As osite manufacturing techniques grow in popularity, Paul Arnold, Remeha’s product manager, looks at the many advantages of taking the bespoke approach on heang refurbishment projects

VAC high season is upon us as businesses and organisations look to improve building energy performance and

comfort levels with a heating system upgrade. Boilers are at the heart of the plant room in many non-domestic buildings, whether the sole provider of heat or operating in a hybrid system. So, especially as we move towards full decarbonisation of heat, replacing any ageing or inefficient boilers with high efficiency condensing boilers remains one of the most cost- effective means of improving the reliability and effectiveness of a heating system.

Good quality installation is key to achieving long-term efficient building performance. But as engineers know only too well, it’s often carried out in challenging circumstances. For a start, this nature of work is typically only considered to be feasible during the summer months when the site doesn’t require a continuous hot water or heating supply for an extended period. Tight project schedules, often compounded by plant room space constraints, and access restrictions, can complicate what can and should be a straightforward upgrade. Hence the growing use of off-site fabricated heating equipment to smooth the installation process. Off- site solutions like prefabricated rig and cascade systems that facilitate multiple boiler installation are a case in point. And crucially, these bespoke solutions enable almost limitless design flexibility to achieve the ultimate in rapid, high-quality installation.

Bespoke design

Installing multiple advanced condensing boilers in a cascade arrangement is a highly effective means of meeting a building’s heat demand – resulting in greater efficiency, improved reliability and more straightforward, non-disruptive maintenance.

uHaving the opon to design the posion of the PHE and pump ahead of installaon allowed for improved access at Medway Council’s main oces’ plant room

Typically, manufacturers will provide site-assembled linear and back-to- back cascade options for two to ten wall-hung boilers. But manufacturers like Remeha also offer the opportunity to install any number of multiple wall- hung boilers on a rig unit designed specifically to meet individual project and site requirements.

Depending on the available space, the designer can specify a preferred layout, such as in-line, back-to-back,


‘L’ shaped or any other type, and specify which header extensions and connections are used. The boilers are delivered to site on a wheeled rig unit, ready for rapid, easy connection to the system.

Another option is to use an off-site fabricated cascade arrangement for up to eight floor-standing boilers with an individual heat output of up to 300kW. This enables a high heat output to be installed in a small footprint, making it easier and faster to improve heating efficiency in restricted spaces.

Both solutions can be designed to split into smaller modules where access is particularly tight, for simple re-connection into a single frame once in the plant room.

Hydraulic separation

These bespoke heating techniques offer compact, time-saving, plug and play solutions to multiple boiler replacement. But the benefits don’t stop here. When refurbishing older heating systems, hydraulic separation of the two circuits may be advisable to protect the new boilers and extend their lifecycle. This can be achieved by incorporating a Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE) into the design, sized and selected by the manufacturer to meet the specified boiler output and system temperature requirement. Even the position and orientation of the PHE can be specified at the design stage to achieve the most space-saving solution or to enable easier future maintenance.

Advanced control

There is also the opportunity to integrate project-specific controls, such as weather compensation, sequencing or BMS (building management system) direct operation, to optimise boiler performance and maximise seasonal efficiency for lower running costs and improved comfort levels. Only once the design is clearly defined, using 3D drawings, does production take place. This is carried out in a factory environment with end-of-line testing providing added quality assurance.

Time and spacesaving solution

So how and where are these bespoke rig and cascade systems being used? Bridgemary School in Gosport is one example. When the time came to replace the existing boilers, Ridge and Partners LLP specified installing six Quinta Pro 115 wall-hung condensing boilers and a PHE on a Remeha bespoke-designed rig.

Integrated into the design are pumps specifically selected for the duty required for PHE operation, an expansion vessel, a pressurisation unit, and a dosing pot to ensure good condition water.

To enable a rapid installation, the controls were pre-wired for even faster connection to the new BMS control panel.

“The bespoke rig was great,” says contractor IDWE’s Paul Neve. “It was wheeled straight off the tail lift and into place, saving us a lot of valuable time.”


At Gun Wharf, Medway Council’s main offices, plant room space restrictions again presented a challenge when replacing the old boilers. To meet the project requirements, contractors TSS Facilities recommended installing five Gas 220 Ace floor-standing boilers with a PHE on a bespoke-designed cascade system.

With limited available space, the design called for the PHE and the pump to be positioned behind the boilers. Working with TSS Facilities, Remeha designed a bespoke pipework arrangement, configured so that the system connection faced upwards, as requested by TSS Facilities. TSS Facilities’ Mark Basset says: “Having the option to design the position of the PHE and pump ahead of installation meant that we could improve access. And while the pipework was being configured off- site, we were able to work on the system pipework, which sped up the installation process.”

Opting to use a bespoke cascade smoothed the heating upgrade process, as consultant John Richardson, working on behalf of the Council, explains: “This installation technique enabled the Council to control the shutdown period required to complete the contract. The fully modulating Remeha boiler plant, in conjunction with upgraded controls, have greatly enhanced the building’s efficiency and the Council’s carbon footprint.”

Using bespoke, off-site fabricated heating equipment benefits the entire project team as the cost, size and specification are all fixed and in place, helping keep the project on time and on budget. The end-user achieves the required higher- performance heating with minimal disruption. The consultant has greater design flexibility, making it easier to meet the project and customer requirements. And as the off-site build reduces the intensity of skills required on-site, it is easier for contractors to plan ahead and put these skills to use on other projects, thereby increasing site productivity.

With bespoke-designed heating solutions like these available to provide rapid, quality solutions for improved heating efficiency, taking the bespoke, off-site approach makes everyone a winner.

uOpng to use a bespoke cascade arrangement smoothed the heang upgrade process at Medway Council's Gun Wharf oces

uRidge and Partners LLP specified installing six Quinta Pro 115 wallhung condensing boilers and a PHE on a Remeha bespoke designed rig at Bridgemary School in Gosport

Having the

opon to design the posion of the PHE and pump ahead of installaon meant that we could improve access.

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