A Keston 30kW System boiler has been installed as part of a refurbishment project at Selly Manor Museum, a Grade II* listed Tudor house dating back to the 1300s. Owned by Bournville Village Trust, Selly Manor is one of Birmingham’s oldest buildings and is visited by thousands of children and adults each year.
The Keston twin flue boiler was specified by heating and ventilating specialists SHEco Ltd, as this was the only boiler range on the market that could meet the challenging requirements for a 23m flue run. The new boiler system is not only more effective, resulting in a warmer building for enhanced user comfort and preventing the formation of damp, is also much more efficient, greatly reducing running costs for Bournville Village Trust.
The previous standard efficiency floor standing boiler at Selly Manor was installed in the basement plant room and had been running for over 25 years. Following a period of bad weather, the plant room had been badly flooded, resulting in complete boiler failure. The Trust had set up electric heaters throughout the house as a short term solution, but these were expensive to run, offered little control and were ineffective, making it difficult to prevent damp due to the cooler temperature in the rooms.
As a Grade II* listed building, Selly Manor is protected under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and consequently any work carried out needs to be assessed and approved by the local planning authority to ensure it complies with strict criteria. For example, the boiler flue was not allowed to be visible on certain external walls and any flueing work needed to be as discreet as possible so as not to detract from the character of the building.
Ian Shorter, Installation and Service Manager at SHEco, specified the Keston 30kW twin flue System boiler to meet these tough demands. He made the decision to turn the existing open-vented boiler system into a sealed system by capping off the tank, which was situated at the top of the building. One of the main reasons was to eradicate the possibility of water leaking out into the loft and causing damage to the building, further safeguarding this ancient building and preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations. After running a new, larger gas pipe into the plant room to meet the requirements of the new system and replacing the main flow and return pipework, the SHEco engineering team installed the boiler directly onto the wall.
Due to its compact size, the team had no trouble manoeuvring the Keston boiler in the small plant room space. The main challenge they faced was how to run the twin boiler flue out of the basement plant room, as one flue needed to be tracked around the circular entry staircase and the other needed to be long enough to reach the existing chimney.
Ian explained, “The old boiler was connected to an open flue chimney liner in order to discharge waste gases outside the building. A long flue run was required to enable the new boiler flue to reach the chimney and, as a result, other boiler companies said that the chimney would need to be replaced and relocated, which would have been difficult within the listed building criteria as well as expensive.
“However, after a site visit from Keston to discuss the options, we discovered the Keston boiler could achieve the required flue runs which totalled over 23m, meaning we could utilise the existing chimney. This prevented complications with planning permission and installation, as well as saving time and money.
“The MUPVC solvent weld flues designed and supplied by Keston also solved multiple issues, as stainless steel flues would have been too conspicuous and heavy. Keston’s plastic flues were coloured to blend into the brickwork and so are barely noticeable.”
Energy efficient controls were also installed, allowing the Keston boiler to communicate with an external wireless room stat located at the top of the stairs. This controls the new convector heaters located throughout Selly Manor, allowing them to switch on only when the boiler reaches the required pre-set temperature, thereby minimising energy use and reducing the demand on the boiler.
Suitable for both domestic and light commercial applications, Keston’s 30kW System boiler range offers a lightweight design with concealed connections at the base and no compartment ventilation required. These features allow it to be easily fitted in compact plant rooms and even cupboards.