Hartcliffe Carbon-Neutral Community Building

Investigating renewable energy options for a new community and library building in South Bristol

Project duration: July 2004 to December 2004

The objective of this project was to undertake a feasibility study on renewable energy options in the design of the proposed community and library building within the Morrisons store development at Hartcliffe, south Bristol, and to assess the potential for reaching carbon neutrality.  

CSE undertook the study for the Hartcliffe & Withywood Community Partnership.

The study involved the following areas of work:

  • an initial review of the full range of renewable energy options for the proposed building and assess the potential for reaching carbon neutrality
  • assessment of the practical implications of providing both a photovoltaic solar array and a ground source heat pump to the current design of the building
  • calculations of the size and type of photovoltaic array, the inverter and other required fittings that can be used on the building, based on the predicted electricity loads
  • calculations of the size and specification of a ground source heat pump, heat exchanger and other required fittings to meet the heating demands for the building
  • financial assessment of the investment costs and benefits relating to the installation of recommended renewable energy systems
  • assessment of the architects drawings to provide recommendations for potential energy efficiency improvements
  • an evaluation of the benefits, both financially and environmentally, of these renewable energy systems, including the predicted savings of carbon dioxide
  • raising the awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy within the local community, including amongst building users, and using the building to promote sustainable energy and carbon neutrality across the whole community.

The report concluded that all technologies examined are technically feasible for the proposed building, i.e. ground source heat pump, solar pv, solar thermal and roof-mounted wind power. Each could contribute to some degree in meeting the overall energy demand and there is scope to 'pick-and-mix' between the various technologies and design smaller or larger systems accordingly.

A ground source heat pump with vertical boreholes was recommended as the most viable option and scored best in terms of carbon savings and running costs of the building. However, this is dependent on a more detailed design and costing evaluation being undertaken once accurate building heat loads are known and availability of grant funding is established.

In comparison with a gas condensing boiler, an estimated reduction in the proposed building's CO2 emissions of 86% is achievable if each renewable energy system considered is implemented.

For further information contact:

Martin Holley | 0117 934 1419

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