There is of course a duty of care to select products that will improve the building’s overall energy efficiency, the increasing pressure housing associations face to implement low carbon technologies, and the need to provide a heating and hot water solution that is truly fit for purpose. This means that product selection can become a complex process.
The good news is that there are commercial boilers available that help to address these requirements. For example, at the Wycliffe End development, owned by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, the team needed a range of boilers to meet the varying requirements across a number of buildings.
The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust provides affordable housing to over 17,000 people living and working in Aylesbury and surrounding areas. The Trust offers a variety of housing, such as independent living solutions for the over 60s, shared ownership schemes and Choice Based Lettings. Its Wycliffe End development now benefits from four Alpha ARES Tec boilers servicing blocks named after famous people with links to Buckinghamshire.
The Anne Boleyn, Enid Blyton, Rothschild and Roald Dahl blocks each benefit from 250kw ARES Tec boilers, complete with plate exchanger and safety kit. These incorporate self-contained modules to provide a greater transfer of heat. Each has its own down-firing pre-mix burner, fan, ignition and safety controls to assist in the changing demands of buildings with a number of different occupants.
This is achieved in part due to the integrated E8 Boiler Cascade Manager. Spreading the load evenly between heat modules and optimising to the changing demands on the boiler, it provides a rapid warm up time in response to multiple requests. This was an ideal solution to help cater for the variety of tenant needs at Wycliffe End. These independent living blocks benefit from radiators, central heating, hot water and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), so each living space can be controlled to suit individual needs.
Independently, if demand falls low enough, the boiler can run on the minimum output of a single module. As a result, energy use is minimised, giving the ARES Tec its excellent reputation for energy efficiency. This also reduces running costs to allow for a more affordable living space for housing association tenants.
For the assisted living residential blocks — Thistle, Woodlands and Landon Court, 350, 250 and 200kw ARES Tec boilers were specified with plate kit feeding the radiators and controlled room stats, so each room can be adjusted accordingly.
Delivering fit for purpose solutions
Although still an assisted living block, North End Court needed a much larger heat output, however space was limited. As such, two ProTec Plus commercial boilers were specified. This is a fan assisted condensing system to provide heating only for sealed central heating systems, or open systems if required. These are supplied with type ‘B23’ flue configuration (open chamber and forced draught) to allow flexible siting, but can be adapted to type ‘C’ (room sealed) with the use of a special flue adaptor kit if need be. The range offers impressive outputs but is more compact to maximise space capacity, offering the ideal solution for North End Court, where energy efficiency was still a high priority but the space was restrictive.
A strong partnership between housing associations, installers and manufacturers is integral to providing tenants with the most suitable solution. Alpha Heating Innovation understands this, which is why it offers after sales service to support users in achieving excellent energy savings. This includes visits from an engineer to support the selection of a system that is flexible and versatile, which is able to adapt to fluctuating demand. As a result, the heating system will work more efficiently and less energy will be wasted.
Finding a reliable partnership
Having established a relationship like this with Alpha Heating Innovation in a previous role, Mike Humphrey of Vale of Aylesbury Housing brought with him a keen interest in the ARES Tec and ProTec Plus boilers for the housing association sector.
Mike comments: “A lot of the boilers at several of our sites had either come to the end of their life or were inefficient. I’ve previously been very happy with the support from Alpha, having worked with them in the past. The team are happy to help and provide ongoing training so we can make the most out of the products. I’ve been really impressed with the fuel costs and savings we’ve made from switching to the ARES Tec and ProTec Plus boilers. I knew I could rely on good outputs and service from them and I think the company has a well thought out design process for its products.”