Baxi backs boiler refurb in Rock Ferry
When Magenta Living was looking to replace the old, inefficient back boiler units (BBUs) in almost 800 of its properties in Rock Ferry, they found that trying to exchange the BBUs for traditional boilers was by no means a straightforward task. Flue and boiler siting issues meant that most of the homes in the Woodward Estate were not suitable for a standard wall hung condensing boiler, so the affordable housing provider called on the expertise of Baxi to help them solve their back boiler dilemma.
Rock Ferry is an area of Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside. Following the decline of industry in the region in the 1950s and subsequent high rates of unemployment, Rock Ferry is now classed as one of the most deprived areas in the country. With a large proportion of Magenta Living's tenants living on some kind of income support and on or below the fuel poverty line, the independent housing provider knew what a difference replacing the BBUs would make to the tenants' living conditions.
So as part of a large scale refurbishment programme to improve standards across the Woodward Estate, Magenta Living planned to replace the inefficient BBUs and give tenants external wall insulation to make significant improvements to the properties' energy efficiency. The benefit for this would be two-fold - cost savings for the tenants, and improving the estate to meet new Government targets.
Ian Roughley, compliance manager at Magenta Living, said: "Our initial thoughts when addressing the upgrade of the heating system across the portfolio, was to look at the feasibility of replacing the BBUs with a gas fired wall hung boiler.
From visiting properties on the estate, we found that most homes would not be suitable for that kind of installation due to flue siting issues, plus tenants would lose valuable space in their kitchen to accommodate it. We contacted Baxi and they recommended replacing like-for-like with a high efficiency BBU.”
Baxi offers the only A-rated BBU available on the market. The Baxi Bermuda BBU HE is a simple and easy way to replace an existing back boiler - there is no need to re-site the boiler or modify the pipework, no major disruption to the property or tenants, and no redecoration required. The 15kW BBU is a modulating boiler, which can adapt to changes in heat demand to ensure optimum performance and energy efficiency. The BBU is designed to work with the modern and stylish Valor Dimension range of electric fires.
Ian continues: "The ease of replacement and potential cost savings for the tenant swayed the decision for us, and we embarked on a programme to replace almost 800 BBUs across the Woodward estate in 2012-13. Many of the installers who were going to fit the Baxi Bermuda BBUs had never put in a back boiler
before, so Baxi set up a bespoke training and support scheme for us to help the refurbishment programme run smoothly.”
Baxi's heateam engineers trained the installers at the nearby Warrington training facility in all aspects of BBU installation and maintenance. During the first phase of installations, Baxi stationed a heateam van and experienced engineers on the estate for two weeks to deliver onsite assistance with any questions or queries the installers had.
Ian concluded: "The partnership with Baxi on this project has been really positive - thanks to their help and support, our refurbishment programme is right on track. We already have hundreds of high efficiency heating units installed across the Woodward Estate, and the tenants who have benefited from the programme to date have been pleased with both the time taken to replace their BBUs and also the savings they are achieving on their energy bills. It really has been win-win.”