A district heat network is a centralised underground web of pipework which serves multiple buildings and sites. District heating networks provide the heating and hot water supply to a number of developments and dwellings, playing an essential part in assuring sites perform as intended and keep occupants comfortable.

District heating networks are solutions which are used widely across cities like London. District heating is a form of heat supply which dates back to the 1960s – although it fell out of use due to the fact it was insulated poorly, didn’t metre or generate the right energy effectively.

The district heating network that we know and see today has come on in leaps and bounds, and has matured into a sustainable, futureproof system which is an alternative to gas boilers.

District heating network benefits

District heating networks are super insulated, well-designed low flow energy networks. District heating is, therefore, an efficient method of supplying energy to buildings.

As its benefits include low energy generation, it is a sustainable alternative which is able to futureproof the network. In the drive away from fossil fuel energy consumption in new homes, district heating networks are a sustainable method of heat delivery. Coupled with the advent of heat pump technology and the potential for large scale hydrogen generation, district heating will become a major part of our switch over to zero carbon, zero fossil fuel delivery to homes.  

Another benefit of district heating is the fact that it is centralised. If for instance there are 10,000 individual gas boilers, then that is 10,000 air quality checks. Whereas on a district heating network, all the checks can be undertaken in one place. In this respect, it is far easier to implement air quality measures and equipment in order to improve the overall quality of the building and subsequently the environment.

Furthermore, with a district heating network, you can discharge things at different levels. Although gas boilers are distributed around a site, district heating is in one place with chimneys to push the supply up to the atmosphere and away from low level areas which people inhabit.

Utilise temporary heat

Whether a district heating network is being created or renovated, it pays to utilise a temporary boiler as there are always unplanned scenarios.

Installing a temporary boiler means the heat and hot water supply stays on whilst planned works are underway, ensuring minimal disruption in the process.

Ideal Heat Solutions has a range of temporary boilers available to suit the needs of every project. For added security, Ideal Heat recommends a resilience plan, which takes into consideration all the details needed to assure a quick temporary boiler installation. This plan looks at where equipment can go and takes into account any access requirements, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. Having a clear contingency plan in place means a temporary boiler can be up and running in hours. Many people don’t think about an issue until it takes hold, which is why it’s beneficial to have a back-up plan to cover all bases.

Plant rooms

Have you asked yourself how resilient your plant room is? Sometimes a plant room can be the last thing people think about, mainly because it is tucked away behind a closed door only accessed by building services engineers. In fact, plant rooms are absolutely instrumental to the building’s function. 

It is critical in every building, providing and supplying heat and hot water. Plant rooms are vital in education and healthcare facilities – without a fully operating plant room, hospitals can run the risk of not performing as intended. If a plant room’s performance is compromised, occupant comfort may be threatened, which is a far from ideal situation in buildings where health and wellbeing are critical.

Plant rooms need to be central to people’s understanding of a building’s function. As they play such a key role throughout a building’s lifecycle, they may need a facelift from time to time. Ideal Heat Solutions recommends that commercial boilers should be replaced every 20-30 years, with pipework, insulation and the like being updated every five years or so. A total plant room refit should take place every 20-30 years within the lifespan of a building. 

Prevent problems

To keep any risks at bay, building owners need to look regularly at their plant room and make sure it is functioning. Planned preventative maintenance is an expense that building owners and managers can ill-afford, meaning that in many cases it is only possible to take reactive measures if and when a problem occurs. This is where Ideal Heat Solutions comes in.

Ideal Heat Solutions can put the necessary provisions in place to ensure that in the event of plant room failure, a plant room can be up and running in a matter of hours. It pays to have a resilience plan in place so a temporary boiler can be rapidly installed.

Ideal Heat Solutions can help with important questions including:

‘Where do I locate my temporary plant?’

 ‘How does the pipework get in?’

‘Where can the equipment go?’

This ensures clients have a solid resilience survey and plan.

Temporary boilers can also be utilised in other scenarios. Creating a main plant room on a larger development requires a huge capital outlay, as it will be supplying heat and hot water to many dwellings over different phases. A temporary boiler, therefore, can be utilised as a cost-effective alternative. 

Ideal Heat Solutions has a range of temporary boilers available to suit the requirements of various projects. Ideal Heat draws on its teams’ expertise to create a contingency plan which covers all bases, ensuring whatever the situation, the heat and hot water can be kept on.

With Ideal Heat Solutions’ expertise and experience, customers have access to a range of experts and market-leading equipment including:

  • Access to design specialists and OFTEC Gas Safe registered engineers
  • IQ®VISION technology to remotely monitor installed equipment
  • A bespoke temporary heat solution to suit your project
  • Disaster planning strategy for added peace of mind