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Heating control improvement at Wakefield Town Hall

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BG Energy Solutions has installed a Trend BMS (Building Management System) as part of a major upgrade project at Wakefield Town Hall. Fitted during a two-year shutdown while refurbishment works took place, the Trend BMS is being used to accurately control heating within the building in tandem with wireless space temperature sensors that were also installed by BG Energy Solutions. The completed project has led to improved heating control and comfort levels, while a PC-based front end has facilitated better ease-of-use and reduced maintenance.

The iconic Grade I listed Wakefield Town Hall re-opened in November 2015 following extensive restoration. The building dates back to 1880 and was designed by the architect Thomas Edward Collcutt, who also designed The Savoy and the Palace Theatre in London. Its previous heating system was based on Victorian cast iron radiators and around 85 storage heaters.

“The storage heaters were simply not adequate and didn’t give off much heat, so staff would frequently complain about being cold,” says  Michael Clements, Assistant Chief Executive, Resources and Governance at Wakefield Council “It’s a beautiful building but old and with high ceilings, which makes it difficult to heat.”

And this wasn’t the only issue, with no BMS on site there was a distinct lack of heating system control, which meant that it would often get too hot in the summer months. Furthermore, there was no visibility or warning with regard to breakdowns or faults. A fault would only be discovered when someone working near to a radiator would notice that it wasn’t functioning.

Trend in control

Wakefield Council commenced an extensive overhaul of the electrical and heating systems, with the council’s in-house building services team undertaking the entire installation.

BG Energy Solutions was appointed to the project with a brief to install a new Trend BMS and Titan wireless space temperature sensors that together would be capable of controlling the heating plant. Wireless technology was specified due to the listed status of the building, which meant there was no way of hard-wiring to some of the sensor locations. With regard to the choice of Trend BMS technology, this was already in place on the rest of the Wakefield Council estate, so again proved to be the preference for the town hall project.

In the first instance, it was discovered that the Victorian radiators could be refurbished and made to work with the new system. This was not a requirement of the building being listed, but still an important factor in trying to retain the character of Wakefield Town Hall.

Regarding the system hardware installed by BG Energy Solutions, the Trend controls for the BMS were located in a traditional boiler house on the town hall site, while around 10 Titan wireless sensors were installed and integrated with Trend using the BACnet communications protocol. In addition, there is one motor control panel located in the basement boiler room with Trend IQ3 web-enabled integration controllers, which provide a flexible way of interfacing with third party systems.

Easy to use

BG Energy Solutions created a PC-based front end featuring Trend 963 Supervisor, a powerful, real-time user interface for the BMS. This enables authorised staff at Wakefield Town Hall to monitor plant or building services, and make changes to the way the building is controlled from a graphical display. Any PC on the site network can access the specially designed graphics pages for each of the heating zones and boilers.

As part of the graphical display, floor plans can be viewed. Town hall staff simply click on the floor, then the room in question, and the system brings up the relevant heating page showing the status of the pumps and valves, as well as temperatures. Due to this improved control, Wakefield Town Hall is anticipating much-improved energy efficiencies and lower heating bills.

“The front end PC is very easy to use as there are full plans of all floors,” says Mr Clements “it also shows temperature readings and flags up any faults. Using the graphical front end it’s now very easy to discover a fault and look into it, thus reducing the maintenance burden. I should also add that the staff here have been very happy with the temperature/comfort levels provided by the new system.”

To find out more vist www.bgenergysolutions.co.uk

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