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St Paul’s Cathedral relies on Priva UK BMS as part of major plant upgrade

  • Priva Blue ID selected following similar project success at Westminster Abbey
  • Far greater ease-of-use thanks to Priva TC Manager web-based front end

Priva Blue ID S-Line and C-Line controls have been installed as part of a major BMS retrofit project at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The installation, which was part of an overall plant room refurbishment, gives the cathedral complete control over its temperature requirements from radiators/heating coils and the hot water system throughout the building. A new front-end based on Priva UK’s integrated, web-based TC Manager, which is accessible from any PC with internet access, ensures authorised staff can change preset temperatures or on/off times at the click of a button.

St Paul’s Cathedral, London’s iconic 340 year old church realised that its plant room equipment was in need of replacement in order to improve energy efficiency, enhance reliability and meet high heating and hot water demands. The cathedral’s existing heating system consisted of three steel shell boilers fitted in the 1960s which received a burner upgrade in the 1980s. Equipment problems occurred frequently and were fixed until the boilers finally started leaking and could not be repaired anymore.

New BMS required

Although deciding that a replacement/upgrade project would be the best course of action, an immediate issue came to light. The site’s 20-year-old control panel would not have the capability to adopt the new equipment being installed.

St Paul’s wanted to replace its existing boilers, hot water system and ventilation plant, thus instigating the search for a suitable BMS. The appointed M&E contractor, Bunton M&E Services, had a good relationship with Electrical and Mechanical Controls Ltd (EMC) in Norwich, which in turn is an experienced Priva installation partner. Priva’s specialism in the heritage buildings sector has seen its technology installed at a number of high profile historic sites.

“We worked together very successfully on a similar BMS upgrade project at Westminster Abbey,” explains Daniel Millard, Technical Operations Manager at EMC. “Here, we could show St Paul’s how Priva Blue ID had been used to transform outdated controls into a 21st century heating and ventilation system at another of London’s most important religious and historic buildings.”

Fingertip control

Priva Blue ID S-Line controls were duly selected for the main boiler room at St Paul’s where they now control four new Hamworthy Wessex ModuMax mk3 boilers and the primary boiler pumps, which together provide a total space heating output of up to 1,016kW. In fact, thanks to a turndown ratio of 20:1, the boilers can deliver any output from 50.8 to 1,016kW. This means that in periods of low heat demand, the boilers are not constantly cycling and wasting energy.

The BMS is also being used to control supply and extract fans for the boiler room. In addition, there are two new hot water cylinders with two primary pumps and two desertification pumps, along with a secondary pump and controls, comprising a 1,000 litre domestic hot water system.

“We have also used a Priva Blue ID C-Line controller in the Wren Suite for AHU control, which includes two heating coil pumps, supply fan, extract fan and controls,” says Mr Millard. “Similarly, control has been provided for the AHU in the cathedral’s visitor lavatories, where there are also two heating and frost coil pumps, a supply fan, double extract fans and controls. There are further extract fans in the staff lavatory, shop and mezzanine areas.”

Short installation time

In terms of the plant upgrade, Bunton M&E built everything off-site in five weeks to ensure minimal disruption. In total, the installation time on-site was condensed to just four weeks. Saving further time, it was possible to use the existing IT network (utilising Ethernet) to communicate between the main panel, Wren Suite and the BMS PC.

The benefits of the revamp include increased reliability, and better scalability and flexibility for future modifications. Naturally, there are likely to be significant energy savings too, as a result of enhanced temperature control.

Another advantage relates to heating speed. Heating a cathedral can take a long time due to its large space, but the speed of heat-up has improved greatly. Previously it would take a week to heat the cathedral from cold, but now it only takes a day. In addition, the heating runs 24/7 on weather compensation, which means a small outdoor sensor is fitted to adjust heating controls according to outside temperature changes, thus providing more efficient operation of the system.

Enhanced front end

“Importantly, the new system offers greater ease-of-use through an improved front end that utilises Priva TC Manager,” says Mr Millard. “The benefit being that we can also gain remote access to the web interface to assist with any issues. Furthermore, St Paul’s can now move away from having a single, dedicated front end PC, as any PC with internet access should be able to use the front end, subject to authorisation.”

Robin Bunton, Director at Bunton M&E Services, concurs: “The greatest benefit is ease-of-use; the front end is really simple to access. In addition, St Paul’s have vastly reduced their maintenance time/burden.”

"It is possible for me to view the system with a web browser on my PC, from either our internal network or remotely," states Tom Fletcher, Clerk of the Works at St Paul’s Cathedral. "It’s in such an easy format, which makes it simple to understand. What’s more, if I need to change anything, I just click a button on the screen. The system also means that EMC are able to log on remotely should I have any queries, which is very helpful.”


Double school extensions for Wilson Vale

Wilson Vale has been awarded two five-year contract extensions with two leading independent schools.

Prestfelde School, an independent preparatory boarding school in Shrewsbury, has retained Wilson Vale since 2009 where the independent caterers provide 290 lunches every day for pupils ranging in age from 3 to 13, as well as teaching and support staff.  The team of six also prepares breakfast and suppers for school boarders, sports teas for pupils and parents and a variety of hospitality catering at special events.

Highclare School in Birmingham has also extended its contract with Wilson Vale for another five years also. A catering team of fifteen provides lunches for 650 pupils across the independent day school’s three sites in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield.

Carolyne Vale, co-founder of Wilson Vale, said: “These latest contract extensions show the calibre of the relationships we nurture with our clients. We are immensely proud to have retained the business for so many years and all credit must go to our on-site teams and area managers whose impeccable standards, warmth and creativity continue to impact on our success.”

Simon Worthy, bursar at Prestfelde School, commented: “I have been delighted with the offering from Wilson Vale during my six years at the school.  They have been consistently lauded by pupils, parents, and staff.  The food is high quality and, with the various tastes and themes, is part of the education at Prestfelde.  Our on-site Wilson Vale team is part of the Prestfelde family and the regional and headquarters’ team wonderfully support the provision, both indirectly and frequently directly through the year.”

Dr Richard Luke, head of Highclare School, said: “Wilson Vale are superb catering partners for Highclare School, a busy independent school operating on three separate sites. Their food quality, presentation and service are second to none, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with them over the next five years.”


UK fit-out firm Morris & Spottiswood lands major office refurb in Leeds Southbank Business District

The design and build contract at Victoria Place involves a partnership with Box Architects to refurbish three floors at the site. The building owned by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) is located just south of Leeds Railway Station. Morris & Spottiswood has offices in Warrington, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Morris & Spottiswood senior contracts manager Peter McLaughlin said key work includes a new feature reception area, new internal partitions and doors, an overhaul to the lift system and new flooring, ceilings, window alterations and adapting the existing entrance with new glazing, paving and a revolving door.

The comprehensive 15-week project will further involve extensive M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) installations from Morris & Spottiswood’s specialist in-house division along with toilet refurbishments, joinery and general fixtures. MPS aims to let four Victoria Place upon completion of the re-fit which is due in late march 2018.

“This is a major project running until March 2018,” Mr McLaughlin said. “It’s located half a mile from our Leeds office and presents a terrific opportunity for Morris & Spottiswood to showcase its skill and expertise in the heart of the city. The project involves a complete strip out and refurbishment to the ground, first and second floors at Victoria Place. At this present moment we are stripping the building back to a ‘category A’ development before our M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) division step in and we start delivering the design and build specification. In addition to all the structural work we are also managing the decoration, soft furnishing and wet systems.

“Key challenges with this project came at the design phase working out how to upgrade the lift sections in time with the critical path dates we are working towards. Another demanding aspect included the formation of a trench under a roadway to allow optics and power cables to transfer from one building to another. This work had to be completed over a weekend as the surrounding offices are fully occupied with more than 800 staff. The building is also positioned around a central square and the client is looking at increasing the seating capacity within the centre of the courtyard to facilitate an increased number of staff on the site during break periods. It is also looking at expanding the parking area further, along with introducing new lighting which will be an addition to the current contract value but incorporated within the current project. This stage of the project is still in the development stage.

“This is the first project we have secured with the Medical Protection Society which has an extensive property portfolio across the region. Once completed we are looking to get involved in the ‘category B’ fit out for the new occupier. We are also looking at delivering further upgrade work for other buildings located in the Victoria Place complex during this project. The project was registered with the Considerate Contractors Scheme to ensure all works are carried out in line with the ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ - designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.”

Morris & Spottiswood’s turnover stands at circa £90million with a workforce of 390 people. It has four separate service divisions – fit-out, housing, M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) and maintenance. It works across many areas including education, retail, financial, housing, leisure, health and commercial sectors.

“The Yorkshire region and its surrounding areas remain a relatively untapped market and we see major growth opportunities,” said Mr McLaughlin. “We are looking to ramp up activity in this region throughout 2018 and have already identified further multi-million-pound contracts within the commercial office sector”.

 “Morris & Spottiswood has a strong track record working on projects ranging from £10,000 to £30m. This includes new build developments incorporating various construction techniques, multi trade modernisation programmes, extensive external fabric upgrades and complex M&E services installations. Within Yorkshire particularly we need to continue building our profile of this first class offering and raise greater awareness of who we are and what we can do.”

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