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Baxi Commercial supplies heating equipment for Lancaster town hall refurbishment


Baxi Commercial has supplied three Potterton Commercial floor-standing condensing boilers and an Andrews Water Heaters' gas-fired storage water heater to replace an obsolete heating system at Lancaster Town Hall. Officially opened in 1909 by benefactor Lord Ashton, a local multi-millionaire businessman, the imposing Edwardian building is now mainly used as a prestigious venue for meetings, exhibitions, banquets and the celebration of marriages and civil partnerships.

The accommodation ranges from the magnificent Ashton Hall accommodating up to 250 diners and the beautiful oak-panelled banqueting suite to a number of committee rooms, which are ideal for smaller meetings of up to 35 delegates. With such a wide variety of functions and numbers of people involved, naturally the heating and domestic hot water systems need to be highly flexible as well as energy efficient to minimise running costs and carbon footprint.

The three Potterton Commercial Eurocondense three 215kW boilers and Andrews Water Heaters' MAXXflo CWH 30/300 gas-fired storage water heater were selected by consulting engineers NPS North West Ltd. The Baxi Commercial equipment replaces the existing system which comprised nine modular, atmospheric boilers, a dedicated boiler for domestic hot water and two large calorifiers.

A spokesman for NPS commented, "There were obsolete parts on the existing boilers resulting in only three functional units. The calorifiers stored too much water for the potential use and were connected to a poorly functioning circulation system. We rectified the circulation system and reduced the stored water volume by using the rapid heat-up capability of the MAXXflo CWH 30/300. We selected the Eurocondense three boilers as the Client was looking for boiler reliability and running cost savings as well as a good warranty package. We also wanted, in order to reduce the risks associated with installation in an existing system, a boiler with water ways that were not overly small. Despite the fact that the system was flushed, chemically treated and fitted with a dirt separator and strainers, we still felt this was important in order to further reduce potential boiler heat exchanger problems."

The equipment is connected to the site Building Management System which provides weather compensation, zone control and logs gas usage via dedicated gas meters.

Lancaster Town Hall

The new equipment was installed in the basement plant room by Pinington Construction. The works involved a complete refurbishment of the existing plantroom and all boilers, flues, valves, pumps, controls and associated pipework were removed prior to the new installation. All pipework in the plant room was replaced and existing heating circuits reconnected. New hot and cold water services were run in the basement to serve the basement and ground floor. The boilers serve existing radiators and air conditioning units which have all been retained, along with all pipework beyond the plantroom. However, the radiatorcontrol valves have been replaced.

The three new Potterton Commercial Eurocondense three gas-fired condensing boilers supply a heating system which has been converted from an open, vented to a sealed, pressurised type and an expansion vessel has been installed to cope with any expansion within the pipework. A new sealed flue has been introduced in place of the existing flue which terminates up through the chimney stack. The installation of the units was executed in an efficient and timely manner with the installers commenting that commissioning of the units 'went very well'.

Potterton Commercial's latest floor standing condensing gas boiler, Eurocondense three, offers a range of upgraded features, including a smaller footprint, improved modulation range and reduced operating noise levels. Using the very latest heating technology, this new boiler incorporates a heat exchanger made from aluminium/silicon with a 10 year warranty and a combustion system which delivers exceptional energy efficiency as well as advanced ultra low NOx performance of 35mg/kWh (Class 5).

Lancaster Town Hall

The Integrated System Regulator (ISR) control system developed in conjunction with Siemens can be used with simple room thermostats or fully integrated Building Energy Management Systems using a volt free connection. The original hot water calorifiers were removed and replaced with an Andrews' MAXXflo gas-fired water heater which has a capacity of 300 litres and provides up to 510 litres of hot water per hour. The heater is set to give a stored water temperature of 60 °C, delivering 56 °C to each thermostatic mixer valve with an outlet temperature of 41°C.

Featuring stainless steel tanks, MAXXflo water heaters have a high efficiency heat exchanger and fully modulating burner function which, together with the tank design, allow the heater to generate hot water in the condensing mode up to 80% of the tank volume, producing an efficiency of 109%. Heat input and flow are carefully regulated to produce a closely controlled water temperature and a high temperature anti- Legionella program is incorporated.

The MAXXflo range of condensing gas-fired storage water heaters won the Queen's Award for Innovation for its energy saving capabilities shortly after it was introduced to the market. These units are therefore ideal for buildings with a high demand for hot water, particularly where this demand peaks at set times of the day. A digital, electronic master controller operates the pre-mix fully modulating gas burners fitted to each of the heater modules and, with BMS and other external interfaces provided, these units are designed to offer maximum performance combined with economic running costs and low NOx emissions.

Editor's Note:

Lancaster Town Hall is still maintained in virtually original condition and features a number of interesting architectural features, including the Mayor's Parlour and the original oak panelled Council Chamber with its Mayor's Chair and two banks of seating for 35 council members, supplied by the well-known manufacturer Gillow - or Waring and Gillow as the company is now known. Still also retained is the Magistrates' Court which saw the appearance of the infamous Dr. Buck Ruxton who was committed to the Manchester Assize Court where he was found guilty of a double murder. Immediately beneath the Magistrates' Court are the police cells, also in original condition. The court and cells were last used in 1985.

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