The original building at Haileybury College in Hertfordshire dates back to 1806 and was designed in neo-classical style. The decision was taken to build a new languages block in the grounds, which would contrast with the existing structure but also work in sympathy with it. Given continually rising energy costs, the Governors were keen to explore energy efficient heating options. They were uncertain whether a biomass or heat pump system would be preferable, but opted for a heat pump solution, given that wood chip systems require significant amounts of maintenance on an on-going basis.

Ecovision advised that a ground source heat pump, installed during construction, would provide a low-maintenance, high-performing and highly reliable heating system. Coupled with underfloor heating (simple to install in a new build), and high levels of insulation in line with new building regulations, the school secured the best possible combination of technology to ensure the lowest possible expenditure on heating. A passive cooling system was also installed to allow the language block to be cooled during summer months.

The heat source for the 37kW heat pump which the building required was through six 140m deep bore holes. Ecovision helped the school to obtain 50% grant funding for the renewable installation, via the Low Carbon Building Programme.

“We considered a lot of options. One was a wood pellet boiler system, which we rejected on the grounds that it would require a lot of day-to-day management. The virtue of the heat pump system is that it’s virtually maintenance and management free.”