Flexenergy optimises heating for homeless


15 July 2020
James House in York has been converted into emergency accommodation for the homeless

A former office building in York is benefiting from ultra-thermally efficient pipe technology for heating and hot water from specialist provider Flexenergy.

James House has been converted from an office block to 57 apartments over two blocks which provide short term/temporary emergency accommodation for the homeless in York. The apartments comprise one, two and three bedroom units for families, couples and single people.

Flexenergy supplied 50 metres of 90mm pre-insulated polybutylene pipe and 100 metres of 75mm pipe to distribute hot water from a centralised energy centre to the apartment blocks. Two pairs of 75mm V-Flex valves were also installed, one pair for each block, to enable sections of the heat network to be isolated for maintenance or future expansion. Flexenergy also supplied bespoke fabrications for tees at building entry points.

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The groundworks for this particular project needed careful planning as the site was congested with drainage and electrical service trenches, as well as trenches for the heating and hot water pipe work. However, the flexible nature of the pipe provided overcame any issues and was easy to install.  

Flexenergy says its pre-insulated pipe technology is thermally efficient with none of the corrosive limitations of conventional steel pipe. Its properties also ensure improved overall energy efficiency, lower long-term system life cycle costs and better sustainability. It is said to be the only pre-insulated plastic pipe in the UK that can be fully welded, securing the integrity of the network while minimising heat losses.

Sales Director Sandy Fairley said: “This project presented one or two challenges due to the restricted area and congestion of trenches onsite. However, our pipework and V-Flex valve system were very well suited to optimising the thermal efficiency of the hot water network, with the promise of low maintenance and reliable performance for many years to come.”