Dimplex’s advanced degrees of economy for university

Dimplex is delivering advanced degrees in economy for the heating and hot water systems for the new student residences development next to the £81million new campus at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr.

Achieving the Very Good BREEAM rating, the development is at one of the UK’s most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable higher education learning establishments, with a campus design inspired by the area’s woodland surroundings.

The University, with some 17,000 students, has campuses across the west of Scotland and the new Ayr campus has suites, studios and laboratories for performance, music, education and health. The new £7million student residences building accommodates nearly 200 students and has four Dimplex LA26PS 26kW high temperature air source heat pumps providing the hot water requirements, with the space heating provided by Dimplex electric panel heaters.

A team from Cundall was commissioned to propose and design the optimum system to meet the demanding environmental and budget specifications set by the University. Edinburgh-based Tony Centola, Cundall’s building services partner headed the team and a wide range of technologies and combinations were researched before opting for a Dimplex solution.

Tony says: “The brief was challenging as we had to find the ideal balance to meet the client’s brief for low carbon footprint targets with electric heating to provide an efficient, controllable and robust solution that fits in with the demands of a busy location. We evaluated a range of technologies against a number of criteria including running costs and payback times as well as more practical considerations such as limited space for fuel storage and our Scottish climate.”

The Dimplex air source heat pumps offered the year-round solution, meeting the budget and the provision of high temperature hot water. Tony added: “We looked at heat pump costs and payback but we also wanted to ensure that we could have a supply of domestic hot water up to 60°C – Dimplex was the only manufacturer able to meet the specification we needed. Because of our cooler climate, we set the specification for our calculations down to minus seven degrees and according to our follow-up readings it’s all on track with our forecasts.”

The accommodation for the students is arranged as large, en-suite bedrooms and studio flats in clusters, with spacious kitchen and lounge areas where the space heating is provided by Dimplex EPX panel heaters.

The building has high levels of insulation with low air permeability levels and Dimplex EPX panel heaters, with highly sensitive thermostats and fast warm up were the obvious choice, enabling the required eco standards to be met. Tony added: “As well as high eco standards to meet, the University wanted a simple and straightforward heating system that not only needed to meet a demanding capital cost budget but also provide efficient running costs in the longer term. The Dimplex solution allowed us to achieve all this and we added in extra control of the all-inclusive student energy costs by adding in PX controllers and press button delay timers so the heat is only provided when the units are occupied.”

The campus, next to the river Ayr, was developed by University of the West of Scotland in consultation with Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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