Affordable and sustainable heating helps regenerate iconic London suburb

The London suburb of Wembley Park is well known to football fans. Currently undergoing extensive regeneration, the suburb is being transformed into a best in class example of how district heating can supply urban areas with efficient, affordable and sustainable energy.

Wembley Park is a major residential development adjacent to the iconic stadium. As well as providing engineering and geotechnical services for three plots Ramboll has created and is implementing a District Heating masterplan that will deliver low carbon, sustainable energy across the whole Wembley Park site.

The area immediately surrounding Wembley stadium is undergoing major regeneration. Developers Quintain is delivering the UK’s largest build-to-rent development comprising over 7,500 units. Ramboll is providing engineering design services across a range of phases of the development, including designing and delivering an ambitious district heating masterplan for the area. This will efficiently deliver heating across the site.

Creating a heating network for Wembley Park

As part of the masterplan, a new district heating network will be installed to serve 20 of the new buildings being constructed as part of the redevelopment.

Rationalising the network design

Ramboll was initially appointed to carry out the concept design of two separate district heating networks to RIBA Stage 2. Following an initial design review, it was decided to combine the two separate systems with one larger network with a single energy centre located within building E03. This saved the client significant capital expenditure associated with both the mechanical installation and the structure for the energy centre. Ramboll then delivered the Developed Design of RIBA Stage 3 for the district heating network, energy centre, distribution pipework and substations serving each block.

We are providing the strategic options review for future build out in Wembley and responsible for tender specifications to support procurement under the design and build route. In addition, we are designing the distribution pipework to RIBA Stage 4 – Technical Design.

The district heating system consists of a single energy centre feeding approximately 20 separate buildings linked to a district heating network of approximately 3.5 km in length. Deliverables for this project include providing design services for the district heating design including the energy centre, distribution pipework and substations in each building block. We have design responsibility for this project and are producing design specifications and tender documents to local codes and standards.

A low-temperature hot water (LTHW) network

The system will be a modern low-temperature hot water network (LTHW). An energy demand assessment has been undertaken to determine the peak and annual loads of the buildings to be connected to the consolidated scheme. The peak and annual demands for the consolidated scheme have been estimated as 26.1 MWth and 32,615MWh/yr respectively. The key plant within the consolidated energy centre comprises two No. 1.5 MWe CHP units, four No. 9 MWth shell boilers and two No. 75m3 thermal stores. The total contribution from the CHPs to overall heat network supply is 80% which exceeds the 75% stipulated in the planning applications.

The energy centre shall operate as a thermally led scheme with the CHP providing the lead energy source, thermal stores as primary support and the gas boilers as assist, standby and back-up. The thermal stores will provide a source for the continued operation of the CHP where heat will be stored for use in demand periods when the CHP is unable to meet the network demand.

The thermal energy in the form of LTHW will be distributed to buildings through the district heating network. At each building, a primary substation will create a hydraulic interface between the primary network and the building secondary system. Control of flow through the heat exchanger substations shall be undertaken by the circulating pumps in the energy centre.

Engineering Services

Ramboll has been commissioned to provide structural, geotechnical and civil engineering services on behalf of Quintain. We are working with architects PRP, MEP consultants HPF, Foreman Roberts, Griffiths Evans, site-wide infrastructure consultants Buro Happold and contractors Wates, Sisk and O’Keefe on seven new buildings that will provide 1,091 of the new residential units.

Creating sustainable communities

Ramboll is making a substantial contribution to this ambitious north London development. Applying our world-class district heating experience has led to a more efficient design, reducing energy requirements, carbon emissions and capital expenditure.

About author

Ramboll employs more than 16,500 experts globally and has especially strong representation in the Nordics, UK, North America, Continental Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. With 300 offices in 35 countries, Ramboll combines local experience with a global knowledgebase constantly striving to achieve inspiring and exacting solutions that make a genuine difference to our clients, the end-users, and society at large. Ramboll works across the following markets: Buildings, Transport, Planning & Urban Design, Water, Environment & Health, Energy and Management Consulting.

Primary contact
Sarah Katz

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