A clever solution

The Hycleen Automation System is suitable for new buildings such as the senior and care center Senevita Mülibach (Switzerland). Source renderings: Senevita AG

When drinking water is set at the wrong temperature and does not circulate enough in the piping, bacteria reproduce particularly fast. The Hycleen Automation System from GF Piping Systems was developed for exactly this type of situation, and ensures perfect drinking water quality in hospitals, retirement homes or schools.

“A very important preventive measure against contamination”

Yannik Waeber from Basler & Hofmann West AG in Zollikofen (Switzerland) is responsible for planning the building technology being installed in the new Senevita Mülibach senior and care center.

Mr. Waeber, what were the key factors involved in planning sanitary engineering in the Mülibach project?
As it is going to be used as a retirement and nursing home, we focused on drinking water hygiene right from the start of the planning phase. One of the key preventive measures for combating the formation of legionella germs for us is guaranteeing a specific temperature in the hot water supply. Our aim is to keep the temperature constant within the range recommended by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.

Why do you appreciate the Hycleen Automation System and what are your expectations of it?
The Hycleen Automation System is an important resource for constantly maintaining the temperature of hot water at a specified level. With the temperature measurements in the circulation controllers and the ability to record the measurement data, the hot water temperatures can also be monitored over longer periods of time and in various operating states.

What was it like working with GF?
I was very happy with the help we received during the project planning phase. Since the Hycleen Automation System is a new product and we had no experience with it, the GF technicians provided us with professional advice and support.

Arnaud Andreolli, Product Manager for the building technology segment at GF Piping Systems in Sissach (Switzerland), knows the dangers of bacterial contamination in drinking water very well: “Especially elderly people or people with a weak immune system can get more easily infected with legionella and develop illnesses such as severe pneumonia.” Owners or managers of hospitals or large public facilities in countries with particularly strict regulations, for example in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, have therefore increasingly been inquiring about sustainable solutions that ensure safe water supply, reports Andreolli.

Lower energy consumption

GF Piping Systems responded to this demand and developed the Hycleen Automation System in 2018 – the first solution of its kind worldwide. Based on a four-stage concept, it sustainably reduces bacteria levels in drinking water for single-family houses and residential buildings as well as retirement homes, schools and hospitals. By circulating the water and creating a permanent hydraulic balance across all the pipes, the system ensures a constant high temperature of over 55°C and consequently a virtually sterile environment. This can systematically prevent any excessive formation of legionella bacteria, for which the ideal growth conditions are between 25°C and 50°C. The Hycleen Automation System only allows as much hot water to circulate in the pipes as necessary and in so doing prevents the loss of warmth and energy that would have been necessary to reheat the water. This enables owners or managers of large houses and buildings with multiple connections to save up to 15% in energy consumption.

Ideal for existing and new buildings

In February 2018, the Hycleen Automation System was put into operation for the first time at a customer’s premises – in the Erlabrunn clinical center in Germany’s Ore Mountains region. Senevita Mülibach, a senior and care center located 15 kilometers northwest of Zurich (Switzerland), demonstrates that the Hycleen Automation System is not only suitable for existing buildings but also for new buildings. Following the completion of the construction work and its inauguration in September 2019, the striking, elliptical building will offer living space for up to 109 senior citizens and people in need of nursing care. 81 nursing rooms and 18 apartments for the elderly with roof gardens, administration offices and infrastructure rooms distributed over four floors provide for an environment that is a pleasure to live in and meets all requirements.

Yannik Waeber from the engineering firm Basler & Hofmann West AG based in Zollikofen (Switzerland) was commissioned by the client Senevita to lead the technical planning of the building technology in the Mülibach center. He was aware right from the start of the planning phase that special measures were needed for older people in the new residential and care center, i.e. to control the water temperature and prevent germs from building up in the hot water. Yannik Waeber was already familiar with the GF Piping Systems building technology product range, including from a previous renovation of a senior citizens’ home. “During discussions with the Swiss sales company of GF Piping Systems, I was made aware of the Hycleen Automation System that had just been launched on the market at the beginning of 2018,” recalls Waeber. “It was well suited to our needs because the circulation system with automatic adjustment capabilities ensures the best hygienic conditions in the long term and reduces the risk of germs forming.”

It took only two weeks for the system to be delivered after being ordered, and the technician had assembled and connected the Hycleen Automation System within a few days after this – which involved a total of 260 meters of cable, 19 adapters, 18 valves and 1 system master with control screen. As with the Erlabrunn clinical center, the installation in Mülibach was quick and uncomplicated. The extent to which the Hycleen Automation System can reduce energy costs for water heating will become apparent after the first year of operation. Yannik Waeber and the center operator Senevita are hoping for considerable savings.

“The Hycleen Automation System is exceeding the expectations of our customers.”

Arnaud Andreolli Product Manager at GF Piping Systems

Arnaud Andreolli is Product Manager for the building technology segment at GF Piping Systems in Sissach (Switzerland).

Senevita Mülibach is a senior and care center located 15 kilometers northwest of Zurich (Switzerland). 

Yannik Waeber was commissioned by Senevita to lead the technical planning of the building technology in the Mülibach center.

The Hycleen Automation System ensures optimum hygienic conditions in the long term due to the circulation system with automatic adjustment capabilities.

Yannik Waeber: “Due to Hycleen we are hoping for considerable savings in energy costs.”

Tapping into new markets

Product Manager Arnaud Andreolli is satisfied with the current level of demand being shown for the Hycleen Automation System. “By the end of 2018, we will have installed the system in 33 buildings – with many more orders in the pipeline.” He concludes that the Hycleen Automation System is even exceeding expectations at the moment. “The feedback collected by our sales companies has shown that customers recognize and appreciate the added value provided by GF’s Hycleen.”

In addition to Germany and Turkey, the division also has plans to expand into the markets of Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, India and the USA.

Low effort, big impact

The energy-conscious Hycleen Automation System from the Hycleen product range ensures improved hygiene standards for drinking water in public and private buildings. A unique system master with a control screen and easy-to-operate software manages up to 50 connected valves, sensors and applications.

Improved hygiene standards for drinking water in four steps

The Hycleen Automation System covers the four processes for ensuring drinking water quality: prevention, monitoring, intervention and risk assessment.

Prevention: targeted preventive measures can make a difference to the quality of drinking water. Alongside ensuring the water is at the right temperature, these measures also include maintaining a constant hydraulic balance and regular flushing.

Monitoring: this refers to taking the existing drinking water quality as well as the type of building into consideration. Seamless temperature monitoring is just as important as the storing and documenting of measurements.

Intervention: an intervention should only be carried out as the last resort in ensuring high-quality drinking water. Some methods of intervention include thermal or chemical disinfection.

Risk assessment: risk assessment is particularly important for larger projects. The wide range of data that can be obtained using the Hycleen system is a major help in assessing the condition of the drinking water and in recognizing risks.

Hycleen Automation System from GF Piping Systems