Priva UK BMS technology brings comfort and energy savings to children’s home

After looking to replace a pair of air-handling units that were found to be inefficient in both energy usage and individual room control, a secure children’s home in Nottinghamshire is benefiting from the latest building management system (BMS) technology from Priva UK. As part of a five-phase BMS project managed by Heatherose, seven Priva BMS control panels have introduced high levels of climate control and energy efficiency, while maintenance savings are also anticipated.

Clayfields House is a local authority secure children’s home in the Stapleford area of Nottingham that provides care, education and specialist interventions for vulnerable young people between 10 and 17 years of age. Ofsted has rated the facility’s quality of care and education as outstanding.

As the building is owned by the county council, energy efficiency is viewed as a priority. The previous system had mixed brand controls and was based on two air-handling units that operated separately to supply 120 rooms with tempered air. The lack of individual room control and general inefficiency prompted Clayfields House to seek out a more comprehensive BMS offering better control, easier access for staff, energy-saving potential and the ability to control and monitor the entire site from one location.

Calling on experience

Based on the quality of its portfolio, Heatherose, which has over 35 years of expertise in the design and manufacture of electrical control and distribution panels, was appointed to undertake the BMS works, with help on hand from Priva when required.

“The site was being extended to accommodate more occupants, and existing buildings were being refurbished due to their poor state and the fact that equipment was failing on a daily basis,” explains Chris Burton, Control Systems Manager at Heatherose.

In total, five different phases of work were completed. The first phase saw the construction of a new residential block (Scarlet Wing) comprising six bedrooms, two high-dependency bedrooms (one with mother and baby facility), living areas, kitchens, staff sleep-in rooms and first-floor administration offices. As part of the second and third phases, heating and ventilation refurbishment works took place in the existing education block, and the Sherwood and Loxley wings.

The fourth phase of the project at Clayfields House involved the construction of a new vocational block comprising various rooms for subjects such as science, hair and beauty, drama and cookery. In the final fifth phase, site-wide lighting control was introduced.

Minimum disruption

As the building is occupied around the clock, seven days a week, the works had to be completed with minimal disruption. Here, the use of Priva BMS technology proved useful, as the system could be commissioned without the need for Heatherose to be on site.

“There are a total of seven BMS control panels situated around the facility, communicating with each other on a site-wide network,” says Mr Burton. “Touch screens are fitted at locations that are accessible to staff, allowing them to inspect the system locally.”

Priva Blue ID S10 controls are used in four controls panels, with the new Priva Blue ID C4 controls deployed in the other three. The Priva Blue ID S-line is designed for projects that require the maximum flexibility, extension options and uptime, while the C-line is a more compact and versatile option that is more suitable for smaller control panels within medium-sized projects.

“At Clayfields House, I used Blue ID C4 controllers at locations that didn’t require a large amount of I/O as this allowed significant cost and space savings for the client,” says Mr Burton.

Energy savings maximised

Fan coil units (FCUs) were selected to provide heating and cooling to every room independently. Heat recovery units work with the FCUs to save as much energy as possible. The Priva BMS controllers communicate to the FCUs and condensers over the network via BacNet, which has enabled extremely precise control. Moreover, this configuration served to minimise the amount of I/O and electrical installation work required.

“Priva TC History is also active on the system to enable the collection of temperature, metering and plant data,” explains Mr Burton. “This software enables both the client and us to monitor the system over a period of time, and hopefully spot any potential problems before they cause disruption to the occupants or staff.”

The BMS technology has site-wide control over all heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, room window blinds, automated roof lights, storm pumps, foul water pumps and metering. As a result, staff can monitor and make changes to all the associated equipment from a single system.

Remote access

“The BMS can be accessed remotely, enabling staff to adjust and monitor the site from home,” says Mr Burton. “It also allows me to access the system away from site if any issues occur that may require my input.”

Although there are no energy-saving figures available to date, Mr Burton concludes by stating that the desired outcomes have been achieved. Furthermore, maintenance savings are expected as preventative maintenance routines can be utilised by interrogating the BMS data.

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