Converted from a redundant 1960s office block into 30 one and two-bedroom flats, Weir House makes a small but significant impression on Bristol’s social housing needs. Overlooking the River Avon in the city’s St Anne’s area, the three storey building emerged from a £4million, year-long conversion that dramatically upgraded its appearance and raised it to modern residential standards for thermal insulation. But it lacks the electric heating originally specified by the contractors – because housing association Merlin wanted a more efficient solution.
Weir House conversion raises the flag for renewables in Bristol
With a Daikin Altherma Flex installation catering for tenants’ heating and hot water requirements, Weir House a flagship for renewable energy systems. The Daikin Altherma Flex units were installed in a decentralised configuration by Daikin installer Moore of Devizes. Director Les Moore says: “The heat pump condensing units are on a new steel platform on the roof, with hydrobox units and matching hot water cylinders in each flat.”
Peter Crouch, Development Manager at Merlin
“Electric heating would have given us a SAP rating of 65-67 – well below our corporate target of an average of 80 by 2019. With the Daikin air source heat pumps the SAP rating is 80-plus. This is good news not only for the environment, but also for the affordability for our residents who are very cost conscious. The typical electricity bill was estimated at £800 a year if the original electric boilers were used, and this is halved to a predicted £350-£400 a year using the air source heat pump system.”
Compact units for inside cupboards
The compact 600 x 695mm footprint of the hydroboxes, with 200 litre cylinders on top, means they fit into airing cupboards, minimising demand on floor space in the 45m2 and 50m2 flats. Outdoor units are connected to the hydroboxes by primary R410a refrigerant circuits. Secondary R134a refrigerant circuits in the hydroboxes produce water at up to 80oC when necessary for high temperature heating. The hydroboxes also contain all the hydraulic components needed to transfer the air-sourced heat to heating circuits serving radiators and DHW cylinders.