Commercial 11 October 2021

Delivering Hot Water to the Hotel Britomart

Britomart is renowned as one of Auckland’s busiest and liveliest precincts – not only due to being the city’s main transport hub but also because of its central downtown location and vibrant surroundings. Luxury shopping and exquisite dining experiences are merely minutes away, while the neighbouring heritage buildings offer a unique charm like no other by blending tradition with modernity.

At the heart of it all sits the striking Hotel Britomart. With 99 elegant guest rooms and 5 suites inside a structure of handmade bricks, this hotel was designed as a luxurious urban getaway with all the finest the city has to offer right at its doorstep. As New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star rated hotel, it’s clear that the team behind the Hotel Britomart are just as passionate about sustainability as they are about delivering outstanding service to their guests.

The Rinnai commercial hot water team recently had the privilege to design and implement a semi-custom water heating system for the Hotel Britomart. Because of the project’s commitment to sustainability, the main challenge for the team was to devise a solution that aligned with the goal of complying with Green Star standards, without compromising on quality or safety.

The Rinnai team were able to accomplish this by incorporating the Rinnai INFINITY® N56 – our latest high-efficiency condensing water heater – along with highly insulated Rinnai stainless steel storage cylinders to present a semi-custom solution that could effectively deliver hot water to all guest rooms and suites as well as the hotel restaurant.

Being the most efficient water heater in the continuous flow range, the Rinnai INFINITY® N56 was a clear choice for our engineers when devising the hot water solution. Its clever design and advanced condensing technology requires less gas than standard water heaters to operate, whilst still providing optimum flow. The system achieves this by utilising a secondary heat exchanger which captures heat from the exhaust gas – normally wasted in most standard units – and uses it to preheat the incoming water. The result is a solution that provides 97% thermal efficiency.

With the measurement of gas consumption accounting for a significant number of points within the Green Star Performance (GSP) rating, the Rinnai INFINITY® N56 was the ideal water heater for the job.  

Source: 2020 Britomart Sustainability Report

When it came to the installation of the systems, space in the hotel’s plant room was limited. To make the most efficient use of the space provided, the N56 units were supplied on a wall frame which opened up room for the Rinnai pump set to be mounted below.

The dual/active pump set ensured the temperature in the tanks stayed within range, and with the help of the Rinnai commercial controller, pump operation was alternated every 12 hours to balance usage across each pump.

A dual pump system was recommended to ensure guests were not forced to wait for hot water in the event that one of the pumps failed. A ‘service mode’ feature within the controller would allow for continuous operation of the second pump to be initiated. Doing this would equip the hot water system to continue running, even during the time that the failed pump was being repaired. 

The team behind the Hotel Britomart were very satisfied with how Rinnai’s semi-custom commercial system has delivered endless hot water to their guests. Building to the Green Star standards meant that a lot of time, effort and attention to detail had been put into the project due to the complexity of working through the certification process, as well as the management and research requirements of components used in the building process. This meant that it was vital for the hot water system to be designed in a way that also strictly complied with Green Star regulations – something which the Rinnai team were able to deliver incredibly successfully.

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