Distech Controls makes the grade in Scotland

A new Building Management System (BMS) from Distech Controls is helping Renfrewshire Council reduce fuel consumption and cut carbon emissions at four schools whilst educating future generations on the benefits of integrated, energy efficient control.

This major project, completed in August 2012, in readiness for the start of the new academic year, has seen a new Distech Control system fitted as part of an extensive building services refurbishment programme.

The existing HVAC plant and control systems in use at St Margaret’s Primary School, Johnstone, St John Bosco Primary School, Erskine, St Mary’s Primary School and Gallowhill Primary School, both in Paisley, had reached the end of their lifetime. Glasgow-based Advanced Energy Management Services (AEMS) were tasked with stripping out and replacing the mechanical services at each school within an eye-wateringly tight timescale. The existing plant and controls had to be removed with new equipment installed, configured and commissioned in double quick time during the six week school summer holidays.


Optimum efficiency


Rising to the challenge, AEMS has equipped each of the four Renfrewshire schools with a more efficient main HVAC plant solution. This comprises Hamworthy Fleet 200kW high efficiency condensing boilers, Spiropress pressurisation units and de-gassers, Lochinvar Eco-Knight condensing hot water heaters and Grundfos pumps. The company has also specified new gas detection systems and automatic controls from Distech within each boiler house to monitor and regulate heating and hot water operation, ensuring optimum system efficiency.


AEMS selected the Distech EC-NetAX web-based, integrated building management platform for the project with the company’s EC-BOS series of network controllers and ECB series of BACnet field controllers, providing approximately 70 control points at each school. Converging with the school’s IT network, EC-Net allows secure web-browser access to the system from anywhere within the school environment or locally through touch-screens in the main reception area and boiler-house. As well as providing access to the school management and staff, the Distech control system has also become a part of the education process. Under teacher supervision, children can access and adjust settings and see the impact of these changes and other energy conservation measures taken at the school. The EC-NetAX platform is easy to use and understand whilst Distech’s attractive 3D graphics help to engage pupils and retain their interest.


EC-NetAX offers multi-protocol, multi-function capabilities to provide seamless and intelligent integration of different building services sub-systems using a web browser. On this project, it offers a common platform for key BMS functions, such as network control, energy monitoring, alarming, database and log management, and audit trails, communicating with building services equipment using the BACnet protocol. In the event of plant failure, the BMS automatically triggers an email to AEMS with historical trend logging and reporting also activated via email.

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