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he Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) has learned of some instances of R410A (classified as A1; non-flammable) being completely removed from an air conditioning system, and the system simply being recharged with R32 (classified as A2L; low flammability). Given the differences in properties of these two refrigerants, this is a cause for serious concern for several reasons. A number of issues need to be taken into account:

uRefrigerant manufacturers have clearly stated that A2L refrigerants are NOT SUITABLE for retrofit.

refrigerant safety standard EN378, leading to the possibility of forming a flammable atmosphere in a leakage situation.


FETA issues warning against using A2L refrigerants as a retrofit solution T

uA system that was originally designed for R410A will not have taken into account the safety factors required when using an A2L refrigerant and could create a significant safety hazard. Systems designed for use with R32 have different pressure switch regimes, altered inverter profiles, and specially designed heat exchangers.

uCharging an existing system with R32 would leave the system non-compliant with the

Industry first as HS2 awarded BREEAM

project to be awarded a BREEAM Infrastructure (pilot) Scheme Certificate for its ambitious


sustainability strategy on Phase 1 of the project. The assessment

demonstrates that HS2 is committed to going beyond enhancement and protection of the

environment, to address the key social and economic impacts of the development.

It includes features such as working in harmony with communities, being a great neighbour, putting safety and wellbeing at the heart of the project, and building sustainable economic benefits for the whole of the UK, such as better skills and career opportunities for a new generation.

HS2 Environment Director, Peter Miller, said: “We are very pleased to receive this BREEAM Infrastructure certificate. Our goal with HS2 is to design and build the most sustainable high-speed railway of its kind in the world, working in partnership with our supply chain and local communities to leave a positive legacy for future infrastructure projects both in

Infrastructure cerficate infrastructure

S2 has become the UK’s first

commitments and to the lasting benefits of the HS2 project.”

BREEAM Infrastructure is part of the international BREEAM family of

sustainability standards for buildings and infrastructure. Later this year the best of BREEAM Infrastructure will be brought together with sustainable infrastructure scheme CEEQUAL to provide a new world class international scheme for the future called CEEQUAL (2018). The CEEQUAL (2018) development process includes significant valuable feedback and learning from the application of the BREEAM Infrastructure pilot to HS2.

BRE Director of Infrastructure Chris

Broadbent said: “From 2014 HS2 was the first project to engage with BRE in the development of BREEAM Infrastructure working with us to pioneer a new approach to a sustainability strategy which applies right across the entire HS2 project. This is a first for the UK and it will set the standards for future infrastructure projects around the world.”

the UK and beyond. This certificate is a testament to our sustainability

uSuch a refrigerant change would be strictly against the system manufacturer’s instructions, and would render any relevant warranty invalid. It would also mean that the system would no longer be compliant with its original CE marking or the Pressure Equipment Directive specifications, and could have insurance implications.

uR32 has a higher compressor discharge

uShould any problem arise from a system change such as this, any liability would rest ENTIRELY with the person/undertaking who carried out the change. In summary, it is not good practice to charge a system with a refrigerant that the system was not originally designed to use and is strongly discouraged. For further advice please contact:

Nortech Group acquires specialist electrical contractor STS Ltd to boost Middle East opportunies

ortech Group, the Teesside- based UK engineering services provider and its Abu Dhabi-based partner Dhabi Contracting, has completed the strategic acquisition of electrical contracting business STS Limited. Formerly part of the Teesside-based Cordell Group, which went into administration in 2017, STS is located in Maidstone and is a specialist provider of the electrical elements of building management systems employed in large scale commercial and public service properties.


The firm operates mainly in new build construction projects such as speculative offices developments, data centres, shopping malls and apartment buildings. It has been involved in several major projects across the UK, including The Shard, The Kings Cross Development Buildings

and The Royal London and St Bartholomew Hospitals. It is currently working on the new Tottenham Hotspur football stadium and Bond Street Tube Station.

This acquisition will open the Middle East market for STS enabling construction and civil engineering specialists Dhabi Contracting to call up on its expertise for its portfolio of new build projects.

In addition, the deal will enable North East-based Nortech to enter the South of England market, offering its range of engineering services to new and existing STS customers.

Bryan Bunn, Managing Director of Nortech, said: “The expertise and experience offered by STS will be in demand in the Middle East and its substantial new build programme across the region. It also adds value to the breadth of services offered by

uLe to right: STS Managing Director, Rick Smith, John Kearney, Finance Director Nortech Group and Bryan Bunn, Managing Director of Nortech Group.

Nortech and our strong client base across markets such as energy and petrochemicals, while enabling Nortech to establish a presence in London and the South East.”.

temperature than R410A, and will increase wear on the compressor, reducing its life significantly.

EGBS announces new social housing appointment

ans, air movement and ventilation specialist, Elta Group Building Services (EGBS), has announced a new senior appointment, as part of a wider expansion into social housing. Mike Halpin, formerly Residential Divisional Sales Manager at Nuaire, has been appointed as Social Housing Sales Manager at EGBS.

F With more than a

decade’s experience in the social housing market, he will be tasked with expanding the Group’s social housing offering, as it launches a series of new-to- market products over the coming months.

Halpin commented: “I am extremely pleased to be joining EGBS at such an exciting time. With a host of class-leading innovative products due to launch, it’s a fantastic opportunity

to develop a new market within the social housing sector.”

Paul Harrington, Head of Residential Sales at EGBS, added: “We’ve identified a gap in the market for a range of high performance, low running cost Positive Input Ventilation systems, and Mike is perfectly positioned to help get this out to the widest number of social housing landlords and operators.”

uMike Halpin.



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