Ground Source Image

Northwards Housing, Manchester

Ground Source Heat Pump Case Study
Northwards Housing, Manchester

Northwards Housing, Manchester

Northwards Housing is North Manchester’s Council homes operation service, managing Liverton Court, a 9-storey building housing 71 one-bedroom flats. The existing heating system was fed by communal gas boilers which were approaching 17 years old. The system was inefficient and expensive to run. The set-up meant that hot water was constantly being produced by the boiler based on metered usage, even when there was no demand. Customers were therefore faced with high costs even in the summer months, with the council forking out an additional £2,278 each year for each of the 4 gas boiler systems due to their inefficiency. The old boiler systems were also noisy and frequently broke down, causing disruption to resident’s energy security. In some cases, faulty meters meant that billing was also impacted resulting in errors.

Liverton Court had recently benefitted from the installation of thermally efficient external wall insulation and ‘A’ rated double glazed windows and with the council looking to further save residents money and improve energy security within its homes. This renovation provided a perfect time to explore alternative sources of energy that will also contribute to achieving the city’s carbon reduction targets.

The Solution

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides funding for Greater Manchester’s Homes as Energy Systems project, which is led by Procure Plus. This will provide energy efficient technologies in over 700 properties in Greater Manchester, reducing energy bills and retrofitting businesses and homes for a greener city. Procure Plus partnered with Northwards Housing to award ERDF funding for low-carbon Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) as the most cost-effective and carbon saving heating solution for Liverton Court. The project also brings extra benefits for both the council and residents in the form of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI ), now succeeded by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).

Completed in November 2020, the project successfully installed 71 NIBE F1155 and F1255 GSHPs in each flat across 9 stories. The system includes a ground loop system consisting of 36 boreholes to a depth of 150m – equating to around 7 miles of pipework. A ground loop manifold and primary pumping station were installed as part of the project, providing heating and hot water requirements to all 71 apartments in the building.

The Council also benefitted from the NIBE Uplink remote monitoring and diagnostics platform, which was installed alongside the heat pumps to track energy usage via smart devices, enabling the optimisation of its operation whilst monitoring energy savings. This system comes pre-installed as standard with NIBE heat pumps and is a key requirement to create a more dynamic energy system consisting of small-scale electricity generation and storage. 

The Results

The GSHPs have proven to be extremely successful and beneficial for Liverton Court, resulting in Northwards Housing considering the technology for other homes across Manchester. In a recent survey, residents scored the project highly with satisfaction at an average of 8.3/10, due in strong part to the strong and collaborative work between NIBE and partners across the project.

A strong working relationship was formed between NIBE and the project team, with the client benefitting from NIBE’s technical team providing advice on set up and servicing as part of the handover.

The impressive performance of NIBE’s Ground Source Heat Pump system within the tower block has also shown itself in emissions savings. Liverton Court is saving 63.2 tonnes of CO2 per year based on the previous system and combining property and communal emissions alone. Resident’s homes are also warmer and heated more effectively.

Liverton Court has many elderly residents, and one lady described how she was “over the moon” with the new system, keeping her warm whilst noticing greater reliability from NIBE’s system compared with the older gas boilers. Residents also commented on the benefit of NIBE’s Uplink service providing real time data helping them to take greater control over their energy usage through the intuitive, user-friendly application.

“The residents of Liverton Court are pleased with the new system, and now benefit from more comfortable homes that are heating more efficiently.” Elliot Simm, Manchester County Council (Northwards Housing). 

The Installer

Rothwell Plumbing Services (RPS) Group were awarded the contract for the Liverton Court project following a competitive tender process via the Procure Plus Ground Source Heat Pump Framework, standing out as the most economically efficient and best quality contractor. Being both Trustmark and MCS accredited, their specialism lays within delivering large scale renewable contracts.

RPS and Manchester City Council (MCC) won the H&V award for Residential Heat Pump Project of the Year for the Liverton Court project, recognising the positive reception to the scheme by residents in the 71 flat building. RPS were able to successfully undertake the installation of the large-scale project with their well-established 10-year relationship with Procure Plus and wide-ranging experience in the design & installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps.

NIBE Case Studies

More Case Studiesesc