Client: Greater London Hospitality (GLH) Project: Tower Hotel ProjectValue: £1.1m Project Scope: Boiler house Refurbishment Project Manager: Paul Cooper
The Tower Hotel, sits by the River Thames, alongside Tower Bridge in London. It is owned by GLH (Greater London Hospitality), who operate hotels across the Capital.
The building was originally designed by the brutalist architects Renton Howard Wood Partnership (RHW). RHW were also known for their work on the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. The hotel, that opened in 1973, has 801 bedrooms and 19 meeting rooms. From the outside, it has a strong resemblance to the Capital Building in Liverpool, where we are also carrying out major refurbishment works.
Our role, working alongside Davis Partnership, is to completely refurbish the basement boiler house, which had redundant plant in place and boilers that were close to the end of their useful life.
The challenge for the Kimpton team on site, is to ensure that the guests at the hotel are never left without heating or hot water and we are working on a live site throughout.
The first job was to strip out the redundant CHP system and all of its associated pipework, valves, flues, headers and the Plate Heat Exchanger for the CHP. This created the space to install the new boiler array alongside the existing Strebel boilers, which have been in place for 30 years. In terms of efficiency improvements, even when new, these were only ever able to operate at 70% efficiency.
Before the work on the boiler plant, we installed an Enwamatic side stream filtration system. This was connected in series with the existing heating flow to monitor and improve the water quality, prior to the other works commencing. the system was chemically cleaned and flushed, which will prolong the life of the new system, once installed.
We also replaced the full height flue system. This was a 60m (200ft) run to the roof and ensures all waste gases are properly and safely vented.
With this in place, we then began the installation of the new boiler plant. We installed five individual Hamworthy Modumax Mk3 762kW condensing boilers in stacks of three units. This gives a total heating power of over 3.8mW, but more crucially, a huge amount of additional operational flexibility.
With the existing system, there are four boilers, all of which are essentially on or off. With this system, each of the stacks can operate individually or as an array to provide as little as 254kW varying up to 3.8mW as the demand for hot water and heating dictates. With 95% efficiency, this system offers a huge greening of the heating and hot water supply and will show significant reductions in both running costs and carbon emissions.
To understand the scale of this system, by comparison, the boilers are fed by an 8″ gas main. This is nearly 100 times the size of your average domestic supply.
All of the existing pumps were replaced with new BMS inverter driven variable flow pumps. These replace the old fixed speed pumps that are hugely inefficient. All of this is controlled by the new BMS.
With the new boilers connected, tested and commissioned, we then completed the switchover, before we removed the redundant Strebel boilers.
Kimpton have many years of experience in this type of project and more specifically, working to upgrade plant rooms and connecting into existing pipework, to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
The project has been managed by Paul Cooper with Mark Farrell on site overseeing the work. Speaking about the project, Paul Cooper said “The Tower Hotel is an iconic building alongside London’s most iconic bridge and it was genuinely quite exciting to be working there. The project held a few surprises, as they always do in this type of job, but we worked through them and the finished job is delivering exactly as planned”