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Heating & Ventilation Recreation & Leisure

Totton Health and Leisure Centre, Southampton


Leading British manufacturer Ideal Commercial Boilers has supplied five Evomax 80kW high efficiency condensing wall hung boilers to New Forest District Council, which have been installed at Totton Health and Leisure Centre, Southampton. The Evomax boilers have provided the solution to a challenging array of installation requirements, as well as contributing to a 15% reduction in running costs.

Rob Sowden, Commercial Gas Engineer for New Forest District Council, specified the five Evomax 80kW boilers, not only because he had installed them before and knew them to be extremely reliable and easy to maintain, but also because of the space and energy saving capabilities the Evomax boilers could offer.

Rob explained, “The original boilers at Totton Leisure Centre were Ideal Commercial Boilers Super Series 3, which had been running trouble-free since they were installed in 1986. My first thought was to conduct a like-for-like replacement with Ideal Commercial Boiler’s upgraded equivalent range, the Super Series 4. However, another major aspect of the Totton Leisure Centre project was the installation of a new booster set for the hot water system that would ensure consistent water pressure for the showers, and more importantly a drive to introduce condensing boiler technology. We therefore needed to relocate the boilers in order to facilitate the new water tank for the booster set. This immediately brought up the issue of space constrictions, as there would be significantly less available plant room space, as well as the question of flueing arrangements. An added challenge was that the leisure centre was to remain open during the installation, so we needed to ensure the hot water system was working during opening times and that the pool’s water temperature would be maintained. A challenging brief but, fortunately, Ideal Commercial Boilers and the Evomax were able to provide the answer to all these issues.”

Rather than employing a Consultant, Rob used his expertise as a highly skilled engineer to design, install and commission the new system, which he did following an on-site consultation with Mike Stubbs, Business Development Manager for Ideal Commercial Boilers and after attending a training course at the Ideal Commercial Boilers Centre of Excellence in Reading to further expand his knowledge of the products. Consultants were then hired to approve Rob’s design, rather than create the design from scratch, saving the council around £7,200 in fees.

The five Evomax wall hung boilers were supplied complete with a dedicated frame and header kit to make installation even easier and Rob worked alongside technical experts from Ideal Commercial Boilers to resolve siting issues. He explained, “Due to the Clean Air Act, we could not terminate the flues through the wall so these had to be directed through the roof. We had the choice of incorporating five individual flues, which would have meant five potential weathering issues, or alternatively just one main header flue. We decided to go with the latter and I hired a flue specialist company to carry out the work.”

The installation was planned for the summer so that the demand for space heating would be low, and at a time when the leisure centre would be quiet. Rob installed the new Evomax boilers adjacent to the old boilers, which meant he could complete 80% of the installation work without disconnecting the existing system. When no further preparation work could be done, the old boilers were disconnected and the pipe connections transferred to the new boilers extremely quickly. Rob predicted two days for the installation, however the entire switchover was completed between the hours of 9.30am and 4.00pm, resulting in a seamless transition with no loss of temperature for the building or the pool.

Rob affirmed, “The one-day service course I attended at the Ideal Commercial Boilers Training Centre gave me many useful ideas, which enabled the installation to be completed on time with no disruption to the Leisure Centre’s hot water and pool temperatures, and I found the advice provided by the Ideal Commercial Boilers technical team to be invaluable, especially for the more challenging aspects of this project.”

The Evomax condensing boilers offer efficiencies of around 98%, resulting in a reduction in running costs that the Council predicts will total around £6,000 a year, thereby dramatically decreasing the payback period for these boilers as well as delivering future energy savings. These impressive results have enabled the Council to put vital funds towards other much-needed projects in the community.

An added benefit of Rob’s ability to design and install the heating and hot water system himself is that he now has extensive knowledge of the installation, which will be of great benefit as he is also responsible for servicing and maintaining the system in the years to come.

He added, “This has been an incredibly successful project and goes to show what savings can be made with good system design, meticulous preparation and high quality products. These types of savings are essential for Councils nationwide, who are struggling with the cuts in funding and are looking to find ways of continuing to deliver high quality services with less capital at their disposal. Knowledge is vital though, as is expertise, and I am very grateful to Ideal Commercial Boilers for the high level of technical support and advice they have provided throughout.”

Totton Health and Leisure prides itself on being amongst the best leisure facilities and activities in the local area, including a refurbished gym, exercise classes, swimming pool, new changing village, the Swim Academy, Sauna and Steam rooms, a four court badminton hall, sports courses and a variety of family holiday activities and children’s parties.

Evomax wall hung condensing boilers are available in outputs ranging from 30kW up to 150kW – one of the highest available for this type of boiler. In addition to its lightweight design, quality build and comprehensive control options, siting is made easy with a selection of room-sealed and open flue system choices. Insulated Frame and Header Kits offer further flexibility, allowing the Evomax to be installed in cascade formation either back-to-back or in-line, with a combined top capacity of 600kW. Also available are Low Frame and Header Kits, making installation much simpler where there is reduced headroom and offering the option of replacing a floor standing atmospheric boiler with a high efficiency wall hung model.