25th July 2022

New District Heat Network and Heat Interface Units for Brentwood BC

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Axis installs new District Heat Network (DHN) systems and new Heat Interface Units (HIUs) at three blocks of flats for our client Brentwood Borough Council

The properties are St Georges Court in Highwood Close and Victoria Court and Oldfields on Victoria Road. We created a District Heat Network (DHN) for Victoria Court and Oldfields and a Communal Heating System at St Georges Court.

Axis’ project started  at the beginning of December 2021 (at St George’s Court) and aims to finish entirely at the end of 2022. The value of this 12-month project is £3m (St Georges Court- £1.3m, Victoria Court and Oldfields- £1.7m).

Individually,Victoria Court comprises 27 one-bedroom flats; St George’s Court comprises 25 one-bedroom flats and 25 bedsits; and Oldfield’s comprises 19 flats. And all were fully occupied during the works. The tenure is a mix of leasehold and tenancy.

Scope of Works

After a successful pilot scheme, the Scope of Works at each block includes:

  • Disconnection and full strip out of entire original heating system (including central boilers and all pipework)
  • Installation of new Heating Distribution pipework running along the roof line and dropping down to each flat feeding the Heat Interface Units (HIUs) which will allow independent controlled Heating and Hot Water for each resident, and individual energy bills.
  • Design and installation of new plantrooms (new boilers/boiler house) with new Building Management System (BMS)
  • New Gas & Hydrogen-ready Worcester Bosch boilers

In each apartment we installed:

  • New Worcester Bosch HIU
  • New radiators
  • New energy-efficient Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) which are self-regulating, designed to maintain a constant temperature
  • New hot and Boosted Cold Water Services supplied from the New Boosted Water Systems from plant rooms – these new systems remove the risk of Legionnaire Disease as individual water tanks and open vented cylinders have been removed
  • Pendock boxing to cover all visible pipework
  • We additionally painted all exposed pipework

Care of our Residents

All three properties house vulnerable residents (a mix of Sheltered and General Needs accommodation). We took care to prioritise their needs during the works. For example:

  • We installed new LST (Low Surface Temperature) radiators which minimise the risk of burns
  • At St George’s Court we installed a cooker with the help of City Plumbing Fund.
  • When necessary, if residents had to vacate their flats during the works, we arranged Respite Rooms and a TV lounge
  • A temporary central boiler house ensured that residents were never without hot water
  • At all times we worked very closely with the residents explaining the process and progress of the works, delivering regular newsletter updates and hosting very well-attended coffee mornings as well as a very popular fish and chip supper at St George’s Court

“Having dinner with the tenants made them become more confident and comfortable with the works that will be carried out” – said Axis Project Manager Michael Martino

Benefits to all

  • As a result of our works, residents can now control their heating and hot water separately and independently – before our works, their heating system was centralised and they were wasting heat (the heating had to stay on all the time to heat the water).
  • HIUs and TRVs give residents more control over their heating and hot water providing a more convenient and economical service with less waste.
  • Installing HIUs (as opposed to heat pumps) minimised disruption for residents and meant they would be familiar with the technology to heat their homes and water.
  • All the new Worcester Bosch boilers in the plant room are hydrogen ready. These work as efficiently as gas boilers but use hydrogen instead of natural gas reducing carbon emissions improving environmental sustainability.
  • Victoria Court and Oldfields are located next to each other so we were able to supply both buildings on the same network

The Axis Team

  • Michael Martino, Project Manager
  • Hayleigh Dawson, Site Manager
  • Colin Allen, Site Manager
  • Julie Cole, Resident Liaison Officer

There’s more about our Full Asset Management Contract with Brentwood here

There’s more about our M&E Services here

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