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Keston boilers make history at Grade II-listed Tudor house

Two Keston 30kW System boilers have been installed as part of a refurbishment project at Selly Manor Museum, a Grade II-listed Tudor house dating back to the 1300s.

Keston Boilers Installed at Selly Manor

Owned by Bournville Village Trust, Selly Manor is one of Birmingham’s oldest buildings and is visited by thousands of children and adults each year.

The Keston twin-flue boilers were specified by heating and ventilating specialists Sheco Ltd, as this was the only boiler range on the market that could meet the challenging requirements for a 23m flue run. The new system is not only more effective, resulting in a warmer building for enhanced user comfort and preventing the formation of damp, but it is also much more efficient, greatly reducing running costs for Bournville Village Trust.

The challenge

The previous standard efficiency floor-standing boiler at Selly Manor was installed in the basement plant room and had been running for over 25 years. Following a period of bad weather the plant room had been badly flooded, resulting in complete boiler failure. The trust had set up electric heaters throughout the house as a short-term solution, but these were expensive to run, offered little control and were ineffective, making it difficult to prevent damp caused by the cooler temperature in the rooms.

As a Grade II-listed building, Selly Manor is protected under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and consequently any work carried out needed to be assessed and approved by the local planning authority to ensure it complied with strict criteria. For example, the boiler flues were not allowed to be visible on certain external walls and any flueing work needed to be as discreet as possible so as not to detract from the building’s character.

The solution

Ian Shorter, installation and service manager at Sheco, specified the Keston 30kW twin-flue System boilers to meet these tough demands. He made the decision to turn the existing open-vented boiler system into a sealed system by capping off the tank, which was situated at the top of the building. One of the main reasons was to eradicate the possibility of water leaking out into the loft and causing damage to the building, further safeguarding this ancient structure and preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations. After running a larger gas pipe into the plant room to meet the requirements of the new system and replacing the main flow and return pipework, the Sheco engineering team installed the boilers directly onto the wall.

Because of their compact size, the team had no trouble manoeuvring the Keston boilers in the small plant room space. The main challenge they faced was how to run the twin boiler flues out of the basement, as one flue needed to be tracked around the circular entry staircase and the other needed to be long enough to reach the existing chimney.

Mr Shorter explained: “The old boiler was connected to an open flue chimney liner in order to discharge waste gases. A long flue run was required to enable the new flue to reach the chimney and, as a result, other boiler companies said that the chimney would need to be replaced and relocated, which would have been difficult within the listed building criteria as well as expensive.

“However, after a site visit to discuss the options, we discovered the Keston boilers could achieve the required flue runs – totaling over 23m – meaning we could use the existing chimney. This prevented complications with planning permission and installation, as well as saving time and money.

“The MUPVC solvent weld flues designed and supplied by Keston also solved multiple issues, as stainless steel flues would have been too conspicuous and heavy. Keston’s plastic flues were coloured to blend into the brickwork and so are barely noticeable.”

Energy-efficient controls were also installed, allowing the Keston boilers to communicate with an external wireless room thermostat located at the top of the stairs. This controls the new convector heaters located throughout Selly Manor, allowing them to switch on only when the boiler reaches the required pre-set temperature, thereby minimising energy use and reducing the demand on the boiler.

Suitable for both domestic and light commercial applications, Keston’s 30kW System boiler offers a lightweight design with concealed connections at the base and no compartment ventilation required. These features allow it to be easily fitted in compact plant rooms and even cupboards. All Keston boilers offer a high SEDBUK efficiency rating, are Energy Saving Trust endorsed and also feature on the Energy Technology List, qualifying them for inclusion in the government’s enhanced capital allowance scheme. Keston also offers a two-year parts and labour warranty on all boiler ranges, including System, Heat Only and Combi models.

For more information on Keston’s condensing boiler ranges, visit Alternatively, email or call 01482 443005.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Got to love new boilers that really do the busines of keeping a much loved local feature cosy and warm all year around!

    Thinking on - if you have a stove like me, have you ever thought of getting some stove paint - to mend those bumps and scrapes your ever patient stoves gets? Try a look online - or just visit Flues2You.

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