Charter Community Housing’s head office achieved a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of “Very Good”, due to its maximum energy efficiency and low carbon footprint, in line with the latest Building Regulations and environmental policies.

A key element of the design brief, specified to deliver this demanding rating, was the use of solar thermal renewable technology to heat the domestic water in the building. The installers’ choice to comply with the brief and to reduce reliance on gas-fired water heating was an Andrews Water Heaters’ SOLARflo package. This complete, ready-to-install solution includes roof-mounted solar collectors together with a twin coil cylinder.

The cylinder allows solar heating to be topped up by the boiler when there is insufficient solar irradiation for full solar performance. The solar collectors are designed to supply up to 5kW of heat to the cylinder serving two showers and taps throughout the building.

A duplex stainless steel cylinder, with a capacity of 550 litres, stores water heated by five Andrews SOLARflo collectors, with a total gross area of 12.8m2. These are glazed flat plate aluminium tray solar collectors, linked to a non-corrosive stainless steel water chamber. Each high efficiency solar collector has a 2.55m2 gross collector area which provides 90.8% transmission efficiency, 95% absorption efficiency and a low emission loss of only 5%.

The duplex cylinder has stainless steel solar and primary heating coils, with destratification and anti-legionella functionality as standard. The complete ready-to-fit SOLARflo package includes solar controls, pump station, expansion vessels, first fill of heat transfer fluid and collector mounting accessories.

The 14,500 sq ft building enables Charter to bring together all of its resources under one roof. Previously, the association’s administrative team had been based in Bodicote on the outskirts of Banbury while maintenance staff operated from the other side of town.

Charter, a non-profit making organization that exists to provide quality housing and services to its tenants, was formed in 2004 to take over the running of some 3,500 homes in North Oxfordshire from Cherwell District Council. Charter became a subsidiary of Sanctuary Housing Group on 1 August 2007.

The Andrews Water Heaters’ SOLARflo package was specified and installed by Daly Engineering Services Ltd. and supplied via BSS.

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