The importance of plant room location to designers and specifiers

Sales of £1 million plus luxury flats having trebled in England and Wales over the last decade, according to statistics from SevenCapital[1]. David Ridgway, Product Application Manager at Andrews Water Heaters, looks at the importance of plant room location to designers and specifiers.

As high-rise building infrastructure booms, the commercial heating industry is being urged to consider water pressure earlier in the design stages. The advice relates to ongoing issues of low water pressure in many high-rise apartments, office buildings and hotels, as well as a continuing ambition to retrofit existing building stock.

The issue of low water pressure has been highlighted in areas such as London, where there is an abundance of Victorian and Edwardian buildings. The common theme is that plant rooms and equipment are located in the existing basements and, as the hot water is pumped upwards to outlets on the higher floors, the water pressure decreases. Quite simply, it is no good having a luxury apartment with beautiful décor and furnishings if the facilities do not provide sufficient water pressure for residents’ use. This is all-too-often overlooked in a building’s design stages.

Experts at the water heater manufacturer also say this is an important issue for hotels, with many of the major cities seeing their older buildings transformed into accommodation. David continues: Enough pressure must be delivered to all floors so that appliances such as showers can operate effectively and meet guests’ expectations.

With new generation water heaters being compact and lightweight in design – such as the MAXXflo EVO from Andrews Water Heaters – it is now more common for them to be located on the upper floors of buildings, also aiding water pressure. However, if this is not considered in the design stages of a refurbishment, the relocating of equipment can be troublesome.

Not only does failing to consider plant room location in the design stages lead to long-term issues with water pressure, it may deter residents and be detrimental to the success of a real estate venture.

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