Latest innovations and products in the sustainability sections of the construction industry.

Dr Chris Iddon, Design Manager with SE Controls, explores the growing issue of corridor overheating and studies into real buildings are enabling effective solutions to be applied to the problem.

In some ways it is ironic that the issue of building overheating can be partly accredited to the increased drive towards improving energy efficiency. This fact has been recognised by the Zero Carbon Hub in its recent report into overheating in homes, as well as CIBSE’s latest revision to its ‘Guide A: Environmental Design’ (8th edition 2015), which specifically identifies the potential causes and consequences of corridor overheating.

It wasn’t that long ago that, if a building’s occupants got too hot, they opened a window or turned up the air conditioning to return the internal temperature to within more comfortable parameters, although there are clearly some significant issues with this simplistic approach to temperature management. However, during the past 25 years or so, concerns over climate change, dwindling fuel resources and increasing energy costs, has resulted a much stricter legislative and regulatory environment governing building design and energy management.

Within this framework, retaining heat within a building is usually a key design goal, as it reduces energy demand for heating and the cost of maintaining a comfortable internal environment, the application of these various energy reduction techniques can have some surprising and unintended consequences.

Multi storey residential blocks, for example, are subject to the specifications for ‘leakage’, ‘infiltration’ and energy performance, yet as Building Regulations deals only with the dwellings themselves a building’s circulation spaces are excluded.

As innovative building designs seek to legitimately maximise rentable space, this often creates ‘landlocked’ spaces that have no ventilation. Given that corridors are often sealed by fire doors and the practice of routing heating pipework through ceiling voids is a common solution, it’s unsurprising that communal corridor temperatures can readily exceed 35 degrees Celsius.

Understanding the dynamics of overheating

For a number of years, SE Controls has been directly involved with various consultants; developers and contractors to not only address the issue by providing specific solutions to improve ventilation and cooling, but also to obtain a more detailed understanding of the dynamics involved in the overheating of corridors and circulation spaces.

By undertaking detailed studies of real buildings and combining them with theoretical computer thermal modelling, it has not only been possible to refine the modelling algorithms and make them even more accurate, but also design effective solutions that can address the problem using a building’s existing smoke control system.

As smoke control ventilation systems are a legal requirements in buildings over three storeys high, it makes financial and practical sense to adapt the existing system, enabling it to undertake the additional role of day to day environmental ventilation and cooling of circulation spaces.

Among the various corridor-overheating projects undertaken, one of the most interesting was a study we undertook that evaluated a London building with circulation space ventilation incorporated within the design from the outset and compared it to one in Kent where no similar ventilation solution had been installed. As overheating issues typically become more intense during summer months, the study was conducted between 19th June and 29th December 2014, which also provided data during autumn and early winter for comparative purposes.

Temperature measurement and adaptive comfort

Hourly temperatures in the first floor lobby of both buildings were monitored to obtain a clearer picture of the internal thermal profile, while corresponding hourly external weather information from RAF Northolt provided relevant ‘ambient’ temperature data for the same period. During the study, a MET Office Level 2 heatwave warning (max temperature of 30 degrees Celsius) was issued for 18th to 20th July.

Results analysis – the heat is on

Over the duration of the study, the external temperature ranged from a minimum of – 6°C during December to a maximum of 30°C in July, giving and average of 12°C throughout the period.

In comparison, the London building, which utilised its smoke ventilation system to provide supplementary environmental ventilation, the average temperature was 18.6°C with corresponding minimum and maximum figures of 10.3°C and 27.3°C respectively.

However, in stark contrast, the Kent building with unventilated corridors recorded some disturbing results with temperatures ranging from 22.3°C up to an extremely uncomfortable high of 33.8°C with an average 28.5°C.

Even more concerning is the fact that for 64% of the total monitoring period, the Kent property’s temperature exceeded 28°C, which is significantly above current CIBSE guidance on overheating thresholds where 28°C should be exceeded for less than 1% of the time.

The comparative temperature distribution analysis for both buildings also showed a significant difference with the most frequent internal temperature for Kent being 28-29°C, while in London, the figures were 8 degrees cooler at 20-21°C.

Although this study was focused specifically on temperature parameters within the two buildings, it must be remembered that where no ventilation is present in sealed or ‘landlocked’ spaces, the air will usually be stagnant and of poor quality, often containing pathogens along with other contaminants, which cannot be readily ‘flushed’ or vented from the building.

By utilising existing smoke ventilation systems and adapting their operation, without compromising their life critical primary operation characteristics, a simple and cost effective solution is already available that mitigates overheating, improves air quality and helps buildings comply with relevant adaptive comfort guidelines.

The only question that remains, is how many other buildings suffer from the same extreme overheating and air quality issues as those measured in Kent, which are likely to be caused unintentionally, purely by complying with Building Regulations? From the results of SE Controls’ own numerous research studies, the answer is …“probably more than we think.”

For more information please visit www.secontrols.com.

All models in the Rinnai range of Energysaver fanned convection powered flue gas fired space heaters are designed specifically for use in schools, community centres, libraries, conservatories and churches. They give exceptionally high efficiencies in operation and subsequently reduced running costs.

A major problem when heating a church or other large public space is the pattern of usage, fabric, design and the age of the building. For example, the building may be heated for a Sunday service, or possibly a mid week meeting and then unused for days at time. It is for just such situations as these that the Rinnai Energysaver range has been devised.

Rinnai energy saver units are very easy to install as they do not need expensive (and extensive) ductwork, nor do they involve the necessity to run domestic heating circuits for radiators or pipework to boilers. This can cut down drastically on cost and time at the point of installation.

Rinnai Energysaver Space Heaters deliver energy-efficient and consistent warm air powered by Natural Gas or LPG options and are built with fully modulating burners so heat output and energy input is reduced as the space warms up. The units may also be controlled via a central timer for added economy and occupant comfort.

The units, encased in a low surface temperature (LST) casing to avoid any risk of unnecessary discomfort, are swift to warm up, easy to control and are very economical to run. They offer easy on/off operation and intelligent features such as self-diagnostics and a self-learning pre-heat time to maximise heat up time and energy consumption.

The Rinnai Energysaver 559T unit turns in efficiencies of almost 92% when you consider the effective heat generator seasonal efficiency required for UK building regulations. It has an input of 6.4kW and output of 5.2kW. The unit measures 554mm x 750mm x 250mm.

The Energysaver 1004T has an input of 11.6kW and outputs 10.23kW. Its measurements are 670mm x 930mm x 315mm and it has energy efficiencies of 96% under the guidance of Part L 2014.

Both heaters are also suitable for central timer control. This feature allows the building manager to run any number of Rinnai space heaters off a central time clock providing heat to the large of spaces. The Energysaver Multi controller is not limited to single Energysavers as the flexibility of the system guarantees units can be mixed and matched to satisfy even the most unique of buildings.

The Rinnai Energysaver range comprises fanned convection-powered flue models that exceed seasonal thermal heating guidance under Building Regs Part L, while also heating the usable space within buildings, ensuring comfort, efficiency and compliance.

In a building with high vaulted ceilings, with conventional convector heaters and wet systems, the heat will immediately rise to the ceiling. However, Rinnai has come up with an innovative solution, that heats
from the floor up and by modulating gas usage in relation to room temperature, provides unparalleled levels of comfort combined with efficiency.

In effect, the heaters provide safe, controllable heat with maximum energy efficiency, combined with flexibility of location.

“Rinnai energy saver space heaters really do deliver a cost saving on installation, low operational costs and maintenance, lower life cycle costs, lower replacement costs, high energy efficiencies. They are infinitely suitable for refurbishment project and they come with a 15-year warranty on the heat exchanger,” explains Chris Goggin, Associate Director of Rinnai UK.

For more information on the RINNAI product range visit www.rinnaiuk.com

Swish Building Products has been named roofline and rainwater supplier for a rolling refurbishment programme by ALMO, Your Homes Newcastle (YHN). Supplied and installed by Swish Approved Installer JDP Contracting Services, the Swish roofline and rainwater systems will be installed on around 500 homes per year.

YHN demanded an ‘equal or approved’ product in response to its performance specification. The contractor selected the products which best fitted the criteria. “We are very happy with the Swish products and have recently started using the Sustainable Rainwater range which contains a high percentage of recycled content,” commented Tom Jarman, environmental sustainability coordinator, property services for YHN. “In using this particular range of products we are able to fulfil our environmental commitments. Also we are now starting to replace older PVC-U products so in buying rainwater goods with recycled content we are helping to ‘close the loop’ when the waste items are taken away.”

Swish’s Sustainable Rainwater products contain up to 84% recycled content, a combination of old windows and guttering systems. This can save up to 70% in CO2 output during the production process when compared to 100% virgin material. The products are two-tone; the recycled material is grey and is co-extruded with an outer skin of virgin material, avoiding the unnecessary use of additional colouring agents. Co-extrusion improves the aesthetics of the product and allows installers to achieve a colour match.

The use of the Gateshead-based collection depot meant that the product choice also supported local employment, an important factor in meeting the ALMO’s social responsibilities.

YHN reached Decent Homes Standard in 2012 so now all its work is lifecycle replacement. The roofline and rainwater products are being installed in conjunction with its rolling re-roofing programme, replacing timber and asbestos cement products. “The reason behind the replacement was maintenance,” continues Tom. “We wanted to cut right back on the level of painting required; in doing so we would not only withdraw the cost from the maintenance programme but also reduce the overheads associated with it, scaffolding for example. Swish’s PVC-U products have allowed us to achieve this.”

Swish roofline and rainwater products have been fitted on 300 YHN homes with a further 230 currently underway. The refurbishment of 300 more homes is planned for the remainder of 2015 as part of an ongoing schedule of works.

YHN manages council houses on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Established in 2004 with the specific target of meeting Decent Homes Standard, the ALMO now manages around 30,000 properties. One of its main objectives is to ‘make the money deliver’, the use of low maintenance products like those available from Swish Building Products go some way in helping to achieve this.

For more information on Swish Building Products’ full range of rainwater, roofline and cladding products visit www.swishbp.co.uk or call 01827 317 200.

The call for a quick and sustainable solution to the current housing shortage has created an opportunity for offsite construction to become a key building method to meet the demand in the housing industry. Kingspan Timber Solutions’ Business Unit Director, Ian Loughnane, offers his perspective on the offsite construction in the housing industry:

“Back in February 2013 the Offsite Housing Review was published by the Construction Industry Council – the most striking aspect of the investigation was the broad level of agreement amongst experts that the solution to the shortfall in housing stock would require the extensive use of prefabricated building techniques. The timber frame industry can certainly answer that call when it comes, which surely it must. The impetus required will undoubtedly be government led but it’s not just about the numbers. As a nation we need affordable, well designed and energy efficient homes that address the significant issues of fuel poverty and climate change. This combination of requirements plays to the strengths of timber frame and structural insulated panels (SIPS), which deliver the sustainable solution.

Energy efficiency doesn’t mean an explosion of high tech, expensive and ultimately obsolete eco-bling. The industry has invested heavily in getting fabric solutions that deliver high performance without the future maintenance costs that non-fabric solutions entail. This approach, synonymous with offsite construction, focuses on the delivery of an airtight building envelope to achieve sustainable and energy efficient new homes, reducing CO2 emissions, energy consumption and associated costs.

In the two years since the publication of this report we have come a long way. Offsite construction technology delivers a predictable performance level, with fewer construction defects or wasted materials. We are able to provide a marked decrease in the build time with a marked increase in the standard of build. This combination of requirements plays to the strengths of timber technology which offers a low-energy design as standard.

The compounded problem of lack of delivery of housing stock during the recession is now reversing to a large pipeline of activity where the pressure is building and the tap is about to be opened. Research finds that there are no regulatory barriers to the increased use of offsite methods and it is predicted by industry professionals that at some point there will be a transition that will see offsite components increasingly being used in place of conventional site-based construction methods.
Housebuilders have concerns over the declining levels of traditional skills, however as a timber frame manufacturer and supplier, I recognise that new skills are required for offsite construction and gaining the right skills will offer employment opportunities for many.

Many purchasers have no clue that their new home may be five years out of date as far as energy performance is concerned. The need to bring these matters to the fore is why the BRE developed the customer facing Housing Quality Mark scheme, which includes energy performance. The sooner the house buying public begins to look at home energy running costs in the same way as car buyers look at MPG, the better.

The market is definitely showing higher levels of optimism amongst the timber offsite solution suppliers, with more positive signs of investment and an increase in activity levels. The transition to a low-carbon economy presents our industry with great opportunities for growth. Environmental considerations will transform how our buildings are constructed, what materials are used and the methods employed. I believe that we are now on the cusp of the predicted ‘sea-change’ and that the time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative timber technology and offsite techniques to develop better buildings at a rapid rate to enhance lives, minimise the environmental impact and reduce energy costs for occupants for many years to come.”

To find out more about Kingspan Timber Solutions visit: www.kingspantimbersolutions.co.uk

To book a CPD session: call: 01767 676400 or email: info@kingspantimbersolutions.com

Developers interested in building a small commercial project to cutting-edge sustainable design levels can benefit from a substantial support package from Saint-Gobain.

The company has developed the Multi-Comfort standard, based on Passive House standards, which has a holistic approach to occupier comfort, factoring in thermal, audio, visual and indoor air comfort, plus overall economic comfort, in terms of affordability and lifetime costs.

Now Saint-Gobain is looking to support a small number of exemplar projects to capture data and prove the concept.

The first Multi-Comfort project in the UK is already under construction, with a new sports and drama hall at a leading private school and the company is also supporting exemplar projects in the health building and self-build sectors.

The support package includes design and specification assistance, Passive House modelling, independent testing and certification and two free places on the Passive House Tradesperson Course, accredited by the Passivhaus Institut.

Stacey Temprell, Residential Sector Director at Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland, commented “Building to Multi-Comfort standards will mean minimal changes to designs, no additional cost of construction and no more time on site. The completed Multi-Comfort building will also be more appealing to the occupant.

“We are committed to offering a comprehensive support package throughout the design and build phase. In return, we will carry out testing and evaluation to prove the concept and provide mutual learning and development.

“In addition, participating in an exemplar project will demonstrate a real commitment to delivering innovative sustainable buildings.”

To apply to become an exemplar project, visit www.multicomfort.co.uk/exemplar-projects

Rinnai, designer and manufacturer of the Infinity range of continuous flow gas fired water heaters, welcomes the implementation of the Energy Labelling Directive on 26 September as it scores ‘A’ ratings on all its water heaters.

“Energy labelling of product offers transparency to specifiers and end users who will now have a clear guide for choosing the most efficient units available,” said Chris Goggin, Associate Director of Rinnai UK.

“Rinnai brings to market the most extensive range of ‘A’ rated appliances with load profiles ranging from small domestic models to XXL sized industrial units,” said Goggin.

“The ‘A’ rating applies to when a unit is in use – i.e. when fuel is being used, and as an ‘A’ rated Rinnai unit only uses fuel when water is being drawn the energy label crystallises our reputation for efficiency, as continuous flow water heaters suffer no standing losses with storage counterparts”.

When Rinnai water heaters are paired with solar thermal and the latest intelligent controls are used for ultimate heat recovery, even higher efficiencies can be achieved, he added.

Rinnai is also set up to offer installers expert help with system labelling. Installers will be responsible for creating the labels for those installations that combine a water heater with renewables, for example.

On 26 September 2015 The Energy Related Products (ERP) Directive, incorporating Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives for water heaters (Lot 2) come into force, meaning that water-heating products sold in the UK will need to meet minimum energy performance criteria in order to be legally placed on the market, and will require an energy label.

For more information on the RINNAI product range visit www.rinnaiuk.com

Redring Selectronic Premier, the UK’s number one care shower, has achieved the highest A class energy efficiency rating, in line with the new Energy-related Products Directive.

Trusted by care professionals for over 25 years, the Selectronic Premier range of thermostatic showers features advanced temperature control technology, intuitive user controls and rapid one-button commissioning for an intelligent and safe showering solution that is easy to use and install.

Selectronic Premier uses highly accurate thermostatic technology to maintain constant water temperatures within just +/-0.5°C, while adjustable temperature locking allows maximum water temperatures to be set.

Large one-touch start/stop and temperature control buttons together with a large LED display and audio feedback allow easy shower operation. Plus, smart data logger technology tracks showering patterns to save energy and monitor usage, and a unique fault-finder system allows problems to be diagnosed and solved, with no need for an engineer.

For further information, visit www.redring.co.uk.

Flexible electric heating is becoming more and more popular in response to the UK’s homes becoming increasingly airtight. Jenny Smith, product marketing manager at Vent-Axia, explains how advances in technology make it an attractive option.

The UK’s heating industry has been in a period of transition ever since the introduction of Part L ‘Conservation of Fuel and Power’ in 2000 which has driven energy efficiency developments to lower carbon emissions and meet UK carbon targets.
At the same time the UK has had to adjust to declining oil and gas reserves. Historically the UK has been fuel rich in the form of gas, but with this in decline electricity generated via other sources becomes vital as we search for a secure and de-carbonised energy supply.
As a result manufacturers of electric heating have developed systems that meet the comfort needs of households and energy efficiency demands of legislation. In addition, increasingly air tight homes mean that heating demands reduce, making flexible electric heating with new controls an attractive option.
Electric heating offers an affordable heating solution for households with low capital and installation costs. The flexibility of the units is an added financial bonus since heaters can be installed as stand-alone heaters or as larger systems.
Using electricity as a fuel the technology is ideal for rural households that are off the gas grid. Meanwhile electric heaters cause little installation disruption since they don’t require the pipework needed by traditional boiler heating systems.
Free of the installation headache of flue siting and pipework, electric heating also has the flexibility to be installed almost anywhere in a room so households locate the heaters where best suits their needs. Almost maintenance free with no moving parts, with electric heating households have the comfort of not needing to worry about costly annual boiler checks.
Ultimately, as we move towards zero carbon homes and a decarbonised energy supply electric heating will become the heating technology of choice. Manufacturers, like Vent-Axia, are ahead of the curve as they prepare for this transition by developing products that meet both the demand and the needs of the market.
This next generation of electric heating offers greater flexibility to households since electric heating quickly warms a room and technological developments mean that accurate controls ensure high energy efficiency.
The new advanced electric heating systems incorporate highly sensitive, integral thermostatic controls. For instance, Vent-Axia’s Opal range of energy efficient aluminium radiators feature dynamic fluid with high thermal inertia and are slim and stylish in design. Featuring controllers that are fully programmable this type of electric heating system offers closer energy management, thus saving money for homeowners.
Ideal for both new build and refurbishment projects the newest electric heating features on-board energy monitors allowing occupiers to see exactly how much energy is being used to heat a room, and thus make an informed decision on thermal comfort.
The inclusion of highly sensitive silent operating digital controlled thermostats accurate to +/- 0.5° allows electric heating to act quickly to maintain consistent room temperature levels, reducing temperature overrun and minimising energy consumption. Allowing homeowners to manage the warmth in their homes to meet their needs the radiators are easy to operate coming with seven heating programs and three temperature settings for comfort, economy and frost protection.
Households can now expect improved efficiency and control across a wide range of electric heating technology. Towel rails are traditionally marketed to homeowners for their aesthetics rather than efficiency. However, the next generation of heated towel rails now quickly and efficiently warms and drys towels while adding to the overall style, temperature and comfort of a room. Vent-Axia’s new range features high quality white or chrome finishes with ten different models, split into flat, curved and designer styles, allowing customers to choose exactly the right towel rails to suit their individual home.
As ever, control is central to the range, with the towel rails featuring an advanced controller offering five heat outputs. Providing an eco-mode ideal for use when drying towels to ensure minimal energy use, the controller turns the rail on full power for 30 minutes and then reduces the output to the user setting for a further 90 minutes, before turning the towel rail off. As a result households have warm dry towels without wasting energy, bringing greater comfort to the towel user but also adding to the overall temperature and comfort of the room.
As we move towards zero carbon homes and a decarbonised energy supply electric heating is set to become the heating technology of choice. Already boasting improved efficiency and control, electric heating offers contractors a technology that promises their customers the operational control, comfort and style they desire.
For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590

Teachers and pupils at a Northamptonshire school are excited to start the academic year in new and modern classroom facilities thanks to the arrival of a sustainable timber framed building.

Leading joinery manufacturer, Scotts of Thrapston, were approached by the 210-pupil Weldon Church of England Primary School following an enquiry for a new classroom by the headteacher Lynne Wildman who was looking to replace an old inefficient and ineffective mobile classroom building.

She explains: “We had been looking for years for a solution to the problem of an old mobile classroom that was being used for classes of our Key Stage 2 children. I discovered Scotts when I was looking through one of their fliers after it was placed on my desk.

“Scotts’ modern and efficient standalone classroom structures seemed to be the perfect answer to replace our dilapidated building. From the very first contact I made with the company they have been responsive and easy to work with coming up with a bespoke solution to meet our needs and providing a fantastic environment for our children to learn in.”

Scotts, who have been making and distributing timber products since 1920, first started creating education buildings in 2014 and like the rest of the company’s projects, Weldon Primary School’s new classroom was constructed and ready for use in a matter of weeks.

Mrs Wildman was delighted with the completed classroom, commenting: “The old building was small, cramped and had no running water. The end result is amazing, better than we could have imagined. It’s just so airy, bright and the children will love learning in there.”

An education in timber frame

Scotts offers a core range of education buildings but more often than not, provides bespoke solutions to meet its customers’ individual needs. Each of the designs, including the one at Weldon CE Primary School, are ideal learning environments as well as being environmentally friendly.

The buildings are designed with plenty of windows, allowing in lots of natural light, saving on electricity bills and allowing for plenty of ventilation when opened making it more pleasant to be indoors.

Philip Goldstone, Scotts of Thrapston’s business development manager, explains how the company perfectly combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology. He said: “Ultimately our education buildings are designed to make the best use of the space available and to provide optimum energy efficiency.

“We believe that the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form. To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and research has shown that acoustic conditions can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance. The feedback we have had from the pupils and the teachers who have used the new classroom is that they all enjoy their new environment.

“The Scotts design service takes into account all elements of the building design including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial. We advise on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation – avoiding light from south facing walls which can result in uncomfortable solar gain in summer and western aspects which can lead to unpleasant glare on winter afternoons.

“Space is also a huge consideration and a stand out feature of Scotts’ education buildings is the high ceilings that provide a feeling of spaciousness.

“The beauty of Scotts’ education buildings is that they can be completely tailored to suit the setting and are designed to precisely meet the end user’s specification. As well as the classroom the buildings include a lobby, cloakroom, washroom and store and we can also cater for any special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures that need to be taken into consideration.”

Inspirational structure

As an added benefit, children are able to see the new building take shape. Pupils at Weldon CE Primary School took an interest in the construction of their new building and although there was a fence put up around the site, the structure remained visible so that the children could watch its progress. Some of the children have been so inspired they are considering careers in building and architecture when they grow up.

Offering a range of highly affordable and versatile sizes and shapes, Scotts of Thrapston can provide a multitude of products for any school looking for either a refurbishment or an extension on existing buildings. With affordable pricing and quick-build times, it really is the perfect option for any school looking for a change.

For more information visit www.scottsofthrapston.co.uk

Rinnai, the Japanese manufacturer of the award winning Infinity range of continuous flow gas fired water heaters, is encouraging installers and end users to purchase units only from reputable manufacturers with a proven pedigree in the UK. The company is adamantly defensive of product quality on behalf of the market place for end-users, contractors and consultants.

Rinnai has a reputation for innovation through design and quality focussed engineering, all built with the highest quality components and standards of exacting manufacture that guarantees a long and efficient working life.

According to Rinnai’s Yuji Omoto: ‘Installers should choose a unit from a proven manufacturer that has the confidence to offer warranties for a product that is built to last – and never buy on a price-only basis.

“Rinnai water heaters are engineered with innovative, electronic and mechanical components that have a statistically insignificant failure rate. It should be noted that Rinnai manufacturer all their own components ignoring global sourcing and keeping quality in house. It is because of this superior engineering that Rinnai units can modulate down to 2.4kw whilst boasting 107% efficiency making them the most efficient water heaters on the market today.”
The guarantee of energy efficiencies and long term reliability gives peace of mind to the domestic and commercial users, to whom water heating is an integral part of the building envelope, while additionally in commercial settings there are ever increasing regulatory constraints such as eco-labelling and building regulations.

Yuji Omoto says “In recent years it may seem that attention has been focused on renewables, but it has become apparent this technology, on its own, really isn’t delivering ¬ – at least, not in its current form.

“Now, widespread consultation has decreed that a vast array of technologies and existing energy supplies is key to achieving reduction targets. An energy efficient continuous flow gas fired hot water system, whether teamed with renewables technology (solar thermal or a heat pump) or used on own, actually has a lot to offer as we move towards the Government’s carbon neutral goals. Rinnai Infinity units have been developed to exceed all current demands and lead the field in this respect.

“The downside to this recognition is that inferior water heaters are beginning to appear on the market and they appear to have varying standards of quality in their manufacture. This is where the end user needs to take on board that a quality-built system which uses only the best components available and is precision engineered, is technically advanced and fit for purpose should be the defining criteria at time of purchase and any thought of buying on price alone should be challenged. After all, you get what you pay for…..”

Rinnai’s motto ‘Quality is our Destiny’ epitomises its healthy corporate obsession with quality. The basis for manufacturing and all aspects of the process at Rinnai is to think and act from a scientific perspective and the result is a market-oriented production system that combines policy management, quality control, and continuous improvement.

The process starts at Rinnai’s Japanese factories where stringent quality control protocols have been put in place that apply to the selection of the raw material from the smallest components through manufacture and assembly to delivery and after sales.

Rinnai applies Monozukuri technology and work methodology to its environmentally-friendly manufacturing activities. ‘Monozukuri’ applied to manufacturing and production means the ‘art, science and craft of making things’ and can be compared with the English word ‘craftmanship’. With this philosophy entrenched throughout the company Rinnai strives to add quality to its products from the design stage, mainly through simulations and applies verification methods to identify points for improvement and to prevent potential problems from ever happening.

Quality, innovative infinity heavy duty condensing water heaters* designed to be fit for purpose use two heat exchangers to capture residual heat from flue gases to pre-heat incoming water, and can deliver up to 107% net efficiency. Installers should also beware of appliances that even though they may claim HE technology in their publicity this is exemplified by burners that only modulate down to 6-7 KW. Burners on superior units using pre-mix technology can self-modulate down to an unbeatable 2.4 kW.

The design of the water heater, components and the engineering itself must be of the best quality available. It pays to research key specification and country of origin.

A technologically advanced PCB system ensures intelligent functionality, including temperature accurate hot water delivery, gas modulation guaranteeing efficient gas usage, numerous safety features for user comfort and control as well as error messaging and BMS interfacing. On a quality unit, the circuit board itself will be cased in silicone as a fail safe in the unlikely event of a leak the ‘brains’ of the unit are protected.

If installers and end users stick to the ‘quality is best’ rule they should be safeguarded in their choice. “The Rinnai system is obviously working as we have so few defects occur in product output. The company produced 6 million continuous flow water heaters in 2014 – a massive achievement,” concludes Yuji Omoto.

For more details on RINNAI products visit www.rinnaiuk.com