Stiebel Eltron’s instantaneous electric domestic hot water units allowed builder Hickory Group to complete the Vogue South Yarra apartment and shopping complex including a staged handover.
Vogue South Yarra is a large mixed development of retail outlets and 498 residential apartments in a 31-storey tower in inner-Eastern Melbourne. Installing Stiebel Eltron electric water heaters for all the apartments streamlined the installation of the building’s plumbing and contributed to the project’s completion on time.
When a building design includes a large number of individual spaces such as apartments or offices, developers are always seeking solutions to reduce construction costs. While supplying hot water to a large number of units will involve a project expense, the installation and ongoing costs can be minimised with the appropriate choice of heating system. The main options for supplying hot water to apartments in medium or high-density developments are centralised gas-fired water heating systems or instantaneous heating systems installed at, or very near the point of use.
Given the complexities and expense involved in setting up a centralised system, instantaneous heating systems installed at the point of use using Stiebel Eltron DEL units are the perfect alternative.
Key advantages of standalone instantaneous hot water units:
- Water is only heated at the time of use
- No wastage of energy in maintaining stored volume of hot water
- Shorter pipe runs with heating units located closer to the point-of-use
- Less water wastage by the user while waiting for hot water to arrive at the outlet
- Only the pressure balance on each floor needs to be configured once, using pressure valves and pumps for providing cold water feed
- Cold water feed can be run to each apartment and then connected to the water heater
Alistair Guss, Director of MacCormack Associates Consultants, the engineering consultants for the Vogue South Yarra project adds that the work was kept to schedule because the offices and apartments could be completed in stages. During construction of the podium levels and tower, groups of apartments were completed and handed over to their owners, which allowed the plumber to work to the builder’s schedule on an apartment by apartment, level by level basis.
Stiebel Eltron Sales Director, Darren Fletcher says that the instantaneous electric option has the least infrastructure requirements, and therefore represents the most cost-efficient choice for installation.
Chris Barrile, Construction Manager for Vogue’s hydraulic installation engineers, B P Plumbing found the Stiebel Eltron units to be more cost effective as the installation of the units was not as labour intensive. Additionally, instantaneous water heaters eliminate the need for keeping water hot in apartment feed pipes.
Another advantage of instantaneous water heaters is that the cost of hot water supply is equitable to every apartment owner unlike centralised hot water systems where owners have to pay for the hot water regardless of whether they opened a tap or not. The final running costs of an instantaneous system are much reduced as there is no legacy requirement for the body corporate to service and administer any centralised plant and equipment and apportion costs to each unit.
Hickory’s Abraham explains that having a Stiebel Eltron unit in the apartment gives an accurate picture of consumption with the owner or resident being charged for what they use. Ongoing expenses in terms of maintenance and repair costs are also less for instantaneous water heaters.
According to Guss, Stiebel Eltron hot water units are MacCormack Consultants’ preferred hot water design solution for large unit developments.
Hickory’s Abraham said that the company was able to achieve ‘practical completion’ for Vogue South Yarra on schedule in December 2011 with all apartments handed over to their new owners on time.
Fletcher believes the water heaters supplied for Vogue South Yarra were instrumental in meeting the various project milestones. Superior environmental performance with a small footprint, in addition to better heating efficiencies and greater flexibility of installation were some of the benefits listed in favour of instantaneous electric water heaters.
By installing Stiebel Eltron hot water systems, Hickory was able to minimise equipment and installation costs, while delivering efficient, reliable, and environmentally responsible hot water to the Vogue South Yarra apartments.