Glen Acres Park Estate rising

Glen Acres Park Estate rising

By Rory Macnamara | All images ©Plumbing Africa | Rory Macnamara

Nestled in the woodland area of Glen Austin in Midrand is the Glen Acres Park Estate consisting of 12- and 16-unit blocks and still more under construction.

Each block is made up of one, two and three units with suitable bathrooms to fit the unit configuration for example the three bedroom has a full bathroom en suite, and a separate bathroom with shower.

The project is undertaken by Wisemen Construction and when complete the project will consist of 357 units. Essentially for sale, however, the previous contractor did allow rentals.

The MD teamThe MD Air-con team. From left: Loui, Shylock, Emanual, Elias, Lucky, Collen and Mandla.

In keeping with the energy saving requirements of SANS 10400-XA which require energy usage to consist of 50% alternative sources the developer choose the MD Air Water Heating system. This system is an innovative approach to integrated water heating which works on a patented design which heats water directly in the geyser enabling substantial energy savings and a reduction in the electricity bill.

The system is known as ‘thermal heating’: with 20mm pipe run without up sizing the heat pump, no electrolysis or circulating pumps and has the ability to function in harsh climates. It is offered as a stand-alone and is available for commercial use.

In Phase one of Glen Acres a 200ℓ/5.2kw was installed and has been operating for two years without a problem. For the newer and future units, 150ℓ/3.5kw will be installed.

Derick Gomez is a local manufacturer and his company, MD A/C and Refrigeration, has been in existence for ten years. Gomez himself has been in the industry for 22 years, having qualified at the Open Trades Training Centre (OTTC) and operates from Germiston. He trains his own team from scratch to his own exacting standards, which empowers them with skills.

“In Phase one of Glen Acres a 200ℓ/5.2kw was installed and has been operating for two years without a problem.”

Whilst Derick essentially uses an established geyser manufacturer’s product, he fundamentally changes the element in the geyser, thus the manufacturer’s warranty falls away – and he takes full responsibility and honours the full warranty.

Appreciating that COP can be provided under lab conditions rather than actual conditions MD independently with another property developer, conducted a real time test over a period of 62 days for power usage and water consumption per month, applying an average of 3.5kw elements. The result was a pleasing *62% saving on running costs in comparison to a traditional hot water storage unit.
Unique to the system is the use of refrigerant in a heat exchanger directly in tank or storage vessel as opposed to pumping the water from heat source and back to storage.

On the plumbing side, we chatted with the plumber, David, and he found no unusual aspects of the plumbing particularly as all aspect and the compulsory standards were followed according to SANS 10400 P, SANS 10254 1&2, and fittings were all according to the standards.

He did comment that because the complex was spacious and the service ducts large, the plumbing installation was efficient.


  • “I would like to make special mention of the MD RetroPump, a unique water heating system that was procured by us and installed by MD A/C and Refrigeration.
    The product works exactly as described, resulting in a massive saving for our prospective homeowners and tenants. The product in question has also proven to be incredibly reliable with a very low call back rate.” – Jade Construction.
  • “I remember very clearly that the owner, Derick, stated at the time that my electricity bill would “drop by up to 50%”, nice sales pitch I thought. After the fitment was done, I watched my utility bill with an eagle eye, and four months later I could clearly see the reduction. It was true I have saved 50%. My electricity bill used to be around R500pm, and it is now R250 – R300pm, multiply that by 36 months – it has paid for the unit already!” – Private owner.

*test conducted at 1 753m above sea level with an ambient temperature of 21°C and starting water temperature of 16°C. 

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