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Portland green student accommodation meets 'excellent' BREEAM rating

Published: 19 August 2015 - Marianne Evans
When it came to installing a hot water system at Metnor Property Group’s Portland Green student accommodation development in Newcastle upon Tyne, energy efficiency was a primary consideration.
 
A combined approach was taken for the project, with products from two Baxi Commercial brands being supplied to meet the demands of the halls of residence. Three Senertec Dachs mini-CHP units and a further two 170kW Potterton Commercial Eurocondense Three boilers were specified and installed, to provide hot water across the entire building.
 
The building has 274 bedrooms over seven floors with a retail development on part of the ground floor. A central plant room provides hot water throughout the complex, with bedrooms being heated electrically.
 
One of the main reasons for the upgrade was to reduce the carbon impact of the building, measured by an improvement in the building’s BREEAM rating, with the aim of achieving an ‘Excellent’ assessment. In order to offset the carbon footprint, energy efficient products were needed, with one of the requirements being CHP to provide hot water and additional electricity for the complex.
 
The SenerTec Dachs mini-CHP systems produce electricity and capture heat produced by the engine, transferring it into the building’s hot water system. As the system is installed onsite, there is minimal energy waste, contributing massively to efficient operation.
 
Potterton Commercial’s range of floor-standing Eurocondense Three boilers is compact in design, meaning installation was easy and disruption was kept to a minimum.
 
Stuart Bolam, project manager at Norstead, commented: “The primary reason that we opted for the building’s system was to reduce the carbon footprint, allowing us to improve the building’s BREEAM rating to ‘Excellent’.
 
“Senertec Dachs Mini-CHP units and Potterton Commercial Eurocondense Three boilers were specified as being the most effective and efficient solution. The units have lived up to expectations and are delivering efficiency in line with the design.
 
“The service from SenerTec and Potterton Commercial has been excellent throughout the whole process. The project manager provided us with exceptional support during installation and post-commissioning monitoring and reporting on the units. Monthly reports show that efficiency of the CHP units is around 87% which we expect will result in a huge saving in electricity costs.”
 
Mark Gibbons, business development manager from SenerTec, comments: "With a recent rise in tuition fees coming into effect, students are becoming pickier when selecting their university and accommodation. Green credentials are therefore becoming more important and we’re seeing an increase in more energy efficient products being installed. CHP units are perfect for installations such as student accommodation where there is a steady demand for hot water and this can result in substantial savings on bills while reducing carbon emissions.”
 
Over 250,000 buildings are certified with BREEAM assessment ratings, which is an environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings which sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and lifecycle operation. The certification aims to reduce the environmental impacts throughout construction and operation of a building. A BREEAM assessed building can mean reduced energy and running costs, demonstrate environmental commitments to customers and improve the image of the building.
 


 
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