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Acoustic Plant Room for Aberdeen

The Client

Aberdeen Heat and Power were established by Aberdeen City Council in 2002 as an independent not-for-profit company to help address fuel poverty in the city’s municipal housing stock.

Their aim is to generate, distribute, and retail heat and hot water to their public and private customers across the city of Aberdeen via their own network of communal and district low-carbon heat networks.

The Challenge

The self-contained unit has been designed to enclose eight gas-fired boilers, each of 150kW capacity, giving 1.2mW in total. They will provide heat for two large housing blocks, Fullerton and Murray Court. Whilst gas boilers are not inherently noisy in our everyday lives, if there were eight of them firing outside your bedroom window, in the dead of night, the noise would become a problem.

The enclosure has been designed to make this noise significantly quieter for residents. It will achieve a noise reduction of Rw39dB.

All of this and it needs to be able to be built and fitted out off-site, and then when complete, craned into position to ensure absolute minimum disruption to the residents of the housing blocks, some of whom are vulnerable.

The Solution

The Kimpton team created another bespoke, pre-fabricated acoustic plant room. This is being installed as part of a district heating scheme in Aberdeen.

The unit itself is quite large, to enclose the boilers and associated kit to run them. This one is nearly 100 m3 – around 30% bigger than a standard full-sized shipping container – so it’s important for the residents (and the planning authority who sign it off) that it isn’t an eyesore either. That’s why it’s been timber clad, to give it a softer look and feel. It has a self-contained guttering and drainage system designed in too. There are access doors for personnel to access the kit and attenuated ventilation apertures to let gases escape and fresh air to enter. There are also double doors at one end of the unit to make things far easier during the initial installation phase.

The timber-clad finish makes it look good, but beauty is far more than skin deep as underneath it encloses an exceptional quality finish. The Steel body is first coated with zinc phosphate epoxy primer, before being fully powder coated. Even the timber cladding is coated with a fire protective coating.

When they are fitted out and installed, they were sited around 19m from the residential building. Our noise modelling has shown, that even with all of the boilers running, a resident standing in the closest apartment will hear nothing from the plant room at all.

This is exactly what the acoustic plant room has been designed for. We have already designed and installed a number of these units and again, this installation meets and exceeds the design specification. So, we have a client that’s delighted with the quality of our design and manufacture, but more importantly, the families living close to the installed plant room will be delighted too.

The pictures show our completed acoustic plant room, leaving the workshop and on its way to Aberdeen for its initial fit-out and installation.

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