The Market Hill Development, Scunthorpe was built in the 1960s and consisted of ten maisonette blocks, each home to eight flats, and three high rises with 76 flats in each building. Over time, the existing steel pipe used in the district heating scheme to supply heating and hot water to the residents has been ravaged by corrosion and pinholing. Consequently, a new solution was required which would overcome these issues and also minimise any inconvenience to the 350 residents of the development.
Initial discussions took place to replace the damaged pipework with new steel pipes, however this would only lead to a short term fix and further investment would be required within the next 20 years. There was also the risk of further maintenance issues and disruption to the residents, as the existing system could not simply be switched off and replaced.
With traditional methods proving unsuitable, Sutcliffe Consulting Engineers, employed directly by Ongo Homes to design and supervise the Mechanical and Electrical services installation, turned to leading plumbing provider and indoor climate systems for the residential and commercial building markets across the UK, Uponor specifying its Ecoflex pre-insulated pipe systems.
The heating network consisted of a new plant room installation, plant room piping and replacement of the full district heating system. Uponor’s Ecoflex pre-insulated pipe system was ideal, due to the speed of installation and the possibility to minimise joints (every 12m). Another reason for choosing Uponor’s plastic piping over a steel alternative was that its system could be run alongside the existing mains, and work in tandem with old mains that were still active. The flexible properties of the solution also enabled Ongo Homes to conduct work with minimal interruption to the residents’ daily routine.
Working within a limited space, K Binks Mechanical Engineers – appointed by Ongo Homes to install the system, split the pipe orders so it was only delivered to site when needed. This ensured that unsightly stockpiling did not occur and the health and safety of the residents was not put under jeopardy.
The next phase of the project was to completely disconnect the old system, leaving the new system to successfully transport water around the housing. Uponor provided technical assistance to contractors to ensure that this was done correctly.
Long term, the client will benefit from an environmentally friendly system that will stand the test of time and provide long term savings.
We look forward to visiting this project in the coming years to see how residents and the client have benefited.