A futuristic village hall has been built in the village of Marthall, Cheshire with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and not-for-profit organisation, WREN, secured thanks to the building’s green credentials and futuristic design.
The new building, which was completed in November 2009, has been built with the most efficient renewable energy systems available on the market today and will satisfy all the village hall heating and hot water requirements.
The modern, futuristic building, which will provide a warm and comfortable community centre for the people of Marthall and the surrounding communities, replaces the previous timber structure which was in poor condition and very energy inefficient.
Environmentally friendly systems
The village hall benefits from ground source heating, energy efficient lighting and an insulating ‘living’ sedum roof. The ground source heat pump (GSHP) system, designed and installed by TD Eco Energy in conjunction with its sister company, T D Heating and Pipework Ltd, ensures energy is optimised and energy losses are minimised.
The GSHP works by extracting geothermal energy stored in the ground via a length of closed pipe work, containing a brine-based solution. For the Marthall project the pipe work is contained in two 60m bore hole drilled on site.
The average ground temperature is between 8 and 12 degrees and remains fairly constant throughout the year. The brine solution in the pipes is at a very low temperature and absorbs the heat from the surrounding ground. A highly efficient 12kw ground source heat pump extracts the heat from the solution by means of heat exchangers and a compressor.
GSHP systems are most efficient when used in conjunction with underfloor heating and a twin under floor heating system was designed for the hall which provides heat to the specific area of the building which is in use.
A holistic approach
When designing the energy efficient systems for the building, TD Eco Energy was keen to provide an integrated solution. In addition to the GSHP, the building and the users have benefitted from a rainwater harvesting system that allows water to be collected and used for the toilets, saving “fresh water”
The building also has an unusual and highly efficient roof material consisting of a living sedum roof which acts as a very effective insulator.
Marthall Village Hall was one of a significant number of community hall projects that applied for lottery funding. In awarding the grant, the Big Lottery Fund said that they did not want to see ‘white elephant’ village halls being built. The hall’s green credentials played a significant part in the decision to approve the grant funding for the futuristic project. WREN was happy to support the scheme for its use of ground source energy and its eco friendly roof.
The combination of a highly efficient GSHP with a zoned under floor heating system and a roof covering of insulating sedum provides the residents of Marthall and Ollerton with an energy efficient green building that achieves the financial savings required for all community project but provides a comfortable meeting environment for the local residents.
There’s more to The Mere at Ellesmere, Shropshire’s largest mere, than meets the eye. Thanks to innovative new green technology the mere itself is now providing all the heating and hot water requirements for the attraction’s restaurant and visitor centre.
The heat is being provided following the installation of the latest water source heat technology where latent energy contained in the water is harnessed and converted into clean, green, ‘free’ energy.
Converting the Earth’s heat into power
TD Eco Energy, in conjunction with its sister company TD Heating & Pipework and Solar Twin, has installed a water source heat pump system which consists of a 92 KW water source heat pump, a 300 litre hot water cylinder and a 90 mm open loop pipe installation.
The system works by drawing filtered water from the mere through the open loop pipe work. , The latent heat in the water is then extracted by means of heat exchangers and a compressor contained in a heat pump unit which is located on dry land – actually in the roof space above the restaurant area. The energy produced by the unit is then used to heat the visitor centre and tourist information centre and provide hot water.
The heat pumps are powered by electricity and for every KW of energy they use the pumps can produce up to 4.0kw of heat, giving potentially 3.0kw of ‘free heat’ making them 300% efficient.
The system has low maintenance costs and unlike oil and gas produces around 50% less CO2 than conventional system.
TD Eco Energy has also installed a solar panel on the roof of the visitor centre and this will provide the majority of the centre’s hot water during the summer months.
Russs Brighouse of TD Eco Energy said: “The water source system we have installed at The Mere, Ellesmere has minimal running costs, is largely maintenance free and produces around 50% less CO2 than a conventional heating system.
“This pioneering technology provides a cost-effective and environmentally sound solution for a wide range of buildings and the team at The Mere should be proud to be one of the groups leading the way.”
Following the installation of a large scale renewable energy system by TD Eco Energy, Wulvern Housing is able to offer residents at their Nantwich development, The Gateway, in Cheshire significantly reduced energy bills and a greener lifestyle.
The reductions are being achieved at the development of 49 apartments following the installation of a state-of-the-art ground source heat pump (GSHP) system that is harnessing geothermal energy and delivering all of the residents’ heating and hot water requirements.
Harnessing geothermal energy
The development in Nantwich is made up of Weaver House, a privately owned block of 23 apartments and Wheelock House, a block of 26 apartments, 16 of which are managed by Wulvern Housing. All apartments comply with the code for Sustainable Homes Level 3.
The GSHP works by extracting energy stored in the ground via a length of closed pipe work, containing a brine-based solution. The pipe work is buried in the ground either in shallow trenches or, as is the case in Nantwich, suspended in a series of small diameter bore holes up to 80 metres deep.
The average ground temperature is between 8 and 12 degrees and remains fairly constant throughout the year. The brine solution in the pipes is at a very low temperature and absorbs the heat from the surrounding ground. The heat is then extracted from the solution by means of heat exchangers and a compressor contained in a ‘fridge sized’ unit located in each apartment. The energy produced by the unit is then used to feed the underfloor central heating system and domestic hot water. Each resident has control of their own environment through individual programming facilities.p>The heat pumps are powered by electricity and for every KW of energy they use the pumps can produce up to 4.0kw of heat, giving potentially 3.0kw of ‘free heat’ making them 300% efficient.
An added benefit of GSHPs is that the maintenance and servicing requirements for the units are lower than a commercial boiler and the life of the units far exceeds the current life expectancy of existing units.
Nick Powell, Wulvern Housing’s Development Manager said: “Wulvern Housing are always looking for opportunities to improve the efficiency of their properties and to provide the most effective and comfortable living environment for their residents. The Gateway project, involving the installation of individual ground source heat pumps in each apartment supplied by energy from a series of bore holes, reflects the association’s intent. Renewable, green energy systems are moving Wulvern Housing towards future Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and ensures our residents incur lower energy bills and reduces CO2.”
GSHPs have previously been utilised for individual or small groups of properties. The Barony Road project is a significant step, both in the size and complexity of the scheme.
Russ Brighouse of TD Eco Energy says: “Developers must start looking at more cost effective energy sources and we see the installation of ground source heat pumps at The Gateway as a first step towards meeting the expectations of a new breed of environmentally conscious client who, in turn, is looking to meet the demands of increasingly ‘green’ consumers.
“It is my belief that we will see properties being taxed on energy efficiency by the Government, just as we have seen with cars in recent years. When this becomes a reality Wulvern Housing’s residents will make even greater savings.”
The need for additional residential and office space provided an opportunity for the major refurbishment of existing commercial premises in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Following extensive structural work, the former garage and workshop was transformed in to an energy efficient, ‘green’ three bedroom property, complete with an office for a client’s turfing supply business.
With ever increasing energy costs the businessman was keen to incorporate energy saving systems into the new building – little did he know that the latest ground source heat technology would heat the building and provide hot water with virtually no running costs.
TD Eco Energy, in conjunction with its sister companies, TD Mechanical & Electrical Ltd and Brighouse Contractors, designed a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system for the property, one of the most efficient renewable energy systems.
The GSHP system works by extracting energy stored in the ground via a length of closed pipe work, containing a brine-based solution. The pipe work is buried in the ground either in shallow trenches or, as is the case for this project, suspended in two small diameter 60 metres bore holes and then buried in 1.8m trenches running from the orchard (the site of the boreholes) to the property.
The average ground temperature is between 8 and 12 degrees and remains fairly constant throughout the year. The brine solution in the pipes is at a very low temperature and absorbs the heat from the surrounding ground. The heat is then extracted from the solution by means of heat exchangers and a compressor contained in an 8kw ground source heat pump. The energy produced by the unit is then used to feed the underfloor central heating system and domestic hot water.
The heat pump is powered by electricity and for every KW of energy it uses the pump can produce up to 4.0kw of heat, giving potentially 3.0kw of ‘free heat’ making them 300% efficient. There is also a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.
The boreholes for the pipework were drilled using compressed air from a combination of a boring rig and a mobile drilling unit. Minimal damage to the existing land was achieved by ensuring all vehicles operated on a pre-laid vehicle mat.
The 8kw heat pump and cylinder is situated on the main office area feeding the ground and first floor under floor heating systems. The combination of the ground source heat pump and under floor heating provides the most efficient way of dissipating the heat from the lower temperature provided by the heat pump.
(under floor system image – use a section of Nantwich image -
Image: Barony Road 3rd floor underfloor)
The installation of a ground source heating system at this property in Wilmslow demonstrates that these systems, originally only used for larger scale projects, do work in for smaller scale projects where space to run the all-important ‘collector pipework’ is tight.
An added benefit of ground source heat pumps is that the maintenance and servicing requirements for the units are lower than a commercial boiler and the life of the units far exceeds the current life expectancy of existing units.
The super efficiency of the ground source heat system, particularly when combined with an underfloor heating system, means that heating bills will be negligible for owners of this property.