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Different Types of Plumbing Fittings
– In the UK there are two ways in which most plumbing is done, the first and most common is done with copper pipe and fittings, the other is the newer plastic push fit system. The copper pipe and fittings has come under scrutiny recently as the joining of the copper pipes is increasingly
difficult as it is often time consuming and awkward due to the fact that copper pipe is often supplied in straight lengths meaning that it needs
to be joined or bent when ever a change of direction occurs. Plastics on the other hand, like that of the push fit system helps to eradicate this awkwardness. Push fit gives you a simple and easy way to make a joint without losing reliability and can be straightforwardly broken down and reassembled.
Advantages of Push-fit
– Plastic pipe is flexible; it is able to bend in a non-linear fashion. Copper piping has limited flexibility.
Plastic piping will not burst. Copper piping has a tendency to freeze and burst leaving huge amounts of damage making it harder to introduce this into
cold areas like cellars. Very much in contrast to plastic pipe.
Due to its flexibility plastic pipe can be pushed thought holes in joists rather than being laid in notches. This is not realistic with copper piping
as it is hard to get the holes in line.
Push fit systems can also be used with copper pipe when so desired as it is very adaptable.
Disadvantages of Push-Fit
– Due to its flexibility the plastic pipe will not support its own weight. This is will not jeopardize its ability to work however, but it would be difficult to poke a bent pipe through a hole in floor boards.
Plastic pipe cannot come into contact with anything that is very hot, for example a boiler. If in contact with a boiler there is a possibility that it could melt therefore it is advised that metal pipe work is used for the first few feet.
Aesthetically the plastic pipes are bigger and less attractive than its copper counter parts.
Plastic pipes and fittings are pricier than their competitor copper.
– Like that of the copper piping, plastic piping is available in both 15mm and 22mm diameter. They are available in a wide range of accessories
including: straight, right angled and Tee couplings. Washing machine taps, tap connectors, in-line stopcocks, one-way valves, stop ends and tank connectors.
– If you don’t normally use plastic fittings it is certainly worth keeping some around, especially in the winter. If a pipe bursts you will be able to fix the problem in a matter of minutes and the effects will be long lasting.
A recent article by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy listed 10 programs that spurred organisations and customers to save energy. The findings acutely show that behavioural programs can be especially effective.
Improving energy efficiency is an important topic on the timetable of most organisations these days. The benefits are numerous, from lowering carbon footprint to the most outstanding of all cutting down on costs with energy. So million dollar question is: How to enhance business energy efficiency?
There are many ways to do so but this is not quite what I want to talk about in this column. I wont be propounding you change all the lights in your company to LED lights, even though that is one the most cost effective ways to enhance your business’ energy efficiency.
In this item I’d like to contest what is more effective consumer education or infrastructure updates. One could say that by combining both you could achieve greater results but that you will have to adjudge once you have finished reading this article.
Purchaser education has proven to be an effective way to better energy efficiency of households and businesses alike. When combined with programs that apply social science to energy conservation it can incite individuals to reduce consumption and make choices that will enable their companies to save as well.
Such programmes are an attractive way to reduce energy consumption since they have low initial cost and require little change to existing business processes / lifestyles.
However, simply relying on consumer/employee education might not be adequate. There is a real danger that energy efficiency gains seen from consumer/employee behaviour will go away over time.
That is when infrastructural upgrades come into the picture. Even though they necessitate a greater upfront investment if evaluated properly and done right such upgrades could generate better benefits. The down side is that most of these benefits will only be noticed in the long run.
But there is no better time to start upgrading your business with more energy efficient machinery. With many governments around the globe offering funds to subsidise these changes. For instance here in the UK the Government is creating the Green Investment Bank.
If you are unsure of which route to take in order to save energy. Why not ask for professional help. Hire an energy consultancy or an independent energy broker to inspect your premises and suggest the best and most effective options for you business.
The business case for energy efficiency is a powerful one. At the end of 2010, the Carbon Trust reported that the average return on investment of energy-efficiency projects carried out in commercial premises is 48%. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that to invest in sustainability is to save money.
But while the UK government is supporting carbon reduction by introducing grants and green initiatives, these have done little more than skew people’s perception of what represents an energy saving. With heavy focus applied to insulation and heating, cooling strategies have been left rather more out in the cold.
The hot topic
The government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was announced in March 2011 to drastically alter the way heat is generated and used in buildings and homes. Britain’s largest energy users are required by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to start lowering carbon emissions so will naturally be enticed by such offers. But incentives like the RHI fail to acknowledge that when a commercial building is designed, the crowds of people and electrical appliances that then occupy it are not taken into account.
Human bodies and devices such as computers, printers, coffee makers, toasters and refrigerators generate an exceptional amount of heat and cause room temperatures to dramatically increase. So, instead of heating, most commercial buildings need to bring temperatures down in order to maintain a comfortable environment and maintain staff productivity.
Office cooling, namely air conditioning, represents a huge energy burden, and can increase a building’s emissions by 100%, according to Carbon Trust research. So, to use it on a daily basis yet take a grant to invest in heating and insulation is a notion most people would surely see as perverse.
The reality of air conditioning is that, despite its widespread use, the energy it consumes often goes to waste. Realistically, without tackling this problem it is unlikely than any commercial building will be able to create a truly energy-efficient environment, no matter how much government grant money it is awarded.
Here comes the sun
As we all know, when the sun comes out in the UK, it is met with something resembling blind panic. Whether in the heights of summer or the depths of winter, sunshine causes heat to build up through unprotected glass windows. These windows then get thrown open to create a through draft, or in colder months, blinds will be snapped shut to block out the sun’s glare, meaning that lights have to be switched on. Either way, this behaviour ends up negating the effect of air conditioning, causing wildly fluctuating internal temperatures and eating up a large, unnecessary supply of heat and energy.
Such widespread and basic energy wastage should not be allowed to continue. Maintaining stable internal temperatures requires more than efficient heating and insulation; businesses need a cooling solution that minimises air conditioning, allows natural light to enter the building and helps to block out heat, rather than trap it within the building. One of the most simple and most cost-effective solutions that can deliver all of these benefits is one you may not have heard of: solar-control window film.
By rejecting up to 82% of solar energy, window film can reduce internal temperatures by up to ten degrees. This stops air conditioning units from being maxed out during sunny spells, meaning that internal temperatures are kept stable and extreme peaks in energy usage are reduced.
Cooling systems can therefore be run more efficiently and inexpensively, reducing a building’s cooling load by 30%, or roughly 5% of the energy bill. If window film were taken into consideration during the design stages of a new building, savings would be greater still as businesses would reduce cooling requirements from the outset; using smaller, cheaper air conditioning units that are easier to install and maintain. In plain English, this could mean thousands of pounds in savings to many UK firms.
Love in a cold climate
With budgets being squeezed and such significant carbon reductions to be made, the heat is on for UK businesses to find meaningful ways to lower emissions. It is the responsibility of our government to steer them in the right direction. Improved insulation and heating is, without doubt, an effective means of preventing energy waste, but without considering the likely effects of over-heating, businesses are in danger of missing the bigger picture.
While most UK businesses will currently look to insulation as their first port of call for energy savings, more vocal support for solutions such as window film by government schemes and incentives, would show these companies that such measures are just the tip of the iceberg.
With energy prices seeming to be constantly on the rise, homeowners are always on the lookout for ways of saving money through lower energy bills. Fortunately, one of the best ways of cutting energy is by taking steps to make a Baxi boiler more energy efficient. While Baxi already produces some of the most energy efficient boilers on the market, homeowners can always take further steps to help improve the environment and save them money on their next energy bill. Energy saving tips can range from the simple, like fitting pipes with insulation, to the extreme, like getting a brand new boiler installed. This article will look at just a few of the measures homeowners can take to make their boiler systems more energy efficient and thus cut their energy bills at the end of the month.
Use Room Thermostats
Installing a room thermostat is a great way of being able to control the temperature in individual rooms. Having better control over a homes temperature will go a long way in cutting down on wasted energy. Room thermostats can save consumers about 70 a year and they will go a long way towards protecting the environment. Once the room thermostats are installed, homeowners should turn down the temperature until it is warm enough to still be comfortable. Turning down the temperature just one degree can make a world of difference, and could save families 65 a year.
Hot Water Cylinder
Similarly, most UK families keep the temperature of their hot water cylinders up too high, which is not only wasting energy, but costing consumers more in higher energy bills. The ideal temperature for a hot water cylinder is 60 degrees Celsius, which is more than hot enough to still be comfortable for most homeowners. Water that is kept any hotter than this is not only wasteful, but it runs the risk of scalding human skin it comes into contact with. To make the hot water cylinder even more efficient, the main tank should have a tank jacket wrapped around it. Additionally, any pipes around the tank that are exposed should be insulated. Insulation will not only improve energy efficiency, it will also help the system last longer and perform better. The total cost for the tank jacket and insulation should cost no more than 30, while it could save families 60 a year in lower energy bills.
While all of the above recommendations are good and cheap to follow, by far the best thing people can do in order to cut their energy bills and improve their homes efficiency is to invest in a new energy efficient boiler. It is usually fairly easy to determine if a boiler is in need of replacing. Older boilers usually have a pilot light which burns continuously. The pilot light itself is not only wasteful, but these older boilers also have much lower efficiency ratings overall. Newer boilers have pilot lights which light automatically whenever the boiler is put into use, meaning that less gas is wasted when it is not actually being used by the homes occupants. In fact, the newer energy efficient models have an efficiency rating of up to 90 per cent. From a consumer standpoint, this increased efficiency could translate into an annual savings of over 300, not to mention a household that is much gentler on the environment. Of course, the main disadvantage of getting a new boiler installed is that they are very expensive, often running into the thousands of pounds. However, compared to the savings possible, a new boiler may be worth the investment. Furthermore, grants and trusts have been set up that can help the most disadvantaged improve their homes energy efficiency thus saving them money.
Many consumers are seeking to improve their households energy efficiency for a variety of reasons, ranging from wanting to save money on energy bills to trying to do some good for the planet. One of the best ways of cutting down on carbon emissions is by improving a houses current Baxi boiler system. By taking the measures listed above, whether that means buying a new energy efficient boiler or simply reducing a homes temperature by just one degree, homeowners will be doing their part to make the planet a little greener and their utility bills a little lighter.
ModernaHus, the new generation of energy efficient green homes for the UK, will have 9500sm of its underfloor heating screeded with FlexiDry F1/7 day dry floor screed.
ModernaHus is being introduced in the UK after long trials by Scandinavian builders, Skanska. This innovative green home solution has already been adapted by several countries across Europe, and has been in the test phase in the UK for several years.
After two years of trials and considerable adaptation to suit the UK market and environment, the ModernaHus UK project is now underway and is scheduled for completion by October 2011.
The first phase of the ModernaHus UK project will comprise of 108 one to four bedroom residential units, in a rejuvenated site in Coldharbor Lane, Brixton. A good majority of the construction elements will be manufactured offsite and delivered to the site, ready for installation. This prefabricated building system has been found to be successful in bringing down the effective construction time while ensuring site safety as well as quality and finish of the products.
For energy efficiency, ModernaHus combines a well insulated building envelope, under floor heating, ground source heat pumps, solar panels and a central biomass boiler. The ModernaHus homes which will be 30% more efficient than normal homes, has obtained the Code for Sustainable Homes, Level 4.
With energy efficiency figuring as the priority for modern buildings, FlexiDry fast drying floor screeds is one of the screeds that is very much in demand by most major builders. When underfloor heating system can enhance energy efficiency, the use of the right screed is found to compound its effectiveness by acting as a thermal mass to dissipate the heat. FlexiDry floor screeds act as very good thermal conductors of heat and cut down the thermal losses and reduce the amount of heat required at the source. With an efficiency of 20-30% more than the normal anhydrite screeds, and drying times as less as 3 days to 21 days, FlexiDry is currently the chosen name for most of the major projects like ModernaHus.