Blackburn renewable heating project wins national award

by Francesca

A GROUNDBREAKING project to modernise three blocks of flats in Blackburn has scooped a national award.

The innovative work to replace outdated heating systems with energy efficient and environmentally friendly ground source heat pumps at Daisyfield Towers in the town has achieved national recognition.

The project, led by Together Housing and Kensa Contracting, impressed judges at the Heating & Ventilation News Awards to win the District Heating Project of the Year prize. It was also Highly Commended in the Heat Pump Project of the Year category.

Replacing Daisyfield’s 183 old gas boilers with ground source heat pumps is expected to save 6,556 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years – the equivalent of taking 1,413 cars off the road for a whole year or 283,781 bags of waste being recycled instead of landfilled.*

It is also expected to help tackle fuel poverty in the area, with residents directly benefitting from their new energy efficient systems being more affordable to run, and less affected by the fluctuating price of wholesale gas.

The work is part of Together Housing’s plans to retrofit thousands of homes across the region in a move towards embracing renewable energy.

The organisation intends to invest £120m in green energy projects across its 37,000 homes, moving fully away from fossil fuels by 2035. So far, it has completed more than 3,000 renewable energy projects as it looks to halve its operational carbon impact by 2030.

Patrick Berry, Director of Together Net Zero, said: “This has been a challenging and complex project combining a lot of retrofitting work, but one that we’re really proud of. It will make a huge difference to people’s lives, and we thank our residents for their patience while the work was carried out.”

Compact and space-saving Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps were installed inside each individual property in Daisyfield Towers, linked to a radiator system and a hot water cylinder.

A shared ground loop array of boreholes was drilled underneath the green spaces and car parks adjacent to the tower blocks to extract natural heat energy stored underground. The small but powerful Shoebox heat pumps upgrade the heat for use within each flat whenever it is needed.

The innovative project trialled deeper than average boreholes of up to 300 meters, which meant that less boreholes were needed in total, and the installation was more cost effective to complete.

Iain Carr, Director of Domestic Sales for Kensa Contracting, said: “Kensa Contracting has pioneered the use of ground source heat pumps in social housing, which significantly reduce carbon emissions and household heating bills.

“This innovative project has been a true partnership of client and contractor working to achieve a shared goal of decarbonisation, reducing fuel poverty, and providing affordable comfortable homes, through the adoption of British-manufactured renewable technology.”

The system installed at Daisyfield Towers has been viewed as best practice by many stakeholders, with more than a hundred officials having visited the site since its completion.

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