Maximising Space in Plant Rooms

M&E contractors and building services managers looking to maximise space within plant rooms have a checklist of utilities to consider - heating systems are just one of many. Chris Caton, Product Manager at Ideal Commercial Boilers explains his thoughts on the process and the factors that should be considered by when considering space allocation for boilers within plant rooms.

Smaller footprint boilers or a modular system will help with plant room design, as space is often at a premium in many cases; M&E contractors need to make the most of room in small or otherwise filled plant rooms. 

It’s also worth noting that legislation around BS 6644 should also be taken into consideration, especially the amount of ventilation that is needed for the safe running of a boiler installation. The obvious checks need to be considered such as space around the boiler, which should always be in line with manufacturer’s guidelines for servicing and commissioning checks.

There should also be no space constraints with regards to the flue – servicing access should never be restricted. Identifying the safe parameters within the legislation should always be checked with the flue installer or manufacturer.

Sometimes, a building refurbishment can mean that boilers and heating systems need to be relocated to other parts of a building, away from the original plant room. In some cases, these can be relocated to the roofs of buildings.

A good example of this in practice was the installation of 20 Ideal Commercial Evomax 150kW wall-hung commercial condensing boilers and five Frame and Header kits to Southampton City Council in five of its residential tower blocks. A plant room was created on the roof of each block to accommodate the Evomax boilers and other appliances.

With the fitting of any boiler the system separation and water treatment processes are a necessity meaning adequate space needs to be allotted and factored in. Corrosion of pipes and boiler parts from incorrect treatment can mean that heating systems fail or at worse are out of service for a lengthy period – this is something that needs to be avoided at all costs.

This article first appeared in HVR magazine, April 2018.

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