California Meadows, Longhurst Group

Funded Ground Arrays Generate a Greener Future for California Meadows

Longhurst Group are installing ground source heat pumps into their new affordable housing development in Cambridgeshire. The project utilised funding from Kensa Utilities and used Kensa Contracting for the project delivery.

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Kensa Contracting is overseeing the installation of 56 Kensa ground source heat pumps into Longhurst Group’s new affordable housing development, California Meadows in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The leading housing provider secured funded ground arrays from infrastructure asset company, Kensa Utilities, leaving them to pay just for the ground source heat pumps at a price comparable to air source.

The addition of energy-efficient and low-carbon ground source heat pumps helped Longhurst Group achieve carbon compliance, future-proofing the development, and increasing the value and saleability of the properties. The new householders will be able to reap the unique benefits of harnessing underground heat to keep their houses warm, ensure their bills stay low, and achieve energy independence.

System design and specification:

Kensa Contracting managed the project at California Road end to end and was responsible for the design of the GSHP system, the supply and installation of the ground array (i.e. boreholes, header pipework between boreholes, manifolds and the building, supply of heat pumps, supply of hot water cylinders) and then MCS accreditation for the completed system.

The Shoebox is compact enough for a cylinder to be placed on top, allowing the whole system to be tucked away inside an internal cupboard, saving space in the building’s footprints. The heat pump systems, including 38 x 150l and 18 x 215l hot water cylinders were linked to radiator heating systems.

For a similar upfront cost to air-source heat pumps, Longhurst Group was able to use the funded ground array offer to reap the benefits of: lower running costs, lower replacement and maintenance hassle, lower noise and lower visual impact, all while ensuring the lowest carbon solution was put in.

Dr Stuart Gadsden, Commercial Director of Kensa Contracting, said:

Kensa Contracting was delighted to deliver a low carbon, efficient heating solution for the new build properties at California Meadows. Our Networked Heat Pump solution is scalable and ideally suited for new build projects where the infrastructure can be installed during the build phase of the project.

We are pleased to have worked in partnership with Longhurst Group to help them reduce their carbon footprint by delivering renewable, affordable heating that will future-proof these properties and protect householders against fluctuating energy prices for years to come.

Kensa Heat Pumps, the UK’s leading ground source heat pump manufacturer, supplied 38 x Kensa 3kW Shoeboxes and 18 x Kensa 6kW Shoeboxes to satisfy the heating and hot water needs of the 2 & 3 bedroom properties.

To complement the energy-efficient heat pumps, Longhurst also installed high standards of building fabric measures, including fully-filled party walls, roof (ceiling) insulation, double-glazed windows and doors, plus 100% low-energy lighting.

About Kensa, GSHPs & funded ground arrays:

UK ground temperatures remain constant year-round and ground source heat pumps utilise this stored solar energy. They can deliver 3 to 4kW of renewable energy for every 1kW of electricity, making them ultra-efficient and they produce no point-of-use emissions making them extremely low carbon. This makes carbon compliance easier and cheaper in developments and avoids the costly addition of energy-saving measures to meet Part L Building Regulations.

In order to unlock the benefits of this technology in new build developments with multiple properties, Kensa brings a unique solution with its collection of award-winning businesses; Kensa Heat Pumps, Kensa Contracting and Kensa Utilities that manufacture and install networked ground source heat pumps and provide the finance for networked heat pump asset infrastructure.

Kensa’s funded offer ensures housebuilders can quickly and cost-effectively future-proof their new developments with ground source heat pumps to comply with the interim target of a 30% reduction in carbon emissions ahead of the Future Homes Standard in 2025.

Kensa Utilities will fund, own & maintain the shared ground array infrastructure in California Road. This removes the cost and hassle for housebuilders who are only responsible for providing the heat pump & internal heating distribution system. Each property will pay a monthly standing charge to access the shared ground array, for a minimum 40-year agreement, just like any other traditional utility.

This emulates the current gas grid and means that housebuilders and householders can reap the unique benefits of harnessing underground heat to keep their houses warm, providing hot water and even cooling. The addition of an energy-efficient and low-carbon ground source heat pump will increase the value and saleability of a newbuild property.

About Longhurst Group:

Longhurst Group is one of the leading housing groups in the Midlands and East of England, providing more than 24,000 homes and a wide range of care and support services.

The Group is committed to delivering one of the largest affordable development programmes in the region, building a mix of social, affordable rent, shared ownership, private rented and sales homes to meet local needs.

As a developer of circa 750 new homes each year, the Group has pledged to design more energy-efficient new homes and invest in existing properties to make them more energy efficient and affordable to run.

Nick Worboys, Director of Growth, Development and Sales at Longhurst Group, said:

Reducing our carbon footprint is a key aim for us as an organisation and we’re constantly looking at the best ways for us to do this. By installing ground source heat pumps at California Meadows, we’re not only doing this, but we’re also ensuring that these homes are energy efficient, without compromising the living standards of our future customers.

He continues:

We’re delighted to have been able to make this significant step at California Meadows and will continue working towards a large reduction in the carbon footprint of the homes we build.

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Key Facts

  • 56 residential properties for Longhurst Group
  • Mix of 2 & 3 bedroom homes, mostly available for shared ownership
  • 38 x Kensa 3kW Shoebox, 18 x Kensa 6kW Shoebox
  • Project delivered by Kensa Contracting
  • Ground arrays funded by Kensa Utilities
  • 36 x boreholes at average depth of 100m

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