Section: Heating & Energy Efficiency

Design guidance published for heat pumps in high density housing

Posted 27.09.21
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE): Further reading

New guidance on the design and installation of heat pump systems for multi-unit residential buildings has been published by the CIBSE.

The decarbonisation of heating is a key element of UK climate policy. Heat pumps are the most energy-efficient means of heating a building electrically and, with a decarbonising electricity grid, are a widely applicable low-carbon heating solution.

CIBSE Application Manual, AM16: Heat pump installations in multi-unit residential buildings 2021, has been written to enable engineers, architects and contractors to understand how heat pump technology can be best applied on new-build and retrofit applications in high density housing.

The guidance deals with the design and optimisation of multi-unit heat pump systems. It addresses areas of design that are crucial for good heat pump performance, including the importance of sizing a heat pump correctly, mitigating the loss of capacity caused by defrost cycles and the impact of lower domestic hot water temperatures on design.

The manual provides useful information on installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. It also addresses the issue of user guidance for a technology that is very different to traditional fossil fuel heating systems.

In addition, because cost is such a key project driver for residential construction, AM16 includes information on relative capital, energy and maintenance costs.

A series of case studies have been included in the document to showcase the application of heat pumps in both new and existing multi-residential projects.


New report calls for greater collaboration with customers to achieve net zero carbon transformation

Posted 08.09.21
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Further reading

A new report by housing provider Orbit and the CIH puts the customer at the centre of the conversation about how we reach net zero carbon.

It looks at the understanding, attitudes and priorities of social rented households to reaching net zero carbon - as well as examining more widely what matters to them in relation to their environment.

Titled 'Working with customers to make net zero carbon a reality', the report is one of the first in-depth pieces of work of this kind and provides insight that will help the housing sector consider how to shape decarbonisation plans.

Paul Richards, group director of customer and communities at Orbit, commented:

"There are difficult and complex environmental challenges that face us all in accelerating the decarbonisation of UK homes, but to date there has been little consideration of what the impact is for customers.

"Many customers are already struggling with their heating and energy bills, with one in four of our households having gone without heating in the last 12 months to save money.

"Any plan to retrofit properties should and must reflect the daily priorities of lower income households - we don't want to further pressure customers in a position where they must choose between whether to heat or eat as a result of decarbonisation.

"Our research demonstrates that it is essential to build an ongoing rapport with customers on this agenda, and to undertake further work to understand the short and long-term plans and associated costs of moving to net zero carbon, including shaping future policies for energy pricing."

The research also shows that, even though 73% of customers think that climate change is already impacting them, there is a general lack of understanding about the concept of net zero carbon - with 17% having never heard of the term and 40% of those who have, not being clear on what it means.


Low-carbon energy at the heart of funding for heat network projects in England

Posted 07.09.21
GOV.UK: Further reading

The government has announced a new £270 million Green Heat Network Fund, which will only support low-carbon technologies like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy in the roll out of the next generation of heat networks.

Heat networks supply heat to buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for households and workplaces to have individual, energy-intensive heating solutions - such as gas boilers.

At present, there are over 14,000 heat networks in the UK, providing heating and hot water to around 480,000 consumers.

Heat networks have the potential to be a cost-effective way of reducing carbon emissions from heating. They are the only way that larger-scale renewable and recovered heat sources can be utilised - such as the heat from large rivers and urban recovered heat (e.g. from the London Underground).

The previous Heat Networks Investment Project has provided more than £165 million of funding for schemes across England and Wales since 2018.

The successor scheme is set to play a significant role in kick-starting market demand for heat pumps, which will drive down costs for consumers and delivering a mix of low-carbon heating solutions.

With heat in buildings being one of the largest sources of UK carbon emissions, accounting for 21% of the total, there is an urgent need to deliver a mix of low-carbon heating solutions.


This year's International Passivhaus Conference will be a hybrid event

Posted 01.09.21
Passivhaus Trust: Further reading

The Passivhaus Institute's 25th International Passivhaus Conference takes place in Wuppertal, Germany & Online from 10th to 15th of September.

The conference brings together built environment leaders and innovators from all around the world. It provides an opportunity for networking with others in the industry, as well as learning more about the latest Passivhaus developments.

This year's hybrid conference will include:

The above link provides access to an online booking form.


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Reporting on September 2021

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