Built on the success of the initial National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions (NGAWS) /A1 Housing Partnership, that involved the construction of new gas infrastructure and the installation of new gas heating systems to 195 homes in the Worksop area, A1 Housing asked NGAWS to investigate the feasibility of converting the coal fired ‘heat system’ at Abbey Court to natural gas.
Abbey Court provides sheltered accommodation for up to 32 vulnerable residents. The building consists of 32 Bed-sit type individual residences benefitting from warden accommodation and offices, a communal kitchen, common room, laundry room, library, with guest accommodation and 6-shared bathrooms.
NGAWS engaged its appointed specialist heating contractor, GASS Ltd to carry out an in depth survey. Heating and hot water was provided by two coal-fired boilers situated in a boiler house connected to the complex. The coal boilers are significantly oversized as they were designed to provide community heating for other properties, which now have proprietary heating systems. The survey highlighted that the complex suffered from temperature problems where portable electric heating was used at night. Fire doors caused cold draughts into the building. Residents controlled heat by opening windows and turning on fans. Thermostatic radiator valves were fully turned on with some failing to function.
A total of £226,000 grant funding was secured, of which £115,000 was used for new gas supplies. Work commenced in June 2011 and was completed in the first week in July. A key requirement of the project was to ensure that the sites existing coal fired heating system operated whilst the heating changeover took place.
The benefit of the new gas fired heating system meets Part L of the Building regulations, using both time and temperature control for each heated zone and ensures that both the heating and hot water provision meet requirements. Cold spots where possible have been eliminated by using additional heat emitters. A back up heat provision has been built in the design to ensure if the system failed to operate residents would still benefit from heat. The environmental benefit of the project shows a value of fuel saving £38,000 and Lifetime tCO2 1705.