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Bosch's heating solution for world's 6th oldest school

The company had to overcome several obstacles to provide energy efficient heating in the 19th century building

Posted by Hannah Oakman | December 13, 2016 | Facilities & buildings

As part of an extensive sustainability programme and after suffering several legacy boiler failures, Royal Grammar School Worcester required a reliable and efficient heating solution across its seven plant rooms.

The heritage of Royal Grammar School Worcester means there are certain challenges when incorporating energy efficient technologies within buildings dating back as far as the 19th century. 

Having opted to enhance its sustainability credentials and replace a poor performing heating system, the school needed to tackle the integration of new boilers across its estate while using its pre-existing pipework. As an added complication, the replacement of the aged heating boilers and systems needed to be completed over the six-week long summer holidays before term time commenced. 

After two initial boiler breakdowns at the end of 2014, where the school had to rely on electric heaters during term time, Bosch Commercial and Industrial were approached to carry out a review of the estate and identify other areas of risk. Many of the existing boilers were legacy boilers over 15 years old, so would be costly to repair, if they could be restored at all, and were not in line with the school’s ambition to improve energy efficiency and future proof its estate. Overall, it was decided that a total of 21 high-efficiency condensing boilers would be installed across seven critical locations, with each plant room presenting its own unique challenges.

Mixing the old with the new

Bosch Commercial and Industrial recommended its GB162 boiler as its compact dimensions made it especially suitable for the plant rooms, many of which were difficult to access and were restricted in space. Also, the range of outputs available and the option to cascade meant that the school could cater for different heat demands across different areas of the site. With net efficiencies of up to 110% and NOx emissions of less than 40mg/kWh, the GB162 range provides clean, low-carbon heating and hot water, with the ability to modulate down to as little as 2.5% of the total output. 

Energy efficiency is a top priority for the school and the GB162’s ability to automatically modulate its output down to less than 20%  in order to precisely match the demand for heat, will result in reduced fuel consumption and improved overall seasonal efficiency. 

One of the key challenges of the project was the old and corroded pipework system, which had the potential to affect the operation and efficiency of any new heating appliances. To overcome this, a plate heat exchanger was installed to provide two elements of protection and to separate the old and new systems.

Improving sustainability

Work commenced on site on 13th July 2015 and was concluded successfully on 21st August 2015. Due to the boilers being fitted in the summer holidays, the school has already experienced its first winter with the new system in place and has seen improved control. 

The complex nature of the ongoing sustainability project means that the situation remains under review. With plans to replace other legacy equipment on site, upgrade to solar technology, LED lighting and secondary glazing, and to improve insulation, the school is expecting significant energy savings in the long term.

Given the recent cold temperatures, it was great that Bosch turned things around so quickly - Stephen Bailey, Client Engineer on behalf of Royal Grammar School Worcester

Stephen Bailey, Managing Director at Alphabet Industries Limited and Client Engineer on behalf of Royal Grammar School Worcester, said: “Bosch were the ideal fit, offering excellent support and a total solution with a flexible product. The team were extremely accommodating and their knowledge on how to approach a problematic situation really shone through. In January we had a situation where two more ageing boilers failed and we called upon Bosch again to deliver replacements into a purpose-built plant room. Given the recent cold temperatures, it was great that Bosch turned things around so quickly.”

Ian Roberts, Bursar at RGS Worcester, added: “After investing in new boiler installations across the site, we have seen a noticeable improvement in how effectively our maintenance team operates. The consistency of having just the one type of boiler to maintain is saving time and helping us to build a specialist workforce.”

Lance Blackburn, Commercial Technical Manager for Midlands and North Wales, at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, commented: “It is great that we have built such a strong relationship with RGS Worcester and that we were the first company to spring to mind when there were problems to solve. 

“The GB162 was perfectly suited to the site due to its flexibility and energy efficient characteristics, and with the school’s commitment to investing time and money to make changes in line with its sustainability programme, it is set to maximise on the benefits of the new installations.” 

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