Case study: Woodcott, Warwickshire

The ground source heat pump heating Alistair Mackintosh’s luxurious modern new-build property is one of Kensa’s largest domestic installations to date.

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Alistair Mackintosh has a created a luxurious new build property in Lowsenford, Warwickshire featuring a 30kW Kensa ground source heat pump providing space heating. Alistair owns a successful business specialising in bespoke interiors made from natural materials. After furnishing other people’s houses for over 40 years, he wanted to work on his own project.

In 2014 Alistair set about designing a magnificent new-build property for a plot of land in Warwickshire with stunning views. He wanted to make the building as contemporary as possible, but had to incorporate some more traditional aspects such as oak frames to ensure that it fitted in with the picturesque surroundings.

Alistair took the plans to an architect who helped him finalise the details of his 6 bedroom 929m² property with a 278m² basement which houses a swimming pool, spa and a home cinema. He has added many bespoke touches, including balconies in every single room, a 45ft high atrium and an enormous glass bridge linking the upper floors of the house. He has also installed lifts to all the floors and widened doorways to accommodate limited mobility.

Alistair wanted a sustainable heating system for the property in order to avoid using large amounts of oil, the only alternative due to the property’s off-gas location. The running cost savings that ground source heat pumps could offer on a property this size made it an economical choice.

Kensa 30KVAKensa provided Alistair with a 30kW three phase twin ground source heat pump to cover all of the space heating for the property. The house has high standards of insulation throughout with marble floors and under-floor heating making it very energy efficient. The ground source heat pump is housed in a specially built plant-room inside the property, with an external chamber containing the manifold.

The ground source heat pump extracts renewable heat energy from the ground using six 50m slinkies buried in trenches under the front garden. Alistair installed the system himself; it was the first time he had done so, however, having worked in the housing industry for years and possessing a good understanding of how a ground source heat pump worked, the installation went very smoothly.

Alistair got support from Kensa’s MCS Umbrella scheme to cover the system design and to ensure that the installation was eligible for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Alistair successfully applied for the RHI scheme which triggered quarterly payments for seven years that more than offsets the costs of the system due the high heat load of the property.

He said:

I think ground source is the future of energy generation and everyone should embrace this technology. We had no issues at all with the installation; it’s very simple really and any competent plumber or electrician could do it. We were happy with Kensa who were very helpful throughout.

I say, if you have the land area for the slinkies and it makes economic sense then it would be lunacy not to do it! The money we get back from the RHI more than offsets the capital costs and it means the property is much more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.

Key Facts

  • 6 bedroom new-build home
  • 929m² property with a 278m² basement
  • 30kW Kensa Three Phase Twin Compressor heat pump
  • 6 x 50m slinky coils buried in trenches under the garden
  • Quarterly payback for 7 years from the RHI