Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham’s renowned Test venue and the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club since 1885, turned to its Oldbury-based commercial heating and hot water partner when it needed to introduce a new water system for all areas of the stadium’s £32 million South Stand, including the player changing rooms to the kitchens and corporate hospitality rooms.
With a drive to increase sustainability, Edgbaston’s aim is to become the “greenest cricket club and venue in the UK” so Lord were given a brief to ensure that the hot water set-up met modern standards for efficiency and reduced the use of fossil fuels.
As well as being one of the world’s most famous cricket venues in the world, Edgbaston is also home to the T20 Bears team and Birmingham Phoenix, who compete in the new 100-ball format. With a capacity of near 25,000 spectators, Edgbaston also hosts corporate events, awards dinners, company Christmas parties and business meetings throughout the year.
From an initial review of their requirements and the existing installation, Lord provided a comprehensive design which could meet the demands of full capacity Test matches, with accompanying hot water demands for large crowds of spectators over five-day matches, as well as the catering, hospitality and playing staff.
The Edgbaston management also wanted to see a hot water system with improved energy efficiency and reliability, as well as a year-round capacity to cope with requirements for catered events.
On the technical side, Lord identified that an increased hot water recovery rate through use of rapid recovery equipment was needed, along with variable speed pumps to give more control, reducing energy consumption, plus increased insulation. With Covid-19 hygiene standards increasing the need for hot water, assured access was needed for Edgbaston catering staff, plus cleaning employees.Working in the spring as the stadium team were preparing to reopen following successive Covid lockdowns, Lord set about replacing gas fired hot water heaters with more modern and efficient cylinders to reduce fossil fuel usage. Lord halved the number of gas fired appliances in the plant room, backed with a system design which allowed for energy efficiency strategies to be implemented.
Craig Flindall, chief operating officer at Edgbaston, was impressed by the Lord team’s performance. Craig said: “The hot water project was important to Edgbaston because the old system did not provide the output and efficiency we needed to cater for usage throughout the year, peaking on sell-out match days.
“Covid-19 has made access to hot water even more important to a leading stadium like Edgbaston, so we wanted to get things right before crowds returned. Knowing Lord through our longstanding partnership, we were pleased to find that since the new system has been installed, we are now able to provide hot water more effectively and efficiently, helping with our sustainability drive as well as providing the high-quality match day experience which spectators expect at Edgbaston.
“Working with Lord, we received a high-quality service through the process and an outcome which benefits staff and visitors alike. We were pleased with the way they prepared the initial assessment and proposal through to the completion of the project.
“The quality of the work provides us with a modern system which achieves our objectives. We would recommend Lord Combustion Services for their standards of service and delivery.”
Lord Combustion Services managing director Stuart Smith was delighted with the client’s verdict. He said: “As Edgbaston’s commercial heating and hot water partner, we were pleased to deliver a system which is up to date and allows them to benefit from greater control, while reducing the environmental impact.
“We understand the unique demands faced by a cricket stadium over a five-day Test match, when thousands of spectators and staff want access to hot water simultaneously. We installed four stainless steel hot water storage vessels, with a combined volume of 2,000 litres.
“They were coupled with heat exchangers each with a maximum rating of 120KW, given a combined maximum output of 480KW, which will mean Edgbaston can meet the needs of guests, players, spectators and staff throughout the year. Our approach for Edgbaston is typical of the engineering solutions we offer clients, so it was pleasing to see the work delivered in time for the return of crowds to one of the most famous cricket stadiums in the world.”