Commercial Hot Water – Sizing Matters

24/7 domestic hot water (DHW) supply is, without a doubt, a business-critical service for many commercial projects. Unfortunately, oversizing of these commercial hot water systems is a surprisingly common occurrence, leading to higher capital costs, demands for more space, more complex system builds, longer installs, and higher fuel bills for the life of the system.

As we push towards Net Zero, large scale commercial renovation of properties to address emissions across the UK is a given. Faced with inherently more complex replacement systems, correct sizing should be a core aim and a prime opportunity to address costly oversized systems that unnecessarily contribute to building emissions.

Oversized systems can typically be attributed to the use of online sizing programmes, which are often treated as a simple DIY option. The problem is that for commercial projects faced with DHW systems that have many variables and decisions on diversity, sizing programmes will typically oversize to prevent perceived hot water problems. When specifying a commercial hot water system, sizing should be based on the anticipated demand of the building (based on BS EN 12831-3). Within Part L of the Building Regulations (Conservation of fuel and power) for England & Wales is the demand that systems are not “significantly oversized,” but we would argue any oversizing will have a negative impact on the efficiency and operational costs of a DHW system. So accurate sizing is critical in terms of delivering an optimal thermal efficiency assessment.

Under Part L, the assessment of a commercial hot water system is deemed to include the heat generator and any integral storage vessel but will exclude all secondary pipework, fans, pumps, diverter valves, solenoids, actuator and supplementary storage vessels from the calculations. Despite this simplification, oversizing still occurs and this inherently comes from a lack of understanding of different types of the hot water system, how they fit in the design software and the way that fluctuating demand for hot water impacts these systems at peak.

Of course, the flip side of the problem is under-sizing a project. A system is going to be undersized if the water temperature drops to less than 45°C. That happens when there is a failure to correctly assess factors including maximum occupancy; colder incoming water during winter months; and all people wanting to use water in the peak hour. Such a failure of a hot water application it is fair to say is more unusual today as it typically only occurred with older model calorifiers.

Dynamic and Static Storage in Commercial Hot Water

When sizing a water system, the first thing to understand is the difference between a dynamic direct water heater system (with 20 minutes reheat) versus static storage (with a two hour heat up). Difficult to undersize, a dynamic water heater with high heat input and low storage will provide a 20 to 30 minute heat-up time and will not be designed to go cold. Static storage, with a calorifier, can be undersized. Designed to dump then reheat, these systems will have a small heat input, but offer a large volume store, meaning it can take up to two hours to reheat. Anytime the system draws hot water at a faster rate than can be heated to 44°C complaints are going to occur once the initial store is gone. At the opposite end of the scale, with a dynamic system, over design of the flow rate (by as much as 45%) is unlikely to cause complaints. At least not from shower using occupants!

The simplest assumptions, such as the use of pillar taps rather than mixers or designing for a high percentage of baths rather than showers can lead to oversizing. It is also important to recognize that a gas-fired water heater is not a storage vessel. Under the EN89 seasonal efficiency test an indirect tank has storage losses that should be input into SBEM calculation. However, standing losses of the water heater are already included, if this figure is entered the losses are doubled up, which will cause the hot water system to fail analysis. This in turn commonly leads to systems being unnecessarily oversized to address the “failure”.

Understanding Commercial Hot Water Peak Periods

The second core requirement for correct sizing is understanding occupancy. Determined by the number of people and the type of building, the peak period represents the amount of hot water used in a period of time. “Peak Hour” as it is often referred to can, in reality, be any length of time, from just 15 minutes to continuous for eight hours, and range from normal to intensive use. For example, a hotel might reflect a normal usage curve, with peaks of demand in the morning for occupants showering, then over lunch and dinner from the restaurant. Offices will show a lower, but continuous demand, cinemas intensive spikes.

So, sizing needs to be based on occupancy to accurately determine peak volume and peak length. This understanding and how it influences the commercial hot water system is critical when sizing and why it is so important that sizing be carried out based on experience, test data, and supported by IOP/CIBSE G regulation. Modern dynamic systems will supply demand through a combination of storage and burner power. If the peak hour has been correctly identified, then a system will supply all other demand periods without needing to be oversized.

Safely sized, and reducing unnecessary costs

Simply put, oversizing is down to a lack of good design and a tendency to err on the side of caution by including additional factors of safety. The drive to integrate greater sustainability into commercial hot water systems in the form of Solar Thermal and lower temperature Air Source Heat Pumps increases the complexity of systems and by default the chances of oversizing when using sizing programmes. From our perspective, all commercial sizing should be carried out with a 60°C supply and 10°C designed incoming cold mains temperature. These are temperatures optimised for commercial supply, storage and cleaning, as opposed to personal use (showering and bathing) which requires temperatures of 43°C.

Talk to your contractor/supplier to ensure they use or have access to specialist sizing guides which include sufficient factors of safety to not need to ever oversize. At Adveco, we have created our own in-house sizing guides and our application team can design, recommend and supply systems for all your commercial water heating projects. It is only when corners are cut, and reliance is placed on automated sizing programmes that we see projects suffer with what should be avoidable build and operating costs.


Adveco commercial hot water and heating.

Get in touch today about correctly sizing your commercial hot water application

Alternatively call Adveco on 01252 551 540 to discuss your requirements.

Heat & Buildings Strategy – Commercial Properties

After much delay, the Government this week has published its long-awaited  Heat & Buildings Strategy guide to take the UK towards net zero by 2050. The bulk of the reporting following its release has focused on grants for domestic heat pumps and observation of considerable funding for public sector building projects. But what about the commercial sector? Today we take a deeper dive into the documentation and highlight what this means for those operating commercial buildings.

The Government’s commercial Heat & Buildings element of the  report clearly states the scale of impact commercial and industrial building stock has on the environment, with around 1.5 million commercial and industrial buildings accounting for “around one-third of UK emissions from the total building stock.” The report states that reducing carbon emissions from these buildings will therefore be key to:

  • Meeting the 2017 Clean Growth Strategy ambition to enable businesses to reduce energy use by at least 20% by 2030, which would save businesses £6 billion per year on energy bills
  • Achieving our Nationally Determined Contribution of a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030
  • Meeting the Government’s carbon budgets
  • Delivering Net Zero by 2050

The demands are clear then, but how is this to be achieved?

Regulating For Intensive Energy Use

The impetus for commercial organisations, as set out by the strategy, is the substantial savings on energy bills, and the creation of safer and healthier working environments. The provision of safer and healthier workplaces should already be enshrined in corporate policy, and reducing operational costs is clearly logical, but it is safe to say that current generation low carbon technology and direct electric, certainly when it comes to domestic hot water (DHW) provision is more expensive than gas-based systems. So, the onus is really going to be one of corporate social responsibility in the near term.

The strategy report does recognise the complexity of the sector, pointing out the huge variety across the commercial and industrial building stock in terms of business size, building size (by floor area), use, and tenure

The policy package laid out therefore aims to avoid a “one-size-fits-all approach.” These policies, unlike previous grant packages, will instead be based upon regulatory frameworks “tailored to the size of the building and the businesses operating in that building, function and energy use of commercial and industrial buildings.”

Large Commercial buildings

The report identifies commercial and industrial buildings (above 1,000m²) as the most intensive users of energy commercially, accounting for 64% of the energy consumed by non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, despite only accounting for around 7% of the stock. The government is proposing to introduce a mandatory regulatory requirement for these buildings to obtain a performance-based energy rating based on measured energy data. This will ensure building users are aware of their energy use and where they are on their trajectory to becoming a Net Zero compatible building.

The process to decarbonise heat sources needs to happen through the 2020s. As such, this performance-based framework will work alongside proposals to prohibit new fossil fuel installations in large commercial and industrial buildings which are not connected to the gas grid.

If your business operates in a building over 1,000m2, the Government’s proposed performance-based energy rating will recognise measured reductions in actual energy use and carbon emissions. Accurate metering of usage and data assessment is going to become a necessity if all the factors influencing building performance are to be understood. The strategy believes this approach will help “optimise existing services and systems, drive behavioural changes, and see installations of improved equipment or investment in the building’s fabric efficiency or low-carbon heat.” The proposal would require building owners and tenants to obtain and publicly disclose a rating on an annual basis.

The strategy paper proposes a phased roll-out, starting with commercial offices in England and Wales. The government’s proposal is to use the performance-based approach to set sector-by-sector energy reduction targets which will be in line with the reductions required to meet Government carbon budgets.

These mandated regulations are said to “recognise and reward” actual improvements in energy and carbon performance for the first time.  How businesses will be rewarded, beyond suggested energy savings remains to be seen. Mandated annual publication of investment in energy reduction will almost certainly be used by third-party organisations with climate change manifestos to hold businesses to account in a very public forum.

Evolving The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

The strategy document also highlighted the UK-wide Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which currently requires large businesses to measure their total energy consumption every four years. This process requires an audit covering energy use from buildings, transport and industrial processes. ESOS recommends practicable and cost-effective energy efficiency measures for saving energy in an organisation’s buildings.

A consultation on ESOS has just closed, with the intent of increasing the number of participants that take action to reduce energy use. Considerations for lowering the threshold for ESOS audit to smaller businesses are being considered, but that is likely to be a post-2023 decision for the 2027 iteration of ESOS. That would address loopholes in the system, with larger organisations arranging building stock under separate small businesses, such as care homes, enabling them to currently avoid ESOS audit.

Those auditing and being audited for ESOS (public sector organisations be exempt) have pointed out the current lack of Net Zero commitment in the current version of ESOS, with 5-10% using the ISO50001 instead. So greater consistency is required moving forward. The concern is that large businesses are not doing all they can at the moment, and are not taking the recommended changes ESOS provides forward, even though they clearly show savings for the business.

ESOS splits peoples’ views, it either being an obligation or an opportunity. The government’s heating and buildings strategy is to use ESOS to increase the carbon and cost savings by extending the number and scope of recommendations taken up by participants. These new, stronger standards, which many hope will deliver greater consistency of audit and streamline carbon reporting would be introduced by 2022 for reporting in 2023. To be successful ESOS needs to demonstrate that the energy efficiency recommendations to businesses do translate to the cost savings the Government is suggesting in the Heat & Buildings strategy. Otherwise, the system threatens to become a burden to commercial organisations.

Smaller Commercial Businesses & Buildings

With smaller commercial and industrial organisations using far less energy per building (17% of all the energy used by commercial and industrial buildings in England and Wales), the onus falls to building owners and businesses to understand and optimise their energy performance, but currently without same need for government regulation. While SMEs can significantly benefit from improving the energy performance of their buildings by decarbonisation, the strategy on heat and buildings recognises that they may struggle to invest due to high capital costs.

BEIS is considering policy approaches to this segment of the non-domestic building stock, including whether to adopt minimum energy efficiency standards similar to the private-rented sector approach. Consultation on owner-occupied buildings is set to conclude by the end of this year.  Long-dated regulatory targets based on the EPC, which requires building owners to invest in the quality of their building’s fabric and services, will be introduced for the 2020s.

Landlords of privately-rented commercial and industrial buildings need to improve their buildings to EPC band B by 2030. The caveat to this policy is that it applies “where cost-effective” and this has significant implementation issues that need to be addressed if the policy is going to be a success. The Government still needs to confirm the enforcement processes but believes this approach will potentially save businesses around £1 billion per year in energy costs by 2030. An equivalent long-dated regulatory target is being considered for owner-occupied commercial and industrial buildings. Consultation on both aspects is to take place in early 2022.

The Government Heat & Buildings strategy document states that “If you are a small or medium-sized business, we plan to provide support to help your buildings become more energy-efficient and adopt low-carbon heat.” The nature of this support remains unclear, previously the government has made funds available through grants and development schemes. At this time there has been no announcement of any such replacement programmes in the near term for commercial operations.

For advice, application design and supply of low carbon options for commercial hot water please speak to Adveco.  

Heat and Buildings Strategy Unveiled

The Government’s commitment to decarbonising the UK’s electricity system was confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng last night with the announcement of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, a “plan to move to clean energy and a carbon-neutral economy.”

The key points announced intend to drive down the cost of low carbon heating technologies like heat pumps, and invest in working with industry to ensure that in future they are no more expensive to buy and run than fossil fuel boilers. Of the £3.9 billion of new funding to decarbonise heat and buildings, £450 million would be funnelled into a domestic Boiler Upgrade Scheme launching in April to help fund the installation of heat pumps for domestic heating.

£1.4 Billion For Public Sector Heating

The remaining funds will be invested over the coming three years through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme and for reducing carbon emissions from public buildings through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which will be allocated £1.425 billion.

The plan accepts that there will need to be a mix of new, low-carbon heating responses for different property types in different parts of the country – such as electric heat pumps, heat networks and potentially hydrogen. With funding intended to ensure all new heating systems installed in UK homes from 2035 to be low carbon. As previously observed, though, the replacement of a gas boiler with a ‘Hydrogen ready’ appliance would not be in breach of this ‘no new gas boilers’ after 2035 stance. Additionally, gas generation continues to play a critical role in keeping the UK electricity system secure and stable, the development of clean energy technologies intends that it be used less frequently in the future.

The statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson concludes, “The Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out how we are taking ‘no-regrets’ action now, particularly on heat pumps, whilst supporting ongoing trials and other research and innovation on our future heating systems, including on hydrogen. We will make a decision on the potential role for hydrogen in heating buildings by 2026, by learning from our Hydrogen Village pilot. Heat pump technology will play a key role in all scenarios, so for those who want to install them now, we are supporting them to do so.”

A Luke Warm Reaction?

This much-delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy announcement should be a rallying call to kick-start Britain’s new heat pump industry, and the Government’s continued policy to address carbon emissions is to be applauded. However, the scale of investment appears to fall far short of the numbers typically cited to start to really move the needle when it comes to reducing national carbon emission levels. It also ignores the potential complexity and additional costs surrounding the installation of heat pumps into existing buildings. There also remains considerable question marks over how funding will apply to the commercial sector and for other low carbon systems such as solar thermal. Low cost, low carbon heating for homes is a strong political message, but this sector still only accounts for 15% of the UK’s harmful emissions (Source: BEIS 2019 UK greenhouse gas emissions). Business still accounts for 17% of emissions, with transport and energy supply generating 48%.

The launch of the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) demonstrator programme aims to increase the provision of heating services provided to businesses, but as the Government states, “There will be no single policy or technology that cuts carbon emissions to virtually zero, but a diverse mix of technology, such as heat pumps and potentially heating appliances fuelled by hydrogen, alongside green projects like heat networks, that will combine to decarbonise heat in buildings over the next three decades.”

Greater clarity from the Government regarding its position on support for improving hot water and heating systems within non-public sector commercial buildings, therefore, remains elusive. For small to medium enterprises in particular this remains a considerable barrier to introducing low carbon alternatives prior to 2030.

Adveco can help navigate the move to lower-carbon technology for commercial hot water and heating. Talk to us today. 

Bespoke Hot Water and Heating, Celebrating 50 Years Of Excellence

For the past 50 years, Adveco Ltd has been the recognizable face of A.O. Smith in the UK. As with so many businesses, it started with a simple idea from founder Daniel O’Sullivan to improve efficiency and save costs, two core ideals that remain at the heart of everything the business still does today. In 1971, the focus was to support the launderette industry by introducing a simple hot water application that utilized a glass-lined boiler and galvanized hot water storage tank. This unique approach helped to define the early days of the business and created a new market and new demands. The company was later recognised by BSRIA as the instigator of direct gas-fired water heaters in the UK. Today, the company is one of the trusted specialist providers of low-carbon, bespoke hot water and heating to the building services industry.

The first ever UK installed A.O. Smith glass line boiler

Adveco operates across the commercial built environment, working with consultants, specifiers, and designers, providing informed support and partnership to design and deliver systems optimised to be highly efficient and cost-effective. Contractors gain a single, versatile, specialist sales resource that ensures delivery of the most cost-effective system. Facility managers are supported through product remote monitoring, technical support, warranty, and maintenance service to ensure system longevity and help realise a low total cost of ownership.

As a result, our systems can be found across the country, from prestige city sites to university and school accommodations, hospitals and care homes, supermarkets, sports stadia, hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities of all sizes. It is pretty much guaranteed you will have used bespoke hot water and heating from a system Adveco has designed, supplied, and maintains without ever realising it.

50 Years of Bespoke Hot Water Innovation

Daniel O’Sullivan and the sales team inspect the latest models from A.O.Smith

Founded as Advance Services (Sales) Ltd, that initial year defined much of the history of the business with a close partnership formed with the American based water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith. The company would quickly become A.O. Smith’s sole UK distributor, even though it had elsewhere opted for a multi-distributor approach. Here it had become clear that the success in the UK had stemmed from working with a focused single market entity, and the partnership was further ratified in 1998 when Advanced Services Sales Ltd became A.O. Smith’s sole official partner and under its new agreement started trading as A.O. Smith Water Products, and then latterly as A.O. Smith Water Heaters (Adveco AWP) Ltd.

Although Daniel retired in 2000, his son David O’Sullivan continued to grow the family business, maintaining its fierce independence and commitment to innovation. More than just offering distributions services, A.O. Smith Water Heaters had grown a wider reputation for its own in-house engineering capabilities, providing a wealth of knowledge for commercial hot water application design and post-installation service.

In 2015, Adveco Ltd. was established to further develop this capability, as well as providing complementary products to enhance the company’s offering. Operating as an independent sister company to A.O. Smith Water Heaters, Adveco has expanded in recent years, establishing European sales offices and continues its commitment to the design, supply, commissioning and full after-sales support and maintenance servicing, of more than 1,000 commercial boiler, hot water, and solar thermal systems every year.

More recently A.O. Smith has returned to its original multi-distributor model, although its own brand product ranges remain with Adveco / A.O. Smith Water Heaters in the UK. This process has given impetus to the modernization of the business. Though continuing to provide a full range of commercial gas and electric water heaters, boilers, and solar thermal systems from the A.O. Smith portfolio, Adveco is evolving to become a single point of contact for a wider range of commercial bespoke hot water and heating systems that address a market being redefined by the drive to sustainability and the target of Net Zero by 2050.

RP MD Boilers.

MD Floor Standing Boiler

We continue to see increasing demand for near-instantaneous and instantaneous water heating across a variety of projects and are constantly exploring ways to meet this often technical challenge for commercial applications. Within those hot water applications, the highly efficient A.O. Smith BFC Cyclone and Innovo are always a popular choice for commercial projects requiring hot water. The MD range of floor standing condensing gas boilers, which were highly commended in the HVR Awards on launch, have also proved to be very popular for commercial heating, boasting a seven-year parts and maintenance warranty which we are able to offer due to the strong, corrosion-resistant titanium steel construction and smart balancing of the pre-stacked heat exchangers.

Despite the hyperbole, gas remains, at least for the time being, a core element for commercial systems. Familiar, well understood and extremely cost-effective, it remains an important part of the product portfolio for delivery of domestic hot water (DHW) applications and heating.  Adveco’s DHW offering has extended with a range of new stainless steel condensing water heaters to address soft water areas in the UK, alongside a range of stainless-steel cylinders, packaged plate heat exchangers and electric immersion kits which enables greater use of clean electricity for primary and backup heating of water across a range of bespoke tanks. Although we would characterize ourselves as hot water specialists, we can still address the specialist needs of commercial-scale heating with our ranges of floor-standing and wall-hung gas boilers (MD), carbon steel heating buffers (MSS) and thermal storage (MST).

A More Sustainable Future

RP Solar thermal.

Adveco solar thermal with drainback technology

Perhaps most exciting, has been the work to develop systems that are capable of better integrating low carbon and renewable technologies. In 2009, Adveco committed to development in this space with the introduction of its first Solar Thermal systems, working in partnership to develop critical drainback technologies that addressed the massively costly issue of stagnating solar fluid in panels and pipework. There is no doubt in our minds that as the demands for lower carbon applications grow, a combination of Solar Thermal and traditional gas will see a resurgence. But there is a degree of complexity that needs to be recognised and that is where specialist knowledge pays dividends when investing in both new and refurbished properties. Solar Thermal also has a role to play in more advanced hybrid systems that will be more dependent on electricity, the use of heat pumps and heat recovery technologies.

FPi32 commercial Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).

FPi32 Air Source Heat Pump

In recent years, Adveco has struck several exclusive manufacturing partnerships to develop air source heat pump (ASHP) technology and products expressly for the generation of preheat for DHW systems. This is necessary to address both building regulations in the UK and our varied Northern European climate.  The fruits of those partnerships have been the launch of the FPi range of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) in 2019, quickly followed by the introduction of the L70 heat pump for larger-scale projects. This year the FPi Range was completely revised with the introduction of a new system based on the more environmentally friendly R32 refrigerant which delivers considerable advances over its predecessors. This development programme continues at pace as we hone designs that help meet the high-temperature demands of commercial DHW. Our development work also includes the creation of the HVR Awards recognised HR001 boxed heat recovery system which was designed and manufactured in-house to support businesses making regular daily use of commercial-grade chiller and freezer units. Commercial systems offer a range of opportunities for heat recovery, essentially gaining ‘free heat’ that can be used to offset energy demands and help reduce carbon emissions from daily operations. Adding heat recovery into your sustainability mix is frankly a no brainer and we continue to explore opportunities for its application within commercial systems.

Packaged Plant Rooms.

Low carbon hot water systems in an Adveco Packaged Plant Room

Bringing all these varied elements together is Adveco’s packaged plant room offering, a bespoke hot water and heating system build that leverages all the advantages of offsite construction. Pre-fabrication is a tried and tested way of bringing mechanical and electrical systems to a live construction site, countering the challenges of complexity, limited space, limited time, and the need to work around other contractors. The concerns over post-Brexit/Covid rising costs, construction projects struggling to attain raw materials as well as a shortfall of experience on-site cannot be discounted. Offsite construction is therefore a great way to address these potential fears.  It just makes things on site much easier and crucially helps to accelerates those all-important project timelines which in turn can help offset other unforeseen project costs.

Packaged plant rooms can almost be treated as a microcosm of our work, a large proportion of which we create as bespoke applications and that includes our smart control systems. So, for Adveco, almost all our projects begin with application design. Without doubt, the rapid changes to legislation relating to efficiency and emissions as we move towards Net Zero by 2050 is having far-reaching implications for our industry. The challenge, certainly for commercial buildings, is to design, supply and then monitor a system for its full lifecycle to ensure the various elements of a system work together, not against each other. The problem is that we are increasingly seeing more cases of the wrong technology being used for the right application: from oversizing for the building, or failure to account for summer heating loads, to under-sizing solar buffer vessels and poorly executed combinations of renewables. Poor sizing has always been a key failure, driving up CAPEX and unnecessarily raising OPEX, but these more varied system design errors must be seen as a result of the rush to be environmentally friendly compounded by the confusion over what that really means in terms of practical technology choices. As an HVAC business, you simply cannot stand still, customers won’t allow for that, so being versatile in the ability to deliver bespoke, engineered systems, is becoming even more of an advantage for us as we look at the changing needs of customers, both in the short and long term. Our application design team provide professional support throughout all stages of a project, from selecting the pertinent product to meet a specific demand to complete system design.  All projects are meticulously sized by our in-house team of qualified industry professionals. This ensures that all applications receive a bespoke, cost-effective design that avoids the typical pitfalls described.

Looking Forward

All eyes are now on the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and an expectation of greater clarity from the Government over how the commercial sector will be supported on the road to Net Zero. At Adveco, our approach is to be prepared for all options, whether the future of commercial heating and hot water in the UK will be designated all-electric, hydrogen/green gas, or a mix of the two. This continues to drive our exploration of new technologies and reiterates the advantages of being independent. It enables us to create these critical technical partnerships that allow us to be quick on the uptake of new, or more relevant technologies, whilst continuing to leverage our own deep technical experience. In the near term, we will be further developing our portfolio of heat pumps for commercial applications, as well as designing new hybrid systems that take best advantage of this and other technology. We also see the huge, and cost-effective potential for the large scale roll-out of hydrogen to the commercial sector. All this will require a greater demand for complete system design of which we have deep experience providing bespoke hot water and heating. Ultimately, we come back to the earliest tenet of the company, an unbeatable focus on commercial hot water systems. We already have a strong offering, whether gas and solar, or all-electric with heat pumps, and see this consultancy work, especially for D&B contractors, driving our future growth out beyond 2050.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements – WRAS & KUKreg4 from Kiwa

At Adveco we work hard to ensure our products are fit for purpose and meet stringent UK water regulations. To ensure this, our water products are independently vetted and can demonstrate approval from both WRAS (Water Regulations Approval Scheme) and Kiwa Watertec.

The regulations set legal requirements for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of water fittings, systems, and appliances. They have been designed to prevent drinking water contamination and prevent misuse, waste, undue consumption, and erroneous measurement. As an independent UK certification body for plumbing products and materials, WRAS approvals demonstrate that, in accordance with these water fittings regulations, a material or water fitting is of suitable quality and standard.

WRAS has been the most well-known approval among contractors, specifiers. As WRAS approval certificates no longer involve the water authorities themselves in the decision making, the water authorities refer to a product requiring compliance with Regulation 4. Not specific to WRAS, Regulation4, states that:

“every water fitting should be of an appropriate quality or standard and be suitable for the situation in which it is used.”

Regulation 4(2) provides options to demonstrate compliance, such as CE Marking where applicable, appropriate British or European standards, and also a specification approved by the regulator. This approval is demonstrated with the KUKreg4 approval mark, issued by Kiwa and has become an accepted way of demonstrating compliance for several years for water authorities, specifiers and contractors, who gain assurance that the product in question has undertaken the required testing, and meets the necessary design requirements for its use. Similarly, approval granted by WRAS means the product is of suitable quality and standards to avoid water contamination and minimise waste when installed properly.

Anything from pipes, fittings, taps, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, to coffee machines, boilers and toilets, all need to comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and bye-laws. If a product in your property is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, a replacement can be demanded, with all the associated unplanned costs. Should unregulated fittings be deemed dangerous then prosecution is also possible. The regulations impose a legal duty on everyone to use suitable water fittings when connected to public water supplies. So, ensuring products meet regulations with the correct approvals in place is important.

Whilst approval is not mandatory, the testing of the products is. It is worth remembering that not all products sold have been appropriately tested although most buyers understandably assume that anything sold to them will meet legal requirements. So looking for the appropriate WRAS or Kiwa approved statement or logo is time well spent. Water authorities are regularly using the terminology that products must be ‘Regulation 4 compliant’, contractors and installers still need greater visibility of KUKreg4 in the industry. But they should recognise its validity and be able to communicate that with clients who may be unfamiliar with the certification. Regulation 4 compliant testing is undertaken in an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory and complies with ISO 17065 product certification.

For reference, KUKreg4 is not only accepted across Europe, but it also offers two levels of compliance – level 3 and level 1+. Level 3 is the equivalent service offering of WRAS (initial testing, no annual audits and a full re-test after five years). Level 1+ involves initial testing, but no full re-test after five years is required – assuming there are no significant changes to the product – as certification is maintained via annual audits of the manufacturing facility.

It is also worth noting that WRAS approval may restrict how a product may be installed and used. To help installers, every water fitting approved is listed with one or more “requirement and installation notes.” These explain any installation conditions, which must be followed, which were applied as a condition of each WRAS Approval.

All water installations in the UK need to comply with the Water Supply (Water Fitting) Regulations. This is important for public health, for safeguarding water supplies and promoting the efficient use of water within premises across the UK.

Further Information

Click here for more about WRAS

Click here for more about Kiwa


Complying with UK water regulations: Adveco commercial heating and hot water systems. With Adveco products conforming to UK water regulations, you can be confident on their compliance as well their effectiveness.

For more information on our commercial heating and hot water systems, call Adveco on 01252 551 540.

Adveco ATSx Stainless Steel Hot Water Tanks for Soft Water Areas

  • A complete range of indirect hot water calorifiers and buffer vessels.
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel construction for soft water areas.
  • Designed for high pressure, lower demand projects.

Commercial hot water and heating specialist Adveco, announces the ATSx range of stainless steel hot water tanks. The new product range encompasses five classes of vessel up to 1,000 litre capacity at 10 bar as standard to serve as buffer vessels and indirect hot water calorifiers. The range is designed to provide a more economic choice for high pressure, lower capacity commercial applications in soft water areas.

With single coil, twin coil and plate heat exchanger options for maximising transfer of energy, the ATSx stainless steel hot water tanks offer consultants, specifiers and contractors a broader set of options for the storage and delivery of domestic hot water (DHW) in soft water areas for their projects.

ATSI – Single coil indirect water heater.

ATST – Twin coil indirect water heater.

ATSH – Single double-helical high-capacity coil indirect water heater.

ATSR – Twin coil indirect water heater for lower-temperature renewable applications.

ATSB – Storage/buffer tank without coil.

Speaking of the launch of the ATSx range, Adveco’s Technical Director Bill Sinclair said:

“If your project has smaller hot water demands, but with pressure requirements greater than six bar, such as in taller buildings with a basement plant room, then the ATSx vessels are by far the most efficient and cost-effective choice for your project,”

Constructed from corrosion-resistant AISI 316Ti and 316L stainless steel, all ATSx tanks are designed, manufactured, and tested to the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC), EN 12897.

The ATSx range is also supported by a choice of options and ancillaries from Adveco including control and overheat thermostats, destratification pump kits and unvented kits.

For projects with larger demands or requiring greater customisation in soft water areas, Adveco offers its SSB, SSI and SST ranges of bespoke stainless steel calorifiers and buffer vessels.

Discover more about Adveco’s ATSx range


Adveco commercial hot water and heating. For more information about Adveco’s ATSx stainless steel hot water tanks, call us on 01252 551 540 to discuss requirements, sizing etc.