Heating a village development from the ground up

Ground-source heat pumps have been integrated into a development of 12 new homes in a Somerset village in order to offer the local community not only lower cost housing but also lower utility bills.
Heating a village development from the ground up Heating a village development from the ground up Heating a village development from the ground up Heating a village development from the ground up Heating a village development from the ground up

South Western Housing Society, Shoebox heat pump

Duncan Moore


Duncan Moore

The latest ground-source heat pump install project undertaken by Kensa has seen the company installing its Shoebox ground-source heat pumps in Tuckers Park, a new affordable housing project in Mark, a village in Somerset, England.

Officially opened in mid-September 2018, the mixed development of one-bedroom flats and two and three-bedroom semi-detached houses and bungalows has been designed and built for South Western Housing Society to provide affordable, energy-efficient housing for the local community.

Donna Johnson, chief executive of South Western Housing Society, explained: "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."

The developer of the homes in Mark took the brief to connect local families to the local area quite literally, employing the services of Cornish ground-source heat pump manufacturer, Kensa Heat Pumps, and its delivery partner Kensa Contracting, to utilise the freely-occurring heat available in the ground as a source for guaranteed heat and hot water to the new properties.

Each dwelling at Tuckers Park features a Kensa Shoebox ground-source heat pump, which is connected to a shared ground loop array (SGLA); a system consisting of a 100-120m deep borehole connected to clusters of typically two properties.

The SGLA configuration allows South Western Housing Society to offset the ground-source heat pump costs via income through the UK government's Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The design of the project also gives the homes' residents heating independence, with control over their own energy use, and their own electricity bills; running costs savings of 48.4 per cent 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 an SAP rating of 87-90B.

Colin Powell, director at gcp Chartered Architects, which was involved with the design of the development for South Western Housing Society, explained: "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."

"Tuckers Park is a fantastic example of how GSHPs can be used in new build development to provide the best possible outcome for all stakeholders," added David Broom of Kensa Contracting. "The tenants receive comfortable, controllable heating at a cost lower than mains gas, despite being in an off-gas area. The developer provide buildings that, thanks to the efficiency of the heat pumps, provide a low carbon solution, which meets the planning sustainability requirement by delivering over 20 per cent 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."


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