A Road to Innovation – How Church Road benefited from the Zeroth Energy System

When designing the HVAC scheme for a large project such as Church Road, Leyton, there are often unforeseen hurdles to overcome. However, when MEPH Consultants EDC came across a space issue with the plant room, the search for a solution led them to a new innovation - the Zeroth Energy System.

In an up-and-coming area with close proximity to Stratford and Central London, Church Road, Leyton promises to be a development in demand. In 2017, Galliard Homes acquired the site and gained approval for the development of 48 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments alongside two three-bedroom townhouses.

Galliard appointed MEPH and energy specialist Engineering Design Consultants (EDC) as the MEPH consultants for the scheme, who began working on the project’s HVAC design. The original intention for the scheme had been for the development to use traditional central plant heating technology, however an issue at pre-planning stage meant that the plant space allocated had been underestimated and there was no longer a suitable location for central plant within the development.

EDC set out to find an alternative solution. Galliard have a safety policy which does not allow individual gas boilers within their apartments. With this and other restrictions in mind, air source heat pumps (ASHPs) soon became their only solution to the design constraints.

Whilst sourcing the solution, EDC decided to contact HVAC solutions provider, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation (GDHV), about the benefits of the Zeroth Energy System. This system comprises of a refrigerant-free low temperature network and in-apartment heat pumps to provide heating, cooling and hot water to each local space.

When applied to the project and paired with roof-based ASHPs, the Zeroth Energy System remained viable and met compliance despite the many restrictions of the project. In fact, the solution resulted in such high energy efficiencies that the carbon emissions reduced significantly for the entire site’s footprint.

EDC decided to propose the system to Galliard Homes as the solution for Church Road.

“We have always been promoters and supporters of leading, cutting-edge technology and we could see the benefits that the Zeroth Energy System could bring,” says Stephen Harper, Group M&E Services Manager at Galliard Homes.

“The implementation of this solution produced heating and hot water in a low carbon way, whilst staying within the limited electrical power available for the site. However, the real beneficiary will be the end user with very low energy bills and increased thermal comfort.”

It is due to this, amongst other benefits, that this project has been selected by BEIS as a case of study for 2050 for being zero carbon emission.

The development is due for completion this year and will be one of the first developments in the UK to benefit from the Zeroth Energy System.

To learn more about the Zeroth Energy System and how it can be applied to your project, speak to our industry experts who will be able to provide you with a low temperature network CPD and discuss any queries you may have.