Regional Winners

North East Regional Winner 

Name: Craig Gilhome
Business: Craig Gilhome Plumbing & Heating

Please tell us about a project you are particularly proud of – what was the problem and how did you solve it for the customer? 

A project I’m proud of from the last 18 months is a heating install and design I did on a Grade 2 listed building. The main problem the customer had was with the existing oversized 100kw oil boiler, which was running very inefficiently. However, with it being a listed building I encountered the challenge of not being able to add any more insulation or alter the build of the property itself – so I was restricted to working with the existing pipework and space. As this was a big project, it took a lot of planning, problem solving and meetings with the client beforehand to grasp exactly what he wanted and how it would be achieved.

Before starting the install, I did a full heat loss survey which showed a heat loss of 44kw so I designed and installed a two-boiler cascade 2x28kw which made the system as efficient as possible. I also zoned off the big house into smaller sections and added individual zone thermostats which would make the system much more efficient than before, as the heating had just been controlled by the main boiler thermostat. This design provided the customer with a new efficient system that he had complete control over.

Which products did you select for the job and why? 

For this project, I used 2x Navien LCB oil system boilers and NRG zone manifold. I find the Navien oil boilers to be reliable and easy to install and commission. The NRG manifold is a great way to join boilers and multiple zones together and I find it to be the best solution for this purpose.

Tell us what was different or unique about this job? Why does it stand out? 

This project stands out as unique to me because, with it being a listed building, I was limited to working with the existing heating system which I don’t often do – usually I can plan any design system from scratch. This meant I had to really plan ahead and adapt my designs to work with what was already there. It was a new kind of project for me and I really enjoyed having the challenge of adapting my designs to an existing system.

And finally, tell us what the end result was for your customer? 

The customer was really pleased with the system I built and it was exactly what he was looking for. The result for the customer was reduced energy costs and enhanced control of the heating and hot water system. This made a huge difference to the efficiency of the system, 100kw down to max 56 kw and fitting controls to each heating zone enabled the customer to control small parts of a large 600m2 hall. I finished the install at the start of November and I have already signed on with the same customer to work on two building conversions he’s doing later in the year.