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Back to university with essential HVAC and hot water services

Back to university with essential HVAC and hot water services
This year more than ever, the back-to-university period has been a tricky one for the sector.

This year more than ever, the back-to-university period has been a tricky one for the sector. To cope with the current pandemic, senior leadership teams (SLTs) have had to introduce whole new ways of working throughout their campuses. From year group or class bubbles to social distancing, they have new rules in place to keep students and staff safe. But there’s one thing that SLTs need to have their eye on, and that’s making sure that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are working at their best. In this blog, we’ll look at Hodgkinson Bennis services for universities and colleges, and how we help keep essential services going.

If new equipment isn’t an option, then maintain what’s in place

Universities and colleges need an uninterrupted supply of hot water to keep everyone’ hands clean. And of course, they still need to keep lecture spaces at the right temperature. Installing a new boiler or HVAC system may be a good place to start. Hodgkinson Bennis are experts at fitting and commissioning new boilers and HVAC systems in schools. We design and install systems, including work on plant rooms. We can advise on the best fuel source for university and college boilers, be it gas, liquid or solid fuels. Institutions can consider biomass boilers, which benefit from the government’s Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to offset installation costs over the boiler’s lifetime.

But budgets are stretched. Therefore, now may not be the best time to fit new equipment. Universities and colleges can also look to refurbish and replace control equipment. HVAC system control can be problematic with old, inefficient time controls. Upgrades to state-of-the-art thermostats and timer switches can pay for themselves very quickly through energy cost savings. For instance, we can advise on an optimum start controller, which learns how quickly the building reaches the desired temperature. It then brings the heating on in time for the arrival of staff and students, depending on the weather.

Essential services work better with good pipework

Hodgkinson Bennis can redesign hot water systems. Older heating and hot water systems waste hot water through redundancy. For instance, if pipes to hot water taps are too long, people will have to run the water until it becomes hot. We can review your pipework design to make it more efficient. Rationalising pipework and installing point-of-use heaters can save water and energy, and also have beneficial effects on reducing water waste.

We can undertake regular servicing and maintenance of existing boilers and HVAC equipment, as well as pipework. Once universities and colleges have an efficient boiler fitted, it’s essential to keep it regularly serviced and maintained. We can help by undertaking annual gas safety checks and insurance inspections. And we can devise a planned preventive maintenance (PPM) schedule to ensure that your system goes on operating at peak efficiency.

Energy efficiency

Across the country, the sector uses a massive amount of energy on an annual basis. A Carbon Trust study suggests UK universities and colleges could save millions each year on energy. Given around 65% of energy costs arise from HVAC and hot water requirements, this is a key area for improvement. Savings on utilities could be even greater if facilities also control their water usage, turn off lighting and other equipment when not in use, and maintain building fabric.

Ultimately, everyone should have some responsibility to use resources wisely. For instance, an energy team comprising management, faculty, maintenance staff, cleaners and students can help identify opportunities for savings. And involving students in improving energy efficiency helps them to learn about the built environment. We’re all getting used to new realities – and working to reduce carbon emissions is among them.

To find out more about Hodgkinson Bennis and its essential services universities and colleges, contact one of the team today.

About Hodgkinson Bennis back to school essential services

Hodgkinson Bennis designs, installs and maintains the most fuel-efficient commercial and industrial boilers. Headquartered in Manchester, we work across the UK, particularly in the North West, North East and throughout the Midlands. Contact us today to discuss how we can deliver advanced commercial and industrial boilers, and our range of other services. At Hodgkinson Bennis, we have worked with commercial and industrial boilers since 1872. This history gives us an enviable amount of experience as pioneers in the industry. We place an enormous emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of all team members, suppliers, contractors, and the public. We provide the most fuel-efficient boiler solutions for industrial and commercial applications.


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