Plantasia Indoor Botanical Gardens

Since opening its doors in 1990, Plantasia has become a landmark, serving the public and providing an invaluable educational resource.

Plantasia is an indoor botanical garden, containing a wide variety of exotic plants and an animal species that are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. The building itself, a glass pyramid enclosed by 4mm glass, posed unique challenges. In addition, 130m of wall space directly under the glass running the perimeter of the garden was to be used to install the heat emitters. Plantasia also has different zones to represent different climates, each having to be monitored and controlled separately.

The existing heat emitters were no longer fit for purpose showing signs of disrepair and contamination, severely impeding efficiency. The existing boilers had reached the end of their life span and more efficient alternatives were required.

Two Viessmann 200kW boilers were selected to replace the 25-year-old over-specified 700kW boilers. Specially designed natural convection heat emitters were also selected for this project. The heat emitters were designed to provide the year-round minimum of 22°C. To combat against the toxic atmosphere the product has casings and coils that were galvanised to ensure longevity. The casings have damage resistant grilles that can withstand 70kg weight.

One of the challenges for The Commercia Group, was the restrictions on access to Plantasia, this strictly controlled. No material could be carried through the public spaces whilst Plantasia was open to the public. To remove the old emitters and install the new heat emitters access was given at night whilst Plantasia was closed to the public. The old emitters were quite cumbersome to handle so care had to be taken to ensure no damage was done to the exhibits.

The new boilers and heat emitters should result in a reduction in the running costs of around 40% annually.

The heat emitters themselves are inconspicuous and blend into the background beneath the glazed facades and will provide heat to Plantasia very efficiently for many years to come.

We used our direct labour for the entire project. We liaised with the onsite staff to manage the areas that had sensitive requirements. Noise was always kept to a minimum to not disturb the animals. Any work that required us to make noise was pre-arranged with the onsite staff. We had meetings weekly with the project consultant to ensure the project was running smoothly and to the speciation supplied.

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