Initial groundworks have been completed at a large heat pump installation at St George’s College Weybridge in Surrey. In late January, the sole remaining drilling machine made the last of 132 bore holes in fields that will be returned to use as sports pitches and for outdoor events.
Now follows the installation of four 230 kW Viessmann Vitocal 300-G Pro ground source heat pumps, which replace the school’s previous gas heating system as the main heat generator in an adapted plant room in the college’s Kean Building complex. Once commissioned, the new heating system will save about 250 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The managing contractor for the project is ReEnergise – architects and enablers of net-zero plans and programmes specialising in schools and colleges. ReEnergise designed the solution in collaboration with St George’s College Weybridge and in particular, Estate Manager, Errol Minihan, who is spearheading a future-proof approach to reducing the school’s reliance on fossil fuels and introducing a sustainable technology solution.
Steve Faucherand, CEO of ReEnergise, said, “It’s a pleasure to work with St George's College Weybridge, who are always forward thinking and have been on the low-carbon journey for some time. This is a major investment in zero-carbon technology that will give them options as they develop the College estate. We are already working with them to maximise the benefit of the system and increase its sustainability by utilising its capability to cool classrooms in the summer and return excess heat to the ground.”
St George’s College Weybridge was founded in 1869 and is an independent Catholic co-educational day school for 11-18 year olds with around 1,000 students. Mrs Owens, Headmistress, said: “Students have thoroughly enjoyed learning about renewable energy and how natural heat from the ground can be harnessed. We now can’t wait to have our new ground source heat pumps operational, so that we can know heating the school and using hot water here is from energy generated in a completely renewable way.”
The Viessmann heat pumps will be installed by Aston Cord Energy Services who have also prefabricated the 10” internal diameter distribution header into which the bore hole loops and the heat pumps will be connected. Doing this work offsite ensures high quality, minimises disruption and keeps logistics to a minimum.
The bore hole drilling at St George’s College Weybridge has been undertaken by Oxfordshire-based AW Synergy, with the rest of the groundworks being handled by K Watts Construction and the school’s dedicated grounds people. Powercor is managing the electrical works.
The Zero-Carbon Schools initiative was started by Steve Faucherand, CEO, and the team at ReEnergise, due to their passion for creating a greener environment for future generations. The team actively promotes the national net-zero agenda, within the industry and in the classroom, and are currently supporting 50 schools and colleges to optimise projects at various stages of the decarbonisation process.