Bristol leading the way with home heating of the future

Our new build team has started work on an exciting housing development that will see up to 140 new homes, 40% of which will be affordable homes, on the Ashton Vale site in south Bristol, also known as Alderman Moore.

The housing development project being built by developer, Willmott Dixon, involves Bristol City Council building and selling private homes in order to fund social housing.

The project is Phase 3 of the council’s New Build Housing Programme to increase the supply of new homes in the city and tackle the city’s housing crisis.

The industry-leading development demonstrates how low carbon heating solutions, such as ground source heat pumps, can be used at scale as an alternative to mains gas. It paves the way for house builders to transition to zero carbon, in line with the government’s proposed Future Homes Standard, which is set to mandate that gas boilers can no longer be fitted in new build homes from 2025.

Ground source heat pumps have been specified for the Ashton Rise project. A shared ground loop of 36 vertical boreholes are being drilled up to 170m deep, to collect low-grade stored heat energy from underground. Pipework will feed this energy into individual heat pumps within each property, which upgrade the heat energy to temperatures high enough to provide 100% of the heating and hot water for each home.

The ground source heat pump technology will ensure homeowners receive equivalent performance to a gas boiler, but with extremely low carbon dioxide emissions, up to 70% less than gas, with zero local nitrogen oxide and sulphur emissions.

Gregor Heating is working alongside Kensa Contracting, who are responsible for the ground array infrastructure at the site, to install the ground source heat pumps and hot water cylinders. The Gregor team is also responsible for installation of the new plumbing system for the entire site.

“It is an exciting time for the industry”, said Craig Jeffaries, Gregor Heating’s director. “This is the start of the Bristol City Council’s commitment to using renewable heat in new homes and it’s great to see Bristol leading the way in using technology that seeks to reduce carbon footprint and save money on energy bills.”

David Broom, Kensa Contracting Commercial Director, added, “By installing ground source heat pumps in new homes, Bristol City Council is creating a pathway to zero carbon  in line with the ambitious targets for the city. Projects such as Ashton Rise that take advantage of shared ground loop array system architecture demonstrate the ability to deliver this practically as well as the benefits and scalability of the technology.”

Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, recently commented on the council website: “Building homes remains a top priority for us. We are not just building houses, we are trying to build quality homes and create communities where people can thrive.”

Completion is expected in Spring 2021.