Ground source review: South Western Housing Society, Tuckers Close.

An off-gas grid new build development of 12 affordable homes featuring individual Kensa Shoebox heat pumps connected to Shared Ground Loop Arrays.



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Ground Source Review: South Western Housing Society, Tuckers Close

A development of 12 affordable homes in a quiet Somerset village has achieved South Western Housing Society’s ambition to help families stay connected to their local area, quite literally.

The mixed development of 1-bedroom flats and 3 and 2-bedroom semi-detached houses and bungalows, features individual Shoebox ground source heat pumps inside each home, connected by a Shared Ground Loop Array (SGLA) featuring boreholes drilled to a depth of up to 138m. The Shared Ground Loop Array delivers ambient temperature heat energy to each home, with the Shoebox heat pump then upgrading this to a higher temperature to provide the homeowner with low-cost, zero emission energy, and complete heating independence.

Kensa Contracting worked with builders EG Carter to deliver the project, which was officially unveiled on the 13th September 2018, and met with enthusiasm from the local community for its contribution to much-needed local, affordable, energy-efficient housing.

Donna Johnson, Chief Executive of South Western Housing Society, explains:

South Western Housing Society is very proud of its new development in Mark, which is an example of our approach to working in partnership with organisations to achieve the common goal of providing more housing for those in need in local communities.

Our commitment to providing good quality, high performing homes is one of the golden threads that runs through our business. It is testament to the project teams open relationship that we have been able to deliver these affordable homes and help families stay connected to their local area.

The SGLA configuration allows South Western Housing Society to offset the ground source heat pump costs via income through the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

The houses on the development in Mark are clustered into groups of two, connected by one borehole. The four flats are connected to one borehole, also, equating to five Shared Ground Loop Arrays on the site in total.

The Shared Ground Loop Array offers further advantage in the flats, where due to the ambient temperature (-5°C to 20°C) circulating the flats risers and corridors, there is no contribution to potential overheating; a common issue with traditional heat networks which circulate heat at temperatures of 65°C to 85°C

With a ground source heat pump installed inside each property, this provides the local homeowners complete control over their own energy use, and their own electricity bill; running costs savings of 48.4% are expected compared to the alternative of LPG in the off-gas grid area.

By choosing to install a non-combustion heat source in the form of ground source heat pumps, as opposed to LPG or gas, over the systems 40 year lifetime the development in Mark is expected to have prevented the equivalent of over 132kg of harmful local NOx emissions, and 539 tonnes of CO2, with a SAP rating of 87-90B.

Each property’s heating system features radiators with a programmer, thermostat and TRVs and 150l water cylinders, and heating controls.

Colin Powell, Director at gcp Chartered Architects explains:

gcp have developed a number of low energy and low carbon housing projects that utilise ground source heat pumps as an effective way to substantially reduce carbon emissions and meet planning requirements for sustainable new homes. We feel that Kensa’s GSHP solution offers clients an easy to use, low maintenance technology, that helps to deliver affordable homes for the future.

Paul Davies, Senior Surveyor at developers of Tuckers Close, E G Carter & Co Ltd, says:

E G Carter & Co Ltd are extremely proud to have completed this new build development with South Western Housing Society and Sedgemoor District Council, in what has been a fantastic advertisement for collaborative working to deliver these beautiful new homes to the village of Mark.

The new homes are excellent examples of great design and the embodiment of modern technology to ensure they sit well with the local character and tradition. The properties include ground source heat pumps, that will provide both heating and hot water from a sustainable source, which the occupier and the society will benefit from long term with reduced energy bills and happy tenants.

Kensa Contracting were involved from an early stage to advise on initial feasibility, viability, technical matters and costings including the vital Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. This included various meetings and presentations to the client and project team to ensure that all were familiar and comfortable with the system proposals. Kensa continued to offer an excellent service throughout the build programme including the onsite borehole installations and ensuring that the Shoebox heat pumps were correctly installed and commissioned by our plumbing and electrical contractors.

E G Carter & Co Ltd certainly look forward to the opportunity of working with Kensa Heat Pumps again in the future.

David Broom of Kensa Contracting says:

Tuckers Close is a fantastic example of how GSHP’s can be used in new build development to provide the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. The tenants receive comfortable, controllable heating at a cost lower than mains gas, despite being in an off gas area. The developer provides a building that, thanks to the efficiency of the heat pump, provides a low carbon solution, which meets the planning sustainability requirement by delivering over 20% on site renewables, and the client has a reliable, low lifetime cost heating solution, which is simple to operate and maintain, as well as a 20 year income stream in the form of the RHI which more than covers the capital cost of the installation.

Key Facts

  • 12 affordable homes
  • New builds
  • 3kW Shoebox heat pumps
  • Shared Ground Loop Arrays
  • Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

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