Flexibility is Key to Mixed-Use Developments

With mixed-use buildings popping up on high streets and across town centres, they’re becoming a popular solution for the combining of complementary sectors such as hospitality and entertainment. Determining the type of boilers to be used within such a building and how to maintain those boilers while being mindful of long but variable opening hours and a seven day a week opening schedule requires engineers to find the best solution possible with the minimal of disruption to trade. 

Andy Forrest, National Sales Manager at Ideal Commercial Boilers talks through why modulating boilers are the first choice for engineers when specifying a compact boiler design for mixed-use buildings. 

Assessing the heating requirements of any commercial development firstly requires a comprehensive survey of the makeup of the building. This helps to determine the differing heating and hot water requirements across various levels of a mixed-use building, from shops and restaurants through to offices and apartments. Undertaking a survey will not only determine the type of boiler to be installed but more importantly, the condition of the system parts.

When reviewing the heating requirements of a mixed-use commercial development for instance, it is vital that the boilers specified will be able to deliver the heating and hot water flexibility required. In addition, the boilers must be able to offer maximum efficiency, meet all the latest emission standards, allow for easy installation and be simple to operate and maintain. 

The key to providing flexibility from commercial boilers is their ability to modulate. Most commercial boilers will modulate at a ratio of around 5:1, which in itself is OK. A multiple boiler set up, either a cascade installation or a modular boiler, raises this flexibility substantially. A four-boiler cascade or four module boiler increases 5:1 to 20:1, allowing the installation to run far more efficiently in situations where demand could vary widely. 

While installing the best boilers for the building is one step on the road to success, another key step is controls. For example, creating heating zones within different parts of a building with settings which reflect their use will save energy, and therefore money. Shops will need heating during opening hours and very little hot water generally, while a gym will need flexibility on its hot water demand when open whilst keeping a constant temperature. Vitally important here is that controls are used to reflect when the units are in use and don’t keep them hot when they are closed.

Sounds like an impossible task? The Ideal Commercial Boilers Condensing range includes wall hung and floor standing boilers that can be installed in a cascade set up and Evomod, a modular boiler featuring 250kW modules. All come with a broad range of control features and sequencer options plus the ability to interact with 3rd party BMS systems via 0-10V, OpenTherm or optional BUS connections.

This article first appeared in HVR magazine, December 2018.