Boiler room upgrade for Hermitage Primary School

The Kimpton team, working with partners completed a boiler room upgrade and the CIF scheme for school improvement.

Hermitage School is a primary school in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire that opened in 1970. It caters for around 210 children aged 4-11 years. As a purpose-built school, sitting on a large green site, the layout still works well, with eight teaching spaces, each having its own adjoining activity area and a central hall.

What did not work so well however was the heating system. Originally installed when the building was new and having undergone a number of small repairs over the years, the system had reached the end of its usable life.

The challenge

This was a CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) project and the funding was released by the Government in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic and after the schools had already broken up for the summer. With supply issues due to the lockdown. The Kimpton Contract team had to work closely with our partners to reprogram the work and plan the entire boiler room replacement and upgrade into the two week Feb half term window, rather than the more business-friendly six-week summer shutdown.

Delivering a boiler room upgrade

The first stage was to remove the existing gravity cold water tank and Andrews water heater. Whilst they were still working, they were extraordinarily inefficient and were at the end of their working life. We have written a piece over here about the ten signs you need to look for when deciding whether your boiler is at the end of its life. This one was pretty much ticking every box.

You can see the old water heater and boiler here

This was a project that needed to be completed during the half-term school break to avoid disruption to the school and the first job involved a full strip out of the old plant.

In the old days, a new boiler would have been connected into the existing pipework and the team would have done this and walked away with their job done. In modern working however, there’s now an hydraulic break installed in the form of a plate heat exchanger, to avoid the fluids from the new boiler system coming into contact with the potentially contaminated fluids from the old system. The existing secondary (school) side was chemically flushed and treated to prevent any further contamination and new pump sets added. a temporary side stream filter was added whilst this cleaning process took place to enable rapid and more complete cleaning.

For further future-proofing, dosing pots were added to both the secondary and primary (boiler) sides of the system to allow ongoing chemical treatment and improve performance and longevity. You can see the PHE detail here.

The system was fitted with two new boilers, which were again from Strebel. One has 80kW capacity with the other at 100kW. This allows the flexibility in demand that typifies a school’s usage pattern and greater operating efficiency than installing one big boiler. A Strebel water heater was also installed alongside.

With the heating expansion vessel and strainer installed as the final details, the whole system was completely lagged to maximise thermal insulation. The PHE is barely recognisable under its jacket and the valve muffs are an additional detail which help too.

The whole system is controlled by a new BMS to allow for central control and better information.

The complete boiler room upgrade was finished in under ten days, on time and budget and is running well. It’s another example of the Kimpton team understanding the challenges, planning the solution and then delivering on-site quickly and efficiently.

If your boiler system is getting you hot under the collar or leaving you freezing in winter, then call the head office engineering team on 0151 343 1963

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    Creating the
    sustainable building
    environments of tomorrow