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Andrew More text an historic Perkins heating system reused (2)

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Notes for a presentation by Andrew More about the reuse of a historic heating system within a church, given at a conference on historic parish church interiors.

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Andrew More text an historic Perkins heating system reused (2)

  1. 1. December 2015 Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times - Revitalizing and Rebuilding Slides v. Script: An historic ‘Perkins’ heating system re-used and expanded to meet modern heating requirements Page 1 of 4 Slide - text wording unless otherwise stated Script Revitalising and Rebuilding: An historic ‘Perkins’ heating system re-used and expanded to meet modern heating requirements Good morning etc. Andrew More Senior Building Services Engineer Building Services and Emergency Planning Team Conservation Department - Planning Group Historic England A brief quiz to prompt discussion to get us going Consider the following three current vehicles… A brief quiz to prompt discussion to get us going. Picture: Toyota Prius A rather sad looking Toyota Prius parked near my home. Picture: Land Rover Defender The last model of the Land Rover Defender. Picture: Jeep Wrangler The four-door version of the Jeep Wrangler Toyota Prius: petrol/electric hybrid; steel body; large battery pack and lots of complicated electronics. Land Rover Defender: diesel engine; steel chassis; mostly aluminium body; some electronics. Jeep Wrangler: diesel engine, steel chassis and body; more electronics than the Land Rover Defender. Toyota Prius: petrol/electric hybrid; steel body; large battery pack and lots of complicated electronics. Land Rover Defender: diesel engine; steel chassis; mostly aluminium body; some electronics. Jeep Wrangler: diesel engine, steel chassis and body; more electronics than the Land Rover Defender. Question… From extracting the raw materials, all stages of manufacture, through use to eventual dismantling and recycling, which of the three vehicles is the most environmentally friendly? As they say in exams: discuss! [Discussion] [TP - short life, even shorter battery life - very expensive to replace, difficult to recycle] [LRD - very long, if not indefinite life; aluminium expensive to make though] [JW - long life, cheap to make and recycle] [LRD and JW probably about equal?] The concepts of ‘embedded energy’ and’ the adaptation and restoration of (historic) equipment’ will be revisited later The concepts of ‘embedded energy’ and’ the adaptation and restoration of (historic) equipment’ will be revisited later Picture: tombstone Text: Death by PowerPoint To avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’ I’ve put a lot of useful information in the handout to be read at your leisure. Historic England Planning Group A brief mention about Historic England and how it gets involved with listed buildings. Development Management: Inspectors of Historic Buildings and Areas Inspectors of Ancient Monuments Heritage at Risk: Architects and Surveyors Nine regional offices We advise, by request from them, various types of inspectors, architects and surveyors who work out of nine regional offices. More details in the handout.
  2. 2. December 2015 Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times - Revitalizing and Rebuilding Slides v. Script: An historic ‘Perkins’ heating system re-used and expanded to meet modern heating requirements Page 2 of 4 Picture: church interior Text: The Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels Cornwood, Devon And so to the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels or Cornwood Church for short. A ‘Grade I’ Anglican Parish Church. The village of Cornwood is located in the Dartmoor National Park, about ten miles to the east of Plymouth and a few miles north of Ivybridge, the nearest railway station. Listing information for the church is in the handout. The church had a heating system that wasn’t terribly effective and it wanted to do something to improve matters. My colleague, Geraldine O’Farrell and I, a colleague, Frank Ferris from the CIBSE Heritage Group and Francis Kelly, the Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas, met with the Church Wardens, the Church Architect and the DAC Heating Advisor in July 2012 to see what could be done. Picture: floor grille covered over The church was originally heated by some undocumented system using large grilled voids in the floor - rumour has it these used some form of solid fuel burning in a grate or basket lowered into the void, but how exactly these operated is unknown and if anyone finds out or has any ideas, we’d like to hear more about these. Picture: big pipe coil in silver The church’s second heating system was a Perkins heating system and most of this, albeit modified, was still in use - this comprised a number of pipe coils like this Picture: pipe loop and some pipe loops like this all joined by pipework in two circuits. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers CIBSE Heritage Group Web site: www.hevac-heritage.org Perkins systems were installed from the 1830s to the 1890s and were some of the earliest types used in buildings. Surviving systems by the Perkins family are now very rare and need to be preserved. Those still working, now in modified form, are especially unusual and further changes to them so that they can continue to be used, and where feasible, their capability enhanced, need to be carefully considered. Much more about Perkins and the Perkins systems can be found on the CIBSE Heritage Group’s website. Picture: pipework diameter comparisons - to be prepared in CAD (possibly scanned in as a JPG) The original system was designed to be operated at high temperature and high pressure and pressurized by a sealed vessel and was fed a solid fuel stove, now long gone. It was now downrated to usual LPHW/LTHW standards and fed by a conventional oil- fired boiler, pressurization unit and pump. Whilst the boiler was sized correctly to match the heating load and the pump had the right flow rate (or thereabouts), there wasn’t enough pipework to give sufficient heat output and the pump wasn’t sized to account for the very high resistance caused by the very thick wall of the piping used.
  3. 3. December 2015 Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times - Revitalizing and Rebuilding Slides v. Script: An historic ‘Perkins’ heating system re-used and expanded to meet modern heating requirements Page 3 of 4 Picture: big pipe coil in brown The silver paint didn’t help matters and would have cut the output by 50% - all to do with the emissivity of the outer surface finish of the pipework. Overpainting with ordinary gloss oil paint or a gloss varnish will restore the output. This was an easy fix and all the pipe coils, pipe loops and pipework was re-painted - some will be re-painted to better match the background surface colour. Guidance on standard paint colour systems we suggest so that future redecoration is made easier is given in the handout. Picture: painter Text: A query - perhaps you can help solve it! A brief aside - a query has arisen: what colour were these and other older heating systems painted? Were they just left in bare metal, perhaps polished with the same ‘black lead’ graphite treatment applied to coal fired ranges and the like, or were they actually painted in some type of black paint? Did painting come later - if so, when? E-mail your thoughts or any findings made in the course of other research e.g. into parish records to us please. Pictures: digital clock, clock and thermometer Back to Cornwood Church… Another easy adjustment was to run the heating system constantly at a lower temperature (12°C was chosen by the Parish) and then boost it for services and other occasions when the church was being used. This sounds counter-intuitive, but once the Parish had an indifferent thermostat replaced, this method of operation worked well with no difference in oil consumption, even whilst waiting for the thermostat to be replaced (it couldn’t quite get down to 12°C), the revised method of operation only used a little more oil. Modern digital controls, especially those wireless systems that can be driven by smartphones and tablets, makes setting up and experimenting with systems, to fine tune the heating is highly recommended. Picture: worried man £15,000.00 for five special-size flat steel radiators!! We suggested a means of inserting some extra flat steel panel wall-mounted radiators to give a neutral appearance against the mostly plain walls into the Perkins system. This would have retained a lot of the Perkins pipework and all of the pipe coils and pipe loops, but would have required special pipe adaptors to be made up for welding into the Perkins pipework. The Parish had a system designed, but the cost of the five radiators required was a staggering £15,000.00. Picture: reclaimed radiator The Parish did some lateral thinking and salvaged from a Victorian Gothic Horror of a church in Plymouth that was being demolished because it was a failed building of no architectural merit or future utility a number of ‘Princess’ cast iron column-type floor-mounted radiators made by Beeston of Nottingham, probably dating from between 1900 to just before WW2. These seem to have been installed
  4. 4. December 2015 Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times - Revitalizing and Rebuilding Slides v. Script: An historic ‘Perkins’ heating system re-used and expanded to meet modern heating requirements Page 4 of 4 by the local contractor ’Haden’ judging by the air vent. A member of the local community kindly paid for the transport of the radiators on the back of a flatbed truck with a crane on board and more members of the community manhandled the radiators approximately into position and the parish asked again for our help and guidance. Picture: another reclaimed radiator Most of us gathered again in April 2014 and we thought the easiest way forward would be to run a new set of pipes around the church to just serve the reclaimed radiators in a form and location that mimicked the Perkins distribution pipework and this design was costed and found to be affordable. Picture: corner pipe detail This was installed, along with some new additional wall-hung cast iron column-type radiators that match the Beeston Princess radiators reasonably well. The system works well and the church is nice and warm as Francis Kelly and I found a few weeks ago when we re- visited site to help the DAC sort out some Faculty permission problems. These will be addressed next summer when the heating can be turned off. An example is some of the bends of the new pipework (above) which need to be swept welded steel (or formed copper) bends to match the Perkins pipework (below). Some pipework still needs boxing in, a short piece extending slightly to make the boxing in more effective and some air vents added at high points. All straight forward for the parish and their contractor to do. Pictures: more re-usable radiators (Ladbroke Grove, London) (Wrest Park) (Litherland, Liverpool) It can thus be seen, with careful thought and attention to detail, that an original heating system dating from the start of central heating as we now it can be modified to suit the needs of today and future years thus making sure that all that embedded energy expended in the past in its manufacture doesn’t go to waste. Such systems, with good water treatment and care, can be re-boilered, re-pumped and re-controlled almost indefinitely into the future. Here are a selection of other elderly, but otherwise serviceable radiators and systems that we have found, either still in use or able to be re-used if they pass simple leak and pressure tests. Thanks for listening! Thanks for listening! Photo credits: Andrew More - Historic England Geraldine O’Farrell - Historic England Keith Dodds - Exeter DAC Heating Advisor Cornwood Church - Churchwardens Jeep USA Studio Briggs Archive courtesy of Roger Kennett Design Focus Multimedia

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