Energy management and metering systems – what you need to consider

With energy costs continuing to rise and increasing levels of legislation to contend with, facility managers face a growing number of challenges. Cameron Steel reports on the key things to consider and the publications available that offer guidance.

Across all industry sectors, businesses use energy to carry out their everyday activities, from lighting and heating office spaces through to powering machinery and manufacturing processes. Power wasted adds no value, but improving energy efficiency can dramatically affect operating costs and productivity levels.

Energy costs can significantly impact on a business’ profit margin, but according to the Carbon Trust, simple measures can effectively reduce operating costs and energy bills by as much as 20 per cent.

The responsibility of improving operational energy efficiency often rests on the shoulders of facility managers. Therefore, they are looking for new ways that allow them to not only become more resource efficient, but also save money, meet corporate social responsibility goals and fulfil legal compliance requirements.

Developing a robust energy management policy

When it comes to developing a robust energy management policy, facility managers must start by gaining a good understanding of legislation. It is key to recognise which standards they need to consider and which definitions they must understand.

Legislation may appear to be little more than a burden to business, but the majority of them have been developed to encourage businesses to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, in turn improving energy efficiency and costs. There are several standards that deal with energy efficient systems and also a growing requirement underpinned by EU legislation to have an assessment of what energy use a business has. This will naturally evolve into showing how energy is being managed and if its use is being reduced.

Although current UK legislation doesn’t force organisations to act upon such assessments, it is a great opportunity for facility managers and the business in general to identify wasteful use of energy and projects that could lead to operating cost savings through more efficient use of energy.

A key operational standard for facilities managers is ISO 50001, which provides the basic framework and tools for energy management. Other documents from various organisations provide further guidance on key responsibilities, policy, strategy, planning, implementation and auditing. These include the IET Guide to Energy Management in the Built Environment, several Carbon Trust documents and publications from other organisations designed to ensure businesses are fully compliant with energy legislation, improve understanding of pricing structures and operational efficiencies and develop improved resilience.

With the knowledge such guides provide, facility managers can feel confident in developing a robust energy management policy and choosing the best possible system for their business.

The importance of energy metering

Metering is also a key component of any energy management programme. Knowing exactly where and when energy is used is vital in order to have its use analysed properly and improvements suggested.

An energy meter strategy is a fundamental part of this and understanding whether sub-metering is simply to keep an eye on the demands of certain key departments or whether there is fiscal charging required with energy bills for tenants.

Other higher specification meters for electrical systems can highlight inefficiencies caused by power factors and harmonics. Meters that can be connected to building information systems, such as building energy management systems (BEMS), can also provide real-time information on energy use, highlighting anomalies or irregular patterns of energy use.

For those with little experience of metering systems however, common issues can arise around ensuring a solution is fit for purpose and understanding meter readings. Thankfully, a number of guides and checklists are now available to help facilities managers navigate these murky waters, including the IET’s Guide to Metering Systems. This, amongst other things, runs through the key steps to applying non-fiscal metering systems as well as integration of metering data into management systems.

One size does not fit all

Energy management needs to be suitable for each organisation – one size certainly does not fit all. Every business is different and changes over time. Energy management plans need to be dynamic and constantly reviewed. The plans should be robust enough to cater for current needs and nimble enough to respond to changing demands too.

How energy management is undertaken within a business depends on the type of organisation and lifecycle of the installation. However, the heart of success lies in communication across the business.

The buck may stop with facility managers, but within the workplace we all have degrees of responsibility. Therefore, there is a growing need to increase the level of understanding and application of the term ‘energy management’ within organisations, and have buy-in from senior management and staff. This makes it possible to apply relevant good practice across the business and promote efficient and effective working practices.

 To find out more about IET Standards publications developed to support facilities managers, please visit


Are You Ready For The Changes To The Gas Appliances Directive?

The Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) is changing.  From 21st April 2018 all products in the market will have to comply with the new Gas Appliance Regulation (GAR).  Nick Winton, Divisional Manager for Nortek Global HVAC UK Ltd explains more about the changes and the absence of any transition period.

 The EU GAD is changing and will be replaced by the new GAR.  The change moves away from having several country-specific requirements and replaces them with one consistent set of rules across the entire European Union and associated free trade areas.

After two decades in use, review is desirable to ensure the regulations are fit for purpose.  In a modern world the GAD has some particular shortcomings in terms of how it deals with standards, regulations and the role of Notified Bodies.

Placing a CE Marking on products means that it has been declared as complying with all applicable regulations.  The CE Marking of gas appliances is currently regulated by the EU Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) (2009/142/EC).  This will be replaced by the Gas Appliances Regulation (GAR) (EU 2016/426) which comes into effect from 21st April 2018.

Other CE Marking directives that may also apply to gas appliances are unaffected and will continue to apply (if they did so previously).

This change will impact everybody in the gas appliances and fittings supply chain within the EU, including manufacturers (supplying to the EU), importers, distributors and even retailers.

The Gas Appliance Regulation requires manufacturers to ensure products comply with ‘state-of-the-art’ EN standards together with mandatory risk assessment. This includes a maximum 10-year validity period on CE certification from the first date of issue. It also requires the Notified Body and the manufacturer to stay informed of changes to the “state-of-the-art” and update appliances as needed to ensure they still meet essential regulatory requirements.

How Does Brexit Affect This?

The new regulation comes into force at least one year before the UK leaves the EU.  Current understanding is that the EU regulations will be subsumed into UK law with little evidence that the GAR would not be included in this approach.

Nortek have a wide range of products that the GAR applies to.  Our aim is to ensue that each and every one of our products is compliant with the new legislation.  Please do not hesitate to contact Nortek with any queries or questions about this new directive.  Tel: 01384 489700  or visit

Trademarks AmbiRad, Reznor, Airbloc, NordairNiche and Benson used under license.


IDEXX Launches New, Simple, Rapid Water Test across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to Aid in the Fight Against Legionnaires’ Disease

Legiolert™ radically simplifies Legionella water testing compared to current culture methods

IDEXX, the global leader in rapid microbiology testing for water, has announced the introduction of Legiolert, a new culture testing method that enables building owners and facility managers to simplify water testing and reduce the risk posed by Legionnaires’ disease. Legiolert is a highly sensitive method for the confirmed detection of Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), in water for use across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and delivers results to decision makers up to seven days faster than traditional testing methods. Legionella pneumophila is the most common Legionella species in water and the primary cause of Legionnaires’ disease, which is deadly for about 1 in 10 people who contract it and often causes long-lasting symptoms for survivors.

Legiolert improves public health response times by accurately and sensitively quantifying L. pneumophila in water, providing a confirmed result in 7 days, compared to up to 14 days with traditional culture methods. The new test does not require laborious colony counting or confirmation steps, which reduces the need for training and the risk of interpretation errors and frees up time for laboratory staff.

Leading water microbiology consultant David Sartory recently concluded that the IDEXX Legiolert/Quanti-Tray® test is superior to the standard method for quantifying L. pneumophila. His assessment was part of a peer reviewed study, “Evaluation of a most probable number method for the enumeration of Legionella pneumophila from potable and related water samples,” published in the April 2017 issue of Letters in Applied Microbiology.

“IDEXX Water is the global leader in water microbiology. With Legiolert, we continue our commitment to innovation in diagnostic technologies to improve the safety and quality of water worldwide,” commented Andrew Headland, Senior Business Manager for IDEXX Water. He added, “Legiolert is so much more sensitive and accurate than current culture methods. Combined with the fact that the product is extremely easy to use and requires minimal training, we expect to see an increase in on-site testing for Legionella pneumophila as well as wide-scale adoption in laboratories.”

The Legiolert test is based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of L. pneumophila through utilisation of a substrate present in the Legiolert reagent. L. pneumophila cells grow rapidly and reproduce using the rich supply of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients present in the Legiolert reagent. Actively growing strains of Legionella pneumophila use the added substrate to produce a brown colour indicator.

Though the disease is largely preventable, diagnosed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Europe reached their highest rate ever in 2014, with 13.5 notifications per million inhabitants, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. For hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and other high-risk buildings, testing drinking water, cooling towers and other building water systems is the only way to ensure an effective risk management plan against Legionella pneumophila.

On-site testing made simple

The availability of Legiolert now enables building owners, estates and facility managers to test water on-site to detect Legionella pneumophila. Legiolert joins Pseudalert (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) Colilert®-18 (coliforms and E. coli) and Enterolert (enterococci) in the IDEXX product portfolio.

Providing a complete system to enable on-site bacterial water testing, the IDEXX On-Site Water Testing System for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella pneumophila is simple, accurate, cost effective and an efficient method to determine presence/absence of contamination. Where quantification of a sample is required, IDEXX has developed a simple device known as a Quanti-Tray, which consists of multiple, individually sealable cells. This contains the sample and can also be incubated after which the positive cells can be counted and quantified by reference to a Most Probable Number (MPN) table.

The equipment within the IDEXX On-Site Water Testing System is pictured and includes from left to right: an IDEXX Sealer PLUS and Quanti-Trays, Pseudalert and Legiolert reagent, vessel rack and sample bottles, an IDEXX UV light with viewing box and an incubator.

For more information on IDEXX Water’s Legiolert test and water safety testing, please visit:


Units 1B and 1C, Newmarket Business Park, Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7ER

T: 01638 676800


®Trademark or Registered Trademark of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.


Gateshead school set to save thousands by implementing green energy projects

A secondary special school in Gateshead is set to save tens of thousands of pounds and significantly reduce its carbon emissions after investing over £77,900 in multiple energy reduction projects, using Salix Finance’s interest-free government funding.

Dryden School provides secondary education to students with special education needs. As Dryden is a high energy user they wanted to reduce their energy consumption and energy bills without affecting the school’s operational use. The school implemented numerous energy efficient measures via the Salix Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (SEELS), significantly reducing their carbon footprint while ensuring a comfortable and safe environment for the pupils.

The school has invested in a range of new technologies over the last year, including LED lighting upgrades, pipework insulation, Building Energy Management System (BEMS) improvements and draught proofing, as well as new and reconfigured air handling units and controls.

The new technologies are estimated to reduce the school’s energy bills by around £17,800 per year, as well as reduce its carbon emissions and greatly improve the general learning environment for both pupils and staff.

The energy improvements were made possible thanks to £77,965 worth of funding from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation which provides 100% interest-free loans for the public sector to increase its energy efficiency.

The projects have helped the school reduce its energy consumption by approximately 40%, resulting in an estimated £17,800 of savings to their annual energy costs – the equivalent to more than £342 per pupil.

Across the school’s estate, fluorescent and halogen lamps have been replaced with high efficiency LED lighting, while improved discreet heating controls and a new BEMS system have also been implemented to improve overall efficiency.

Thermal improvements, including pipework insulation and draught proofing, as well as the installation of variable Speed Drives (VSDs) for motors and pumps will further increase the school’s energy efficiency. As well as reduced energy bills, the upgrades will also lessen general maintenance costs.

In total, the improvements are expected to save the school an estimated £241,800 in lifetime savings.

 Dryden School worked closely with Gateshead Council and Salix to secure the required loan and implement the energy efficiency measures.

Christine Hewitson, School Business Manager, Dryden School said: “Working with Salix and the council has provided Dryden School with the perfect opportunity to effectively improve its energy efficiency. The Salix solution has enabled us to make much needed improvements across the entire school site, which will go a long way to reducing our energy consumption. Figures so far suggest that the school is on track to achieve an estimated 40% savings, which goes to show how worthwhile these projects have been.”

“Staff and students alike have commented on how much brighter the lighting now is, and we have noticed significantly less heating issues with our hydrotherapy pool, which allows the students and outside agencies to access the pool more often.”

“Both Salix and the local authority have been excellent in terms of providing advice and giving general support.”

Derek Luke, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Gateshead Council added: “Energy use at the school has been significantly reduced thanks to the energy efficiency projects and the improvements to the comfort of the school are apparent throughout.”

The project has a payback period of 4.4 years, and this is being repaid over 5 years with their predicted energy savings.  This means the project is of no extra expense to the school, and once the loan is repaid the school will directly benefit from these significant savings for the lifetime of the technology.

For more information on the funding available from Salix, please see:

 *Calculated using emissions factors published by government for carbon footprinting.



Keeping your HVAC airways clean

Richard Betts, Managing Director of RABScreen, the external filter specialists, discusses the importance of airflow in heating and cooling systems.

Airflow is the single most critical element in the correct operation of all air heating and cooling systems. Yet most systems do not have the correct airflow.

As a result compressors overheat, fans blow hot air and heat exchangers at their heart cannot provide the capacity and comfort that their manufacturers built and designed into them.

Accurate cooling or heating analysis cannot be performed, system performance cannot be measured, and the servicing or commissioning process will be compromised if airflow is anything but correct, just ask any HVAC manufacturer.

We heat and cool air, humidify it, dehumidify it, clean it, move it, supply it, return it and try to monitor it. All of these processes are jeopardised if the designed airflow to the system is restricted.

The recent economic climate, has caused nationwide cutbacks on staffing and budgets. Fewer staff on site means a reduced capacity for maintenance and servicing. However, the objective of any maintenance team has not changed.

It is very simple:

  • Achieve adequate building cooling or heating.
  • Minimise labour time and maximise efficiencies.
  • Reduce down time breakdowns.
  • Maintain customer satisfaction.

Highly qualified engineers are wasting hours on the environmentally unfriendly, chemical cleaning of coil fins instead of fine tuning and balancing the sensitive air handling systems they are trained to maintain.

Measuring, monitoring and maintaining correct airflow should be the first step when servicing equipment. It is the key component for proper equipment operation. Energy consumption is dramatically increased when compressors and fans have to work harder to maintain design output and this means big money is needlessly vanishing into thin air.

Also if an expensive compressor needs to be changed and the technician has not fully determined why it failed, the new compressor is sure to fail for the same reasons. Indeed compressors installed by service technicians fail at six to seven times the rate of original equipment.

In most regions of the UK, pollen is a major contributor to the fouling of cooling equipment. This, combined with general debris caused by foliage, refuse and other airborne particulates, can have a significant impact upon the day-to-day running of the equipment.

It has always been very difficult to add filtration to cooling equipment (water and dry air cooled), small condensers and cooling towers. Yet products like the RABScreen external filtration now offer the ideal solution to air intake debris, contaminated coils and clogged cooling tower sumps. These screens are easily fitted externally and prevent contaminates in the air entering the system. This saves money by extending the life of disposable filters, saves as much as 30% of input energy on chiller coils and saves labour by reducing cleaning and chemical use.  As a result, the typical return on investment of fitting RABScreen air intake screens is less than six months. These air intake screen are a black engineered mesh, which is heavy duty and high abrasion resistant and incoming debris held in place on the mesh is easily removed by vacuum, brush or washing during regular maintenance.

During the summer months coil cleaning, changing of internal air filters and general HVAC maintenance must be carried out more frequently, consuming much of the engineering team’s routine programmed maintenance schedule.

Similarly, the correct monitoring of airflow through cooling towers will help to minimise the risk of decaying debris such as insects, seeds and pollen forming a nutrient source for the legionella bacteria.

As I have explained it pays dividends to keep HVAC airways clean as by doing so it reduces energy consumption considerably; it reduces the regular maintenance needed on cooling systems; and increases the efficiency of the equipment ensuring its long life well into the future.

Further information on averting HVAC contamination by using RABScreen air intake screens is available from RAB Specialist Engineers on 0800 999 5750 or emailing or by visiting the company’s website at


Richard Betts is Managing Director of RAB Specialist Engineers which supplies and installs external filter screens for HVAC equipment. He has more than 40 years’ hands-on experience in the maintenance of HVAC systems and is a member of ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.


Prevention is better than cure: The fire door perspective

In a fire emergency, it is a race against time to prevent flames from spreading beyond control – meaning a working fire door could be the difference between life and death, says Allegion UK Commercial Leader Pete Hancox.

It needs no mention that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has been a somber, sobering experience. Shock, disbelief and anger have gripped the nation in the weeks and months following the fire. There’s no question it will live long as a thorny, incredibly sad memory – especially as data has since shown at least another 211 tower blocks have failed combustibility tests following testing on their exterior cladding.

Following the tragedy, the media and nation have focused on the aforementioned cladding issues, as well as a lack of sprinkler systems in Grenfell Tower and other similar tower block buildings. Other talking points have emerged around the lack of a high ladder – which did not arrive on the scene for 32 minutes for the fire brigade. As a consequence, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ordered an urgent review of the fire brigade kit after rescue delays.

Of course, improving those factors is a necessicity and, in due course, will raise fire safety standards all around. However, they are arguably response tactics, as opposed to prevention tactics, for a fire spreading out of control.

An area of fire safety that has been given little attention to, but deserves much more credit, is the fire door. What a good fire door system can do is buy precious time. It is a prevention method and inhibits fires from getting out of control too quickly by compartmentalising the fire.

In tall and densely populated buildings especially, trapping the fire between fire doors can stop the ‘chimney effect.’ This is where stairways and corridors combust quickly through non-fire retardant materials, ripping through the building within a matter of minutes and thus blocking access to the vital escape routes.

Whilst a fire door won’t put out a fire, we can clearly see how they would serve an important function. In Grenfell Tower’s case, they could arguably have been one of the most important factors, following the revelation about the fire service’s initial lack of a high ladder.

What the RRFSO States

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2006 (or RRFSO) is the key regulation for building owners and operators. Under the RRFSO, not only do building owners and operators have to demonstrate that safety precuations are in place, but also they are continually reviewed and monitored.

Of the responsibilities, it includes regular fire assessments, implementing clearly defined evacuation procedures and ensuring adequate signage is in place.

Above all, though, the priority requirement is that all doors are fit for purpose in the instance of fire. That means emergency doors must open in the direction of escape, and they must not be locked or fastened in such a way that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may need to use them in an emergency. Sliding and revolving doors are, therefore, not permitted as emergency exits.

The Fire Door System – Preventing the Spread

Ultimately, it is the fire door that stops the fire from spreading. However, a fire door itself cannot work properly without its contributory parts. One intrinsic part is the door closer.

Door Closers and Linked Fire Alarms

As Approved Document B: Volume 2, which governs fire safety in dwelling houses and flats, states, all fire doors should be fitted with a self-closing device. The exceptions are fire doors to cupboards and to service ducts, which are normally kept locked shut, and fire doors within flats (although self-closing devices are still necessary on flat entrance doors).

It goes on to state that closing devices to flat entrances must be 18N in closing force – power size 3. A mechanical door closer will fulfil this requirement, but there are also electro-magnetically controlled closers available too, which would be much more user-friendly in tower blocks.

A continual problem with fire doors is that they are heavier in nature. This makes them hard to operate for some people, for example elderly, disabled or children, who lack upper body strength or mobility. Therefore the temptation is to prop open fire doors to ease movement and accessibility, but this is illegal. A propped open fire door will render it useless in the event of a fire.

Electro-magnetically controlled door closers can negate this temptation, as they will hold open doors using electro-magnets, and release them when a fire alarm is sounded. An example of this is the Briton 996 door closer.

Latchbolt Monitors

Another piece of hardware technology that can contribute to a good fire door system in multiple occupancy buildings is the latchbolt monitor.

As mentioned, fire doors are often propped open, but that is not the only thing that stops them from performing properly. If they do not close fully, i.e. latch to the door frame, then the intumescent seals around the fire door won’t stop smoke and toxic chemicals from leaking through.

In a tower block, this scenario is common. Air pressure conditions are constantly changing, due to the weather, open windows, doors etc., which can prevent a fire door from latching fully. To guard against this, a latchbolt monitor can be installed to the latch, which sends a signal to a central monitoring system that alerts if any doors aren’t latched fully.

Electro-mechanical Panic Bars

A recent development of the door hardware industry is the electro-mechanical panic bar – a traditional panic bar from the inside that allows access control functionality from the outside by using an electronic motor to control the latch.

While not an essential to fire door safety, they are a good addition for tower blocks due to the access control functionality they can provide. Use of pinpads, transponders and keycards instead of mechanical keys on communal entrances can allow for audit activity on those doors, and allow security managers to pinpoint doors that are being left open and at what specific times.

Signage and Resident’s Fire Door Safety Checklist

All fire doors should be clearly marked, as per the RRFSO guidelines.

Again, use of fire doors will be part of daily life in a tower block. However, there can be no guarantees that they won’t be misused. Clear and correct signage must be applied to make users aware that they should be kept shut.

A good practice would also be to ensure residents are clear on how to determine if a fire door is legal or not. A basic checklist and gap tester is available to all from Allegion, which will allow residents to test and report for gaps around the fire door, latching issues or otherwise etc. Making residents aware of fire door safety can allow for a more agile approach to fire safety testing.

Only as good as the sum of its parts

In a fire, time is crucial. There needs to be time for the fire services to reach the scene of the fire, for occupants to evacuate, and if evacuation is not possible, then to move on to the next safe points of the building.

Fire-resistant doors are available that have been tested to protect against fire spreading for up to 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. However, if they are not working as they should be, then no matter how good the cures are to follow, the fire will have that chance of breaking out of control and causing devastating effects.

In most cases, a fire door will never be called into action for the entirety of its lifespan. However, when we need it most, we want it to work as it has been specified to do. The simple measures we have listed above will go a long way towards ensuring fire doors are respected as they should be.

About Allegion™
Allegion (NYSE: ALLE) is a global pioneer in safety and security, with leading brands like CISA®, Interflex®, LCN®, Schlage®, SimonsVoss® and Von Duprin®. Focusing on security around the door and adjacent areas, Allegion produces a range of solutions for homes, businesses, schools and other institutions. Allegion is a $2.2 billion company, with products sold in almost 130 countries.

For more, visit


 “Tradespeople need to consider lung health of loved ones”

Mavis Nye, from Seasalter, Kent, is fighting to raise awareness of mesothelioma after contracting cancer – thought to be from contact with asbestos on her husband’s work clothes.

Mavis says: “I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by contact with asbestos that affects the lining of the lungs, in 2009. I’ve never worked in the construction industry or on a building site, however my husband Ray did. He used to come home with his clothes covered in dust, which I used to shake clean and wash for him.

“At the time there was very little knowledge about dangers of coming into contact with asbestos, and it never crossed my mind that I would be in danger from inhaling fibres from his clothes. I think it’s important for tradespeople to realise that it’s not just their own lung health that may be at risk, but also loved ones – their partners and even children.

“Thankfully I am still here to talk about my condition, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I want to make sure no-one has to go through this experience in the future.”

Occupational lung diseases such as mesothelioma – caused by exposure to asbestos fibres – are increasing. Since 1992, mesothelioma deaths have increased by 70% to 1,862 and it receives far less money for research than other cancers that kill the same number of people, something that Mavis is very keen to change.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation (BLF), said: ““Mavis’s story is truly inspiring. She is understood to be one of the few people in the world to be in recovery from mesothelioma.

“Breathing in asbestos dust can result in mesothelioma. It takes a long time to develop from the time of original exposure, so people might not experience symptoms for many years. It’s important that everyone in the construction trade is aware of the risks to their own health, and also to their friends and family.”

Festool, leading supplier of high-end power tools and accessories, including a range of dust extractors, has been speaking with those affected by mesothelioma as part of its latest Breathe Easy campaign. The company has been selling special cycling tops available here:, to raise awareness and money for the BLF, as well as other fundraising initiatives as part of its Road Show.

Jon Burcham, Marketing Manager at Festool, said: “Festool has long-been associated with our excellent dust extraction systems. We can see that dust extraction and the measures tradespeople need to take to protect their lungs is something that more and more people are talking about. But the awareness needs to go further. As Mavis’ devastating story shows, it’s not just the individuals on a site who are at risk, people in the trade need to be aware of the risks to their families and partners and take steps to protect them as well.”

Perfect for mobile use and assembly, the Festool range of safe and robust dust extractors are lightweight and compact, ideal to transport from job to job, saving time for tradespeople. Festool’s dust extractors are suitable for any job from low to high class dust, including general work to anything that is a known carcinogen including lead, cadmium and asbestos. To find the right dust extractor for you, visit for more information. For further information about mesothelioma, visit the British Lung Foundation’s website:


Over £38 million of Salix funding used to install CHP across the UK public sector

Over £38 million of Salix interest-free loans have been used for the installation of combined heat and power (CHP) to provide high efficiency heat and power generation to UK public sector buildings, bringing estimated annual savings of over £10 million on energy bills. Last year saw a record number of these Salix funded CHP projects completing, with a total of £14 million of funding utilised throughout the public sector.

CHP can generate heat and power across one or more buildings and can reduce energy use by up to 30%[1]. Funding for CHP has been particularly well received for projects in hospital and higher education estates, as their year round electrical and heating base load allows for CHP running hours which can maximise the return on investment.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust identified the opportunity to make significant financial and carbon savings by  replacing two smaller, aging CHP units with a 850 kWe CHP located in a new energy centre. Using £1.2 million of Salix funding, the project completed in March 2017 and it is estimated to save over £262,000 per year on energy bills as well as over 1,100 tonnes of CO2e2.

Steven Fall, Estates Officer at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Working with Salix has been a smooth and efficient process. This funding has significantly contributed towards our overall Trust carbon reduction target and sustainability plan.”

In 2014, the University of Liverpool completed the largest CHP project supported by Salix funding. Using an interest free loan of £6.1 million, they installed two 2 MWe CHP engines into a disused Grade II listed boiler house. The engines generate 22 GWH of electricity each year, with a net reduction to energy bills of over £1.5 million.

Peter Birch, Engineering Services Manager at University of Liverpool, said; “Our CHP engines have delivered fantastic financial and carbon savings for the university. Without the support and funding from Salix Finance we would have been unable to implement such a large scale project.

In addition to the projects already completed, Salix has committed a further £7.7 million of funding to CHP projects in hospitals and universities which are now in the process of being implemented.

Further funding for CHP and other energy efficiency projects is available now, and details can be found at Salix can provide part or full funding for projects, with funding allocated based on value for money both in terms of financial payback on funding requested and estimated carbon savings.

Salix will be running workshops on CHP for the public sector later this year. These will be an opportunity to learn more about best practise for the design and operation of CHP systems, as well as how Salix funding can be utilised to help with the upfront costs of installation. If you work for a public sector organisation and are interested in attending, please contact

1 ‘Lightening the Load – How CHP helps win the global race for a competitive, low carbon economy’, The ADE (

2 Calculated using emissions factors published by government in June 2016 for carbon footprinting purposes


GAP Hire Solutions strengthen their hire fleet with more LED lighting sets from Trime UK Ltd

The national equipment hire group, GAP Hire Solutions, care about the impact they have on the environment. Their Green Action Plan sets out the steps they are taking to reduce their carbon footprint and the support they provide to their customers to help them increase their own sustainability.

In support of this action plan, GAP have committed to a further sixty X-ECO tower lights from the expanding lighting tower manufacturer, Trime. This brand new order follows the £3m investment made by GAP in Trime lighting products in 2016.

GAP’s Green Action Plan document states, “The X-ECO LED 6 from TRIME is the most innovative lighting product on the market. Thanks to its LED lamps and automated start/ stop technology, the X-ECO uses less than a third of the fuel required to run a standard lighting tower, producing 888kg less CO2 per month as a result”.

GAP now has nearly 500 X-ECO LED lighting sets, making it the largest LED powered hire fleet in the UK.

Commenting on this latest order, Ken Stewart, GAP’s Head of Procurement added, “The sustainable elements of the X-ECO are very apparent. But equally as important is the favourable reception we get from our customers when we supply them with these units. We are seeing an increasing number of contractors specifying the X-ECO when they are planning their site layouts.”

The GAP Group now employs 1,633 staff, an increase from 1,503 a year earlier, and has grown to 137 locations throughout the UK.

The Trime manufacturing plant is based in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, near Milan and the UK operation is situated in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The company is highly experienced in developing and marketing environmentally biased lighting sets for the construction and event rental markets.



New Los Angeles Federal Courthouse kept safe with FFE’s beam smoke detectors

Four Fireray 5000 detectors installed in new state-of-the-art building

To ensure optimum fire detection in its large atrium, the impressive new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse has installed four Fireray beam smoke detectors from FFE. The units were commissioned and installed by SimplexGrinnell.

“Because the atrium is so high, conventional smoke detectors were not suitable for this installation,” commented Managing Director Mark Osborne. “Our Fireray 5000 auto-aligning, reflective smoke detectors were selected instead as they are ideal for this kind of large interior, providing extensive coverage at minimal cost.”

Fireray 5000 beam detectors work by transmitting a beam of invisible infrared light across the building space to be protected. A receiver detects and measures the light and can recognise smoke interference anywhere along the beam path, triggering the alarm signal when the pre-determined threshold is reached.

One of the deciding factors in Fireray 5000 detectors being specified for this application is the ‘low level controller’ feature, which means maintenance and testing can be carried out via the control room. “As the units are situated high up, physically accessing them regularly is exorbitantly expensive and impractical, so remote access is essential,” says SimplexGrinnell’s Construction Manager Sharon Brown.

Another important factor in any new-build project is building movement. All new buildings need to ‘settle’, and for beam detectors, which rely on precision laser alignment at opposite ends of the building, any movement can mean the beams become unaligned. The Fireray 5000 compensates for this through its ‘auto-alignment’ feature, ensuring beams remain aligned during building movement, without causing nuisance alarms or requiring a technician.

The new 10 storey, 633,000-square-foot courthouse, which is situated in downtown Los Angeles, contains 24 courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers and has sustainable features such as a serrated facade that maximizes views yet also reduces solar heat gain by nearly 50 percent.

With over half a million optical beam detectors installed worldwide, Fireray is the first choice for installers and engineers looking for smoke detection in large open areas. With its modern design aesthetic and minimal footprint, the Fireray is popular with architects and facilities managers who care about preserving the original design of buildings.

About FFE

FFE is a global design and manufacturing business, dedicated to supplying specialist detection products to the fire industry. Headquartered in the UK with offices in the USA, Dubai, India and China, the company’s two leading brands are the Fireray optical beam smoke detector, with over half a million units installed worldwide, and the Talentum flame detector, one of the world’s most respected flame detector brands. FFE also leads the global market in providing fire extinguishers for aviation use and produces a range of vibration switches for industrial applications. FFE is a Halma Company.

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