Pioneering project wins top award

A pioneering mixed-used development in Surrey has just secured the prestigious ‘Best New Technology’ award at the 2014 Climate Week Awards, held at Ecobuild and led by keynote speaker Greg Barker MP, the UK Minister for Climate Change.


Built by leading specialist contractor United House for NHP Leisure Developments, Kingston Heights is a £70m scheme situated near the banks of the River Thames that features the world’s first open water heat pump system for this type of mixed-use.


The heat pump system uses river water to provide heat and hot water for the 56 homes for national affordable housing provider Affinity Sutton and 81 luxury private apartments.  Later this year, it will also provide hot water and cooling for a new 142-bedroom hotel. The development will save over 500 tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the environment, as well as reducing household energy bills by up to 20% per annum.


The Open Water Heat Pump system works by recovering the solar energy stored naturally in the river water to provide the thermal energy for the development. Up to 150 litres of water a second is abstracted after passing through a two-stage filtration process.


The water then passes through high efficiency heat exchangers to harvest the low grade heat before being returned to the river with a temperature change of no more than +/- 3°C. The process is totally environmentally friendly, producing no negative impact on the environment or river ecology.


The scheme, which utilises Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced Ecodan heat pump technology, produces zero on-site carbon emissions, in contrast to the estimated 500 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise by emitted by a combustion-based system.


Mike Spenser-Morris, Managing Director of NHP Leisure Developments and the visionary behind Kingston Heights, said: “It is an honour to have Kingston Heights recognised at such revered awards. It has been a long journey but through perseverance and a willingness to create change, we have delivered a ground breaking scheme which will hopefully provide the catalyst for other developments to harness an abundant source of energy to further reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.”


Jeffrey Adams, Group Chief Executive of United House, said: “Kingston Heights has been one of our most challenging and pioneering projects to date. It is an outstanding example of our technical skills and this critical acclaim further builds upon the positive feedback that that the project has received.”

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