Maximising the utilisation of every square foot of building space has become central to the

work of facilities managers. Here, Martin Cooke, Technical Director for Baltur UK, discusses

the benefits of moving boiler installations from the basement to outside.

With ever more challenging environmental constraints and demands for improving efficiency of boiler plant, the traditional location of the boiler room in the basement or elsewhere inside the building is becoming more problematic.

New builds also demand maximum efficiency and utilisation of floor space, making a boiler room an expensive luxury, whilst replacing existing boiler plant with modern high efficiency condensing boilers brings its own set of challenges. Modern regulations demand a safe working environment for engineers and operatives working on the boiler plant where ventilation is often not up to current regulations and condensing boiler flues require the installation of a suitable flue liner which can be an expensive and disruptive operation.

Added to the mix of complexities is that many existing boiler rooms may be riddled with asbestos, which is costly, difficult and time-consuming to remove, thereby making the reuse of an internal boiler room an expensive exercise. This often leads to old, unreliable and inefficient boilers being retained and repaired when replacement should be the better answer.

One solution to these problems is to use boiler plants specially designed for use outside of the building, a concept that has been widely adopted in Europe. There now exists ‘state-of-the-art,’ high-efficiency condensing boilers developed for this purpose, offering the same advanced specifications such as pre-mix low NOx burners with turndown ratios of up to 20 to 1 to deliver perfect load matching to meet the majority of building requirements. With built-in compatibility to BMS controls, they are suitable for both new build applications and boiler replacement scenarios. These boilers can be installed anywhere externally including on the roof alongside other building services equipment such as chillers.

Flexibility and scaling External boilers primarily fall into two types: the single unit and the modular unit, each housed in a fully weather proof casing. These are connected to an internal system where the control valves and pumps are usually located,


and with the main control panel also located inside the building, making this type of system ideal for both new build and retrofitting.

Where a completely new boiler system is needed a different solution may be required. High efficiency condensing boilers installed in a weather proof cabinet can be the solution, either as a single boiler or multi boiler system, all mounted on a bespoke frame in a modular weather proof cabinet. These cabinets can be joined together, and the boilers can be arranged in a cascade or rig arrangement for multiple boilers. The cabinet can also house a hot water cylinder for a complete solution.

If no suitable building space is available, then moving the boiler plant external to the building is the cost-effective alternative to either building a dedicated boiler room or reusing a traditional plant room. The weather proof external unit can be delivered pre-assembled or in kit form where access may be an issue.

New into the UK, Baltur’s MCS range of external commercial boilers are built to order from standard items with each designed to suit the precise application. Coupled with speedy turn around and attractive pricing makes this a viable solution for many installations.

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