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  • Replacement heating and cooling system for the Capital Building

    The Capital Building, or to use its original name, New Hall Place, is a 13 storey building in the Commercial District in Liverpool. Because of its sandy-coloured exterior and waterfront location, it’s often known locally, as the Sand Castle. Originally built in 1974 for Royal Insurance, it incorporates a section of the original ‘walkways in the sky’ project that began with the Shankland Plan for Liverpool city centre in 1965 and ended slightly ignominiously when the last sections were closed off or removed in 1995.

    The building was always well ahead of its time, in the way it used water sourced heat pumps. The system is fed with the three thousand gallons of water per hour that seeps into the Mersey Railway Tunnel from the river above. This water, which enters at a year-round, constant 13 degrees centigrade is then used to either heat the building, or as a heat sink to cool the building.

    But any system, however ahead of its time does need to be replaced when it’s reached the end of its efficient life.

    Enter Kimpton

    The project we have taken on is broken up into three main parts.

    • Firstly to create a temporary heating and cooling system for the building, so the aged pipework can be replaced.
    • When this is completed, we will strip out and replace all of that pipework from the top floor right through to sub-basement level
    • Then it’ll be time to install the new system and to remove the temporary solution.

    These three phases are expected to take around 12 months to complete.

    Work is currently underway to install the temporary dry air coolers. These are being installed on the Fazakerley Way walkway and when complete will feed into the plant room on the sub-basement level of the building. We’ll be using pre-insulated Cool Fit Pipework, which is a relatively lightweight solution, has superb thermal properties and allows for quick installation/removal.

    One small point to share here is that in some of the images, you can see one of our newer apprentices, Josh Anderson, hard at work on the project. Josh joined us after completing a successful work placement from school.

     

    The project faces a number of key challenges:

    • We’re working on a live site which is home to the UK Border Agency and Royal Sun Alliance, so security, whilst keeping the offices functioning as normal, is critical.
    • We’re working within COVID-19 guidelines to ensure we keep our staff, our clients and their own customers safe too.
    • Access is difficult – We’re working across multiple levels, outdoor roof spaces and sub-basement plant rooms.
    • The size of the pipework is significant as it is designed to feed an entire 13 storey building.
    • We must cause minimal disruption so we’re working out of hours where required, to allow the building users continuity of access.

    We hoisted the three-tonne dry air coolers into position on Fazakerley Way (one of the original walkways at fourth-floor level) on a Saturday. A full road closure was called for. The contract lift was completed without incident.

     

    It’s a project with obvious challenges, but just the type of work we really enjoy. We’ll share more images as the project progresses.

    In the meantime, here are a few pictures to allow you to enjoy the view from the top of the building and New Quay Terrace, another of the sky walkways.

     

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    What our customers say

    • Kimpton Energy Solutions have provided a reliable and helpful service at Dover and Philharmonic Court since they were opened in 2014 /15. A good working relationship is maintained with the service engineers and having a key account manager who is responsive and maintains regular communication has been a key factor in service provision.Having a…

    • Kimptons provided a ‘planned maintenance schedule’ to suit our academic year requirements and maintained the dates set out. Their engineers were always well presented and aware of how to conduct themselves within our environment. They were all trained and knowledgeable on the various items of equipment they came to work on. Mr Mike Pickles,…

    • We are happy with the service Kimptons have provided over the years. Their engineers are local and have great knowledge of our systems. We have built up an excellent working relationship with service engineers along with their office staff. Mr Kevin Foy, Notre Dame College

    • The Kimpton engineers on site are always accommodating to requests from the estates team with regards to heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues. The planned maintenance schedule has developed over the years and works well throughout the year. Having a key account manager who attends site on a weekly basis provides an excellent line…

    • The installation will improve the comfort conditions in several areas of the school servicing both pupils and staff. We are very experienced in undertaking projects in these conditions were flexibility and careful scheduling is key and this was crucial to our appointment on this contract.

    • We have been using TKR Services since their inception and during that time they proved to be not only commercially competitive, but also, looking from an Engineers point of view they have strived to provide the highest quality work.

    • The Plaza is a showpiece building for Bruntwood in Liverpool and we have since made it our own headquarters in the city. To reflect this, we needed to ensure that the fit out was of the highest quality, whilst maintaining the high levels of service our tenants expect from Bruntwood.