The Catholic Church of the English Martyrs, Strood, Kent is a Grade 2 Listed Building built in 1964. The church is a very busy centre of the community and is used for many different meetings and activities. The church also has some beautiful stain glass windows, which are of special interest and made by the famous Buckfast Abbey in Devon.
The church is a Grade 2 Listed Building so any proposed refurbishment work had to be approved by the Historic Churches Commission. This can be a long process and required the heating engineers, HeatinGlobal, to provide extensive heat loss calculations to the Heating Consultant employed by the church. Excessive energy costs, caused by an old and inefficient heating system was the principal reason for the upgrade. In addition the parishioners often complained that the church was cold and a lack of zoning control meant the whole building had to be heated even when only smaller discreet areas were being used. For weekend services the church is full but during the week it can be only 20% occupied.
Damien Bradbury from HeatinGlobal completed a heating survey of the building confirming that nothing less than a complete new church heating system was required. Mr. Bradbury decided on Smith’s Caspian Fan Convectors to provide the heating for such a large area. They were selected because they are versatile and energy-efficient heaters and can be painted in the colour required by the church to comply with the requirements of refurbishing a Listed Building. As the whole church was previously heated even when only small areas were being used a zoning system was installed using Heatmiser controls with a divertor valve being installed in each Caspian on the flow pipe, with a check valve on the return pipe. This means that each Caspian can be controlled individually if needed. To satisfy the current requirements 4-zones were to be set up so that the Sacristy, Parish Hall, Side Chapel and Main Church can be controlled and heated separately.
There were also ‘cold’ spots in the main church area prior to the installation of the new Caspian Fan Convector heaters but by careful planning and installation HeatinGlobal were able to overcome this problem. The areas that were particularly susceptible to the cold were the altar and the organ loft. By installing Caspians in two cupboards behind the altar and directing the warm air through discreet vents
in the wall behind the altar the problem was solved. Because of its Listed Building status this was a requirement of the Historic Churches Commission. Also by placing Caspians in the organ loft this area is now warm and cosy for the organist.
Laurence McEvoy, for the church, says that “the work done by HeatinGlobal was excellent and because the heating can now be controlled we are looking forward to much lower heating bills. The main reason for wanting to change was driven by a need to upgrade the old system to comply with the regulations but we now have a cosy church which will cost less to heat”.