Communal Heating Options Appraisals


Gentoo Group Ltd

The Brief

d3associates was appointed by Gentoo Group Ltd, a Social Housing Association that owns and manages more than 29,000 homes in Sunderland, to report on the condition of their communal and district heat networks, and prepare options appraisals to identify communal heating solutions that offer value for money to end users across all district heating sites.

The project was divided into four phases; the first to investigate the condition of the 40 year old boiler houses and pipework that form the district heat networks in Washington and prepare a fully costed options appraisal, reporting on alternative solutions for heat provision.

The second phase was an options appraisal for seven tower blocks in the Northside area of Sunderland where the flats are currently heated by individual combi-boilers. The third phase was to provide an options appraisal for Lakeside Village which comprises of 7 blocks constructed in the 1960s consisting of a mixture of 33 one bedroom flats and 63 two bedroom flats arranged over 16 floors. The final phase was to report on other Gentoo properties, a mix of terraced housing, supported living care facilities and sheltered housing.

The Outcome

d3associates prepared comprehensive reports, detailing the current condition of the boiler houses and district heat networks, externally and internally to the properties, and assessed the costs of operating the systems against the income received through heat metering.

In addition d3associates produced a fully costed options appraisal on alternative solutions for the heat provision in Washington. All of which allowed Gentoo to determine their preferred option which provides best value to the housing association and residents.

The reports for Northside Towers considered fossil fuel and renewable energy options for replacing the existing gas combi boilers. Capital and operating and maintenance costs were provided along with the income available from Government incentive schemes. Gentoo are now progressing with their preferred options.