ORMISTON HOUSE, Belfast, was built in 1867 to designs by David Bryce of Edinburgh for James Combe, a Scots-born iron-founder and linen manufacturer. The building changed hands many times and had some notable owners such as Sir Edward Harland and William Pirrie of Harland and Wolf ship builders, who owned it in respective succession.
It operated as a public school from 1928 until the mid-1970’s, when it passed into the ownership of the Government eventually resulting in its dereliction. It has fulfilled many functions over its life time, from family home, to public school and even a Police station. The building passed again into private ownership in 2015.
This main building is a Scottish-Baronial style mansion house with crow-stepped gables, a bartizan turret and gargoyles. The building has a grand 57m squared entrance hall and stairwell ornately covered in wood panelling.
As part of the overall project the building has been lovingly and painstakingly restored to its original glory, but with a nod to contemporary times with the tasteful inclusion of various design features providing elements with a modern twist.
Greentherm were invited to participate by providing controls engineering for the 45m swimming pool located on the campus. The pool is thought to be the largest natural pool of its kind in Europe.
Greentherm were responsible for the design, programming and delivery of an integrated control system to coordinate water treatment systems, biomass heating and pumping functions within the pool.
As a result of the successful delivery of the controls engineering project Greentherm were invited to provide a turnkey solution for the heating, ventilation and energy management of the main historic house, which has a floor area of circa 1100m2.
Early stages of the first fix installation
From the initial design stage there were significant challenges posed by this conservation project, while all the time with an eye on performance and energy conservation, in a building that was never designed for either criteria. Greentherm worked within the structural constraints of the building to devise appropriate solutions to deliver heating, plumbing, ventilation and control in many of the best conserved rooms and spaces.
Greentherm engineers worked closely with Belfast based conservation Architects, Consarc Design, various subcontractors and the customer’s project staff to meet the clients brief.
Creative solutions were devised to meet the brief requirements, for example exterior room wall vents were eliminated for the Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) system by performing a building air tightness test, to establish that there was sufficient air permeability to eliminate the requirement, in line with Northern Ireland building regulations. In order to avoid the use of modern wall thermostats, digital thermostats were concealed through the use of remote sensor heads concealed under decorative brass grills, and controlled by the occupants using remote access technology.
Greentherm engineers performed extensive heat load calculations to ensure the heating design was appropriately sized for the building performance. The energy sources for the building are provided by a wood pellet biomass boiler and back up gas boiler in conjunction with a sizeable Solar Photovoltaic panel installation.
The PV arrays helped reduce electrical consumption and contribute to the reduced carbon footprint of the site which was a key focus for the client brief.
Completed installation of Edwardian-style cast iron radiators in the dance studio
The heat emitters are a combination of reproduction Edwardian style cast iron radiators, under floor heating and trench heaters.
Trench heaters with custom made decorative brass grills
The latter two technologies helped provide discrete heating while minimising the impact on the period building.
Greentherm bring a proven track record of know how to conservation projects, providing a multi-disciplined single point of contact for creative design, installation and commissioning of turnkey solutions. Call us today with your project requirements for a free initial consultation +353(0)1-5314781 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanitary installation in an ensuite bathroom
Low profile cast iron radiators in a bedroom with original panelling
Cast Iron radiator on original conserved floor tiles