Off-grid housing development heats up with Nibe

Off-grid housing development heats up with Nibe

A new-build housing development in Dumfries, Scotland is now benefiting from reliable, renewable district heating – thanks to the installation of a large-scale Nibe ground source heat pump. The system is providing central space heating for each of the site’s five new purpose-built supported-housing properties, as well as a dedicated staff base.

The Hallam House development in Beeswing has been supported by joint funding from the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme and Dumfries & Galloway Council, as well as private finance secured by the housing association, Loreburn Housing. The local authority’s contribution of £25,000 was awarded specifically for energy efficiency measures, with £5,000 available for each of the development’s five one-bedroom homes.

A consultation by Scottish efficiency advice organisation, The Energy Agency, identified a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system as the best solution for Hallam House: harnessing geothermal heat from boreholes on the site to meet residents’ space heating needs.

Following an initial design by the appointed M&E engineer, local renewables specialist CoolHeat was brought on board to specify a full GSHP system. This needed to work in partnership with the homes’ water-based underfloor heating to ensure consistent space heating, and also offer straightforward operation and controls. As a Nibe VIP Installer, Stephen Thomson, Director at CoolHeat, had extensive experience working with the company’s products, and recommended a 24kW Nibe F1345 GSHP unit to provide space heating for the development.

Stephen commented: “The homes and staff building at Hallam House have all been built to a high standard of insulation and heat-loss protection. This, matched with underfloor heating throughout, makes them the ideal development for a central ground source heat pump system. Having worked with Nibe products for more than eight years, I knew the F1345 model would be perfect for the job. It’s not only specifically designed for use in larger applications like this one, but it also offers industry-leading efficiency – reducing running costs and carbon footprints for the whole development.”

CoolHeat sited the heat pump unit in a purpose-built plant room at the rear of the development, and used underground pipework to connect it to a heat station, which feeds into the underfloor heating. The GSHP system is now meeting 100% of Hallam House’s annual space heating demand.

Stephen continued: “The system is performing brilliantly, and everyone at Hallam House is very happy with it. Each room has its own thermostat, which works with the GSHP to ensure comfortable temperatures for the permanent residents, and minimal hassle when it comes to programming.

“From our side, the system was easy to install – and because we’re part of the NIBE VIP Installer scheme, it’s covered by an extended seven-year warranty. It’s also eligible for ongoing payments under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which makes it an even smarter long-term investment for the housing association.”

Robin Adderley, Sales and Marketing Director at Nibe, concluded: “The Hallam House development at Beeswing is a great example of the benefits of integrating well-designed renewable heating systems into new-build housing. Developers across the board are facing increasing pressure to balance high heat demands with stringent efficiency standards, and that’s exactly what Loreburn Housing has done here.”

NIBE’s MCS-accredited F1345 GSHPs can operate using ground, rock or lake as a heat source, and perform at a SCOP of up to 4.8. When specified as part of a complete NIBE system they have a package rating of A+++ under ErP energy labelling criteria.

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