January 2016: CIBSE Journal case study on on how “Camden’s Agar Grove estate is to become the UK’s biggest residential Passivhaus project. Max Fordham’s Bertie Dixon describes the challenges of building an 18-storey tower to the standard, and explains why the council is committed to the low energy code
The redevelopment of the Agar Grove estate, in Camden, is not only expected to be the biggest residential Passivhaus development in the UK. It is also highly challenging for the designers involved.
As well as having an 18-storey Passivhaus residential tower on a tight inner-city site, the development is subject to environmental planning requirements that are not always compatible with Passivhaus principles. For example, heat networks might appear to be a prerequisite for large housing schemes in London, which means incorporating a network of heating pipes. The heat loss from the pipework introduces an increase in annual ‘primary energy demand’,I which is limited in the Passivhaus standard, so the project team had to work hard to come up with an ultra low-loss network design.” Read the full case study here.
Camden already has two other developments that meet the passivhaus standard – Loudoun Road and Alexandra Road,
27 January 2016: “District heating as heterotopia: Tracing the social contract through domestic energy infrastructure in Pimlico, London” – new research paper published in the latest issue of the journal Economic Anthropology (PDF here). A presentation on the paper can be seen here.
20 January 2016: Citizens Advice research just published District Heating Networks: analysis of information request which found:
“There are an estimated 2,000 heat networks in the UK and with district heating schemes having been identified as one of the key technologies to decarbonise the heat we use in our homes and businesses this is set to increase.
At present there is very little available data on these existing district heating schemes making it difficult to assess how well they work in practice or whether they offer good value for their customers. There are many unanswered questions when it comes to the use of district heating for residential properties and without a central database of publicly accessible information questions about its applicability and affordability will remain.
Through the process of conducting this information request Citizens Advice has found the availability of information patchy at best and the fact that Local Authorities, through no fault of their own, don’t have sight of these systems is concerning.”
8 January 2016: The Islington Tribune reports that “Building work on a groundbreaking £6.2million energy scheme which will see waste heat from the Northern tube line piped into homes will start this month. As first revealed in the Tribune last year, the project – the first of its kind in Europe – will harness heat from the underground and help keep energy bills in 500 council homes on the King Square estate in Finsbury up to 10 per cent cheaper.”
“This month, work will start on a new, four-storey energy centre at the junction of Moreland Street and City Road, on the east side of Kestrel House, as the Town Hall extends the Bunhill heating pipe network to capture heat from a tube line ventilation shaft. The underground provides access to natural heat stored within the ground. Both the trains and the nearby electrical sub-station produce waste heat, which will be captured and piped to the combined heat-and-power unit in Central Street.”
Read full story here.