Nestled in the heart of the New Forest, St Luke’s Church in Sway, Hampshire, is a prime example of how heritage buildings can be brought into the modern age by using energy conscious and cost-effective heating measures.
As part of a major renewal project at the historic Sway landmark – originally built in 1838 – the Parochial Church Council specified a new heating system to provide a more welcoming, warm and energy efficient environment for its services and events, but also one that did not interfere with the historical features of the building.
Paul Cantwell from Worldwise Limited, the consulting engineers who worked on St Luke’s, explained the scenario: “Before the refurbishment, St Luke’s had old, inefficient radiant electric heaters suspended from the ceiling, so people would get hot heads and cold feet,” said Cantwell. “The brief was for a solution that would have quick response and be safe for both elderly and young occupants, as the radiators needed to be located adjacent to the chairs in the aisles, as well as the children’s play area at the back.”
Worldwise Limited had worked with Jaga on previous church projects and, having received plenty of complimentary feedback from happy clients, they sought Jaga’s expertise once more.
“We chose the Jaga Tempo LST because we could install the radiators in an unobtrusive, continuous casing along the walls of the aisles and chancel, whilst concealing distribution pipework and providing a safe low surface temperature,” Cantwell explained. “Because of the powerful heat output, the radiators successfully offset cold down-draughts from the large stained glass windows to ensure that everybody is kept warm.”
Traditional churches are usually expansive spaces, particularly in the nave and chancel areas, so the Tempo’s responsiveness to temperature changes was essential in reducing the time it took to warm up the whole room. This responsiveness can be traced to Jaga’s Low-H2O heat exchanger, making the Tempo LST a low-mass, low-water content solution. It contains up to 90% less water than a standard steel panel radiator would require, and consumes 10-15% less energy – a significant long-term saving on the church’s running costs.
Because St Luke’s Church is funded largely by the village community, expenditure savings like this were of great importance. As with any project, Jaga was sympathetic to this concern and provided additional services to improve the cost-efficiency of the refurbishment.
For example with St Luke’s, Jaga made design recommendations and performed a site survey to assist the contractors with installing the radiators – this proved to be valuable information after the survey detected that the original drawing of the building had been inaccurate, as a measured survey had not previously been undertaken by the client.
When it came to the installation itself, Jaga provided split deliveries. This meant the contractors could install the element and brackets first while the outer casing was stored in a secure location off-site, ready to be delivered for the final phase of the project. This minimised the risk of damage to the aesthetic face of the radiator, and ensured the casings did not needlessly take up limited storage space throughout the duration of the refurbishment.
Cantwell concluded, “The Tempo LST Continuous is an excellent product – a clean, robust, safe LST heating solution that is aesthetically pleasing and complimentary to the historical church environment.”
As a result of the refurbishment, St Luke’s Church has become a perfect demonstration of how heritage building owners can maintain links with the past while looking to the future. Saving costs, the environment and architectural integrity, while keeping occupants comfortably warm.
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