Malvern St.James School


Six Johnson & Starley Aquair S-20 Water to Air Heat Interface Units (HIUs) have been installed at the Edinburgh Dome, an unusual Grade 2 listed sports hall at Malvern St. James Girls’ School. They have replaced the original warm air heating system that was installed some 36 years ago by Peter Lucas of The Modern Heating Company.

The original installation consisted of six warm air heaters located in two plant rooms. They were installed when the dome was erected in 1977, using the reinforced concrete Binishell Dome constructional method. To heat the building, warm air was fed via floor grilles into the Dome around the edges of the sport hall, with recirculation taken at high level from the rear of the balcony overlooking the main playing courts.

As the heaters became beyond economical repair, they fell out of use in turn, and in 2013 Heating Maintenance Services Ltd., run by Paul Lucas and the son of Peter, were asked to recommend a solution.

Heating Maintenance Services Ltd. regularly installs Johnson & Starley Warm Air Heating Systems and also works closely with Malvern St. James Girls’ School for their heating and hot water requirements. “I’ve worked with Johnson & Starley for many years and knew the Aquairs would be an ideal solution,” says Paul. “As the original warm air ducting was already in place, the replacement Aquair S-20’s HIUs could be fitted with minimal modification re-using this.”

Aquair water to air heat exchange units are available with heat output of 10, 16 or 20kW at a hot water on temperature of 80 degrees C. For energy efficient operation and accurate delivery of heat, a modulating control is incorporated. They also feature a standard air cleaner that helps to keep the air free from particulates.

With the Aquairs installed the Dome is much warmer, and heating bills will be reduced as the Aquairs are up to 25% more energy efficient than the old heating system. They are used in banks of three, with one boiler running each bank. This splits the load so that each Aquair operates at the same temperature as the one next to it and delivers the same amount of heat. In this way, one Aquair does not work harder than another and the heating load is shared equally.

The Edinburgh Dome is surrounded by a moat with only stepping stones across it to reach the plant rooms. The removal and replacement of the old system took approximately just three weeks and some new base plates were made by a local company. Due to their lighter weight, the Aquairs proved much easier to move into position than the old large warm air heaters that were taken out.