The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

CHP an Ideal Fit for 'World's Most Environmentally Friendly' Building in UK

The Co-operative’s new headquarters at One Angel Square in Manchester, UK was lauded last month during its official opening for meriting the title, ‘World’s most environmentally friendly building.’

Combined heat and power (CHP) technology is at the heart of the structure.

COSPP online spoke to Dennis Wheatley, Senior M&E Manager at BAM Construction, and he outlined how cogeneration technology proved the right fit for the Co-op’s lofty energy-efficient ambitions.

“When we took on board the design and build contract that was prepared by the client, from day one there was a requirement to provide a design that would achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) score outstanding rating and a DEC (Display Energy Certificate) analysis of A.”

The original design had a provision for a biomass boiler but it was decided to change that through a two stage tendering process. Through this process BAM developed a design with the client and also took on board a major advantage the Co-op holds, in terms of its power potential; its land.

“It was decided, after modelling and predictive technology was deployed, that from the point of view of energy usage a DEC A grading couldn’t be achieved by any other means than by a CHP.

Once we were engaged into the process the client decided to change his business farming practices so that he could produce a low-carbon factor energy efficient fuel from his rapeseed crop.”

The decision meant that the CHP units at Angel Square are driven by pure plant oil or rapeseed oil, which was ideal for the Co-op as they grow their own crop. This is enabled as in the fallow periods of their rotational crop they have allocated a period of time to growing rapeseed with highly desirable results for the state-of-the-art building.

“The client has about 70,000 acres of it throughout the UK. It’s a massive fuel resource,” continues Wheatley. “They could have bought this fuel in on the commercial market but happens to have it himself. They are then engaged with another company that cold presses it under a strictly controlled refining regime. This fuel oil is very rigidly monitored by Ofgem rules as they pick the specification requirements of the fuel so that it is certified for Renewable Obligation Certificates.

One Angel Square has up to 6000 litres of rapeseed biofuel on site at any one time. It was that use of CHP that enabled the development to achieve the highest recorded BREEAM, quite an achievement when you think that 250,000 buildings have been certified by this method worldwide up to this point.

Along with the judicious use of CHP there are lots of other energy saving features built into the design that helped it achieve such recognition, including regenerative motors in all the lifts pumping back into the system, extensively complex heating and lighting control systems, underground earth supply ducts that use subterranean concrete to heat and cool the building, and a thermal jacket around the façade of the building which retains heat. In addition Its computer systems recycle waste heat.

BAM frequently uses cogeneration in its buildings as and when it is deemed the most appropriate fit and Wheatley says getting that element right is essential.

“It all depends on the building design. Some clients are eager to go down the CHP route but don’t properly select the CHP unit to suit the design of the building. It needs to be at the heart of the design and you need to take into account for example that absorption chillers match physically to the CHP plant.”

“There is also a number crunching exercise involved; if you are running a building 80 or 90 percent of the time on fuel oil or gas, you may have to replace those engines every three to four years, and build that into the overall building running costs.”

“Ultimately the client will decide based on costs and benefits. The Co-op is a master of its destiny, in terms of fuel source, and had more of a safer future assessment in terms of costs, except perhaps if it comes to bad weather conditions during summer.”

RELATED ARTICLES

Beach sand

Italian Company Uses Sun-Heated Sand to Produce Energy

Flavia Rotondi and Alessandra Migliaccio, Bloomberg

Italy’s well-known sun and sand form the basis of many beach holidays. An Italian company has also found another purpose for the combination: energy production.

Biofuels

Who Is Weathering the $50 Oil Storm in Biofuels, and How?

Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest A period of lower-cost oil has, famously, descended on the market, reminding us that business models should always take into account “black swan” economic events such as the battle between OPEC and unconventional oil produc...

Biomass Plant Generates Electricity and Opportunity for UK Community

The Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant, a straw-fired combined heat and power plant in predominantly agricultural Lincolnshire, UK, provides environmental, financial, and social benefits to its community and to the country, st...

First Anniversary of The Balkan Floods Highlights Renewable Energy Market Opportunities

Ilias Tsagas, Contributor One year ago this month, severe flooding in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia killed 79 people, displaced about half a million and caused economic paralysis of the region. In the wake of these the catastrophic events, ...
Diarmaid Williams is based in PennWell’s UK office and holds the position of International Digital Editor for Power Engineering International and Cogeneration & On-site Power Production web sites. Prior to joining Pennwell, Diarmaid was Deputy Ed...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Using Grid data analytics to protect revenue, reduce network losses...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

Now in its 31st year, the FEW provides the global ethanol industry with...

COMPANY BLOGS

Substrate Feeder for Biogas Facilities

RUD manufactures complete, ready-to-use conveyor systems for transportin...

Standard Solar Celebrates Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! On April 22nd each year, the US is one of more than 190...

The Question Trilogy

    It’s crucial to learn what your prospect needs from...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS