Abergeldie Road, Ballater

Ground source review: Abergeldie Road, Ballater

When Grampian Housing Association converted a listed former school building and schoolhouse on Abergeldie Road into 24 new, affordable homes, they opted to future-proof the properties by installing low carbon ground source heat pumps from Kensa.

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Ground source review: Abergeldie Road, Ballater


Project Summary

Build specifications:

Between 2019-2020, Grampian Housing Association undertook a project to convert the school building on Abergeldie Road – which dates back to 1877 – into 10 homes; renovation of the derelict schoolhouses to form two further homes; as well as a new build house in the schoolyard. In addition, two new properties were built on the site, housing three and eight flats respectively. The result was 24 affordable homes for the local community. The development was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in 2021.

Grampian Housing said:

“Built at the former school site in Ballater and combining retention of old buildings with modern new builds, this rural regeneration project benefits the local community by providing affordable housing in an area where there is huge demand.”

Ground source installation

In an effort to ensure building regulations were met and the carbon footprint of the new development was mitigated, as well as future-proofing the properties from a reliance on fossil fuels, Grampian Housing Association decided on ground source heat pumps from Kensa to provide heating and hot water to the new properties.

Ground source heat pumps currently provide the lowest carbon heat and further reductions in the planned carbon intensity of electricity generation mean further savings are expected. Kensa’s small and compact Shoebox heat pumps, along with a hot water cylinder were installed inside each property. As each property has its own ground source heat pump installed, tenants are fully in control of their own heating and hot water and free to switch energy providers as they wish.

The heat pumps extract energy from 10 boreholes vertically drilled into the surrounding area, connected to a Shared Ground Loop Array system that will provide 100% of the space heating domestic hot water of the development for the next 100 years. The ground array was designed and installed by Kensa Contracting who also supplied the Kensa Shoebox Heat Pumps and the Heat Pump Compatible Hot Water Cylinders for each property.

This technology will save 90% of carbon emissions compared to a mains gas boiler and maintain affordable running costs for the residents at Abergeldie Road. Over the next 100 years, the servicing and maintenance costs will remain minimal for the housing association offering a low cost, low carbon and no regret heating solution to the community at Abergeldie Road.

Key Facts

  • Grampian Housing Association
  • Principle contractor: Gordon Mitchell Contractors
  • 13x 3kW Kensa Shoebox Heat Pumps and 11x 6kW Kensa Shoebox Heat Pumps
  • 10 boreholes drilled to depths of 100-140 metres
  • Granite found at 48 metres of depth