No 3.  DECEMBER  2000

Building   Services   Heritage   Group

A  visit  to the Municipal Technical  Institute         
Building   in   Belfast   was  made  by  Group
Members  Mike Barber  and  Frank Ferris  in
September    to    find   out   whether   earlier
comments made that a steam engine was still
operating  in  the  building  providing  power,
were right. What  they found was astounding
The    original  15hp - 100psi.   reciprocating
horizontal steam engine has been in daily use
driving  the  two very  large  centrifugal  fans
This    steam    engine    powered     plenum
ventilation system could well be unique. The
Heritage  Group   should   send  a   challenge
to  find  out   whether   there   are   any  other
original steam engines still in daily use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The survival of this steam  engine is due to the dedication  of  the Plant Engineer for  the building,  who has organised the regular  
maintenance  and  kept  all  the services plant  in  excellent  working  order.               

The  plenum ventilation system  has  several  other  interesting  features,  some of  which could be the only  surviving  examples  from    this  Edwardian time  period. 

Disk  humidifiers / washers,  belt 
driven from the steam engine.
Waste steam feed water pre-heater.
Branch duct air re-heaters fed from
a one-pipe heating circuit.
Branch duct volume control dampers.  


The Christmas Lecture for the   Heritage Group was arranged as a joint meeting with dinner at the Rumford Club. They  invited  group members to join them at their St Stevens Club, Queen Anne’s Gate London for their December meeting. Two after dinner speakers gave presentations. The first was  given  by Dr Frank James of the Royal Institution who gave a talk on Humphrey Davy and his assistant Michael Faraday who then went on to become the eminent Engineer and distinguished Lecturer at the Royal Institution. The second talk was given by group Vice-chairman Paul Yunnie who talked about the life and exploits of Benjamin Thompson,   Count Rumford. A very enjoyable evening was had by all the attending Group Members.
The AGM and Group Committee meeting was held in the preceding  afternoon.

The  Heritage Group has  also learnt of a Perkins  high  
pressure   heating  system  circa. 1882   which  is  still 
in  everyday use   in   the  Church  of   St. Thomas  a
Becket  in  Northaw  Herts.  Anyone who lives local 
to  that area  is invited to take photos  (by  appointment 
with  the Vicar) of  the  heating system for the Heritage  
Group  with  particular reference  to the boiler plant
which could  be  the original although  converted to oil


The book titled  ‘The  Comfort  Makers’ is due
to be published by  ASHRAE  in January 2001
The booklet ‘G N Haden & Sons Ltd.   Bristol 
Office’  is  being  printed.
The book titled ‘The Magic of  Hot Water’ has 
now   been completed  and  is  due  to be
published in the Spring of 2001.

The first draft of the book, the story  about  the
early heating  contractors  entitled  ‘The  Heat
Makers’ has  been prepared.

Research  is  continuing  for the book  ‘Wilson 
Weatherley Phipson  Victorian  Engineer
The Group has been told of an old  Methodist Church circa. 1830 in Truro Cornwall a Grade 2 listed building which is due to be refurbished. The existing ventilation system in the Church is provided by a venturi sited in the roof above high level gas chandeliers. The resultant stack effect forms the passive ventilation. The fresh air entry route into the   building  is   through  low  level   air  bricks   and  window openings.   The Consultant  Jerry  Kent  (contact  01271 - 323765)  would  like  to  put  the  original  system   back   into   commission   and  therefore  would welcome comments from anyone who can confirm whether it is safe and  satisfactory.                                                                                                                                   

Mike Barber gave the Presentation
Lecture to the Dublin 2000  CIBSE
/ ASHRAE   Joint  Conference   in
September  outlining  the  Group’s
continuing  research  into  the
contracts  and  history  of  Wilson
Weatherley  Phipson  MICE