The Problem

Poor space and water heating control

The Solution

Prefectirus, room controllers and water heater controls


Crescent Hall, is a modern spacious development consisting of 306 Study bedrooms, within easy access to Headington Campuses and Oxford City Centre. Built in the 70`s and originally fitted with electric convector heaters to provide the space heating and individual flat calorifiers for hot water the site was typical of many sites throughout the UK. In 2013 Prefect approached the sustainability team at Oxford Brookes with a radical idea to reduce utility costs, without major changes to the infrastructure of the site. Prefect proposed the replacement of the old convector heaters with new high output units with no on board controls and a “cleverly simple” room thermostat fitted in each room. The installation of the room heater and controls would take around 45 minutes and use the existing heater circuits keeping disruption to a minimum. The flats hot water calorifier would also have new controls, again using the existing embedded wiring. Once complete all of the controls are connected to a central hub allowing the management team to control the rooms and calorifier individually. The clever part of the system is its ability to communicate by utilising the existing mains wiring in a technique called power line transition thus removing the need to install data caballing to each room. Put simply the system creates a visible “building management system” that allows the university for the first time to take full control of their building and their utility cost. Work started on Crescent and its sister block Warneford in June 2014 and was completed by the end of August 2014. The Prefect Controls team completed the handover of both sites with an in-depth training session for both management and maintenance teams on the newly installed Prefectirus central control system since then Prefect have remained in contact to help maximize the systems potential and further reduce energy bills.