GSHP Case Studies

GSHP Association members have provided a number of notable ground source installations. A number of interesting case studies are highlighted below. They show that ground source heat pumps can provide the best heating solution for buildings from small one bedroom bungalows to Regency mansions.

A GSHP can provide heating successfully to old buildings as well as new, to buildings in towns as well as buildings in the country, and to factories, hospitals and schools as well as to homes.

GSHPs are increasingly being used at the heart of new heat networks as a means of reducing carbon emissions, reducing air pollution and increasing resilience.

Trimingham Village Hall, North Norfolk

Trimingham Village Hall

Trimingham has a new village hall heated by a ground source heat pump via underfloor heating. The new hall repalces a 1930s pilgrim shelter, precariously located close to the cliff edge, which was poorly served by direct electric heating.

Finn Geotherm installed a Lampoassa three-phase ground source heat pump with integral 480 litre thermal store in a purpose-built plant room and a 1,200m ground loop array in the surrounding field.

Finn Geotherm applied for the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, and the hall receives quarterly payments for the next 20 years.

The new hall is in constant use with community groups and events taking place each week.

Terry Brown, chairman of the Trimingham Village Hall Trust, said: "We are delighted with how well the heat pump works and the running costs are low. In the previous village hall, we had problems with people not wanting to take their coats off. Now we don't know where to put them all!

1860s Farmhouse, Huntingdon

1860s Farmhouse

A ground source heat pump was installed on Hugh Whittome's 1860s farmhouse to repace an oil-fired boiler. Finn Geotherm, based in Norfolk, specified and installed a Lampoassa Emi 28 GSHP linked to a 1,400 metre ground loop and a 700 litre thermal store. While the farmhouse has a low EPC rating, the heat pump works efficiently to keep its owners warm by using the thermal mass of the building.

Hugh said that it is a 'common myth' that a ground source heat pump can only be used with underfloor heating, but his installation proves otherwise. "We have radiators throughout and the house has never been warmer, day and night", he explained. "The heat pump has taken away the hassle of heating and hot water. We just leave it to run and don't have to order oil deliveries". The farm is now carbon positive and the heat pump runs entirely on green electricity from the farm's own wind turbine.

V&A Museum of Design, Dundee

V&A Museum, Dundee

The new V&A Museum of Design, which opened in Dundee in September 2018, is dedicated to telling the extraordinary story of Scottish design.

This new design museum is appropriately housed in a stunning new building by Kengo Kuma which is heated and cooled by ground source heat pumps.

A low and zero carbon technologies study was undertaken in 2011 as part of the project's obligation to identify the most appropriate form of renewable energy for the 8,000m² building and ground source was identified as the optimum solution.

The heat pumps provide direct renewable energy for the museum, with 800,000 kWh a year of heating and 500,000 kWh a year of cooling.

Thirty 200 metre deep boreholes allow heat pumps to draw heat from the ground to provide heating in winter. In summer the heat pumps transfer excess heat from the building down to the borehole field: this not only provides efficient cooling, it also stores heat in the ground for the winter when it will be recycled back to the museum to provide heating. This building is run by the sun.

Cambridge Terrace, Regent's Park

Cambridge Terrace, Regent's Park

Half of Cambridge Terrace is being refurbished as a single dwelling – the largest residence in London after Buckingham Palace.

A ground source energy system has been chosen for this Grade 1 listed Nash terrace to provide renewable heating and renewable cooling. The terrace will be cooled in summer by transferring heat down to a thermalbank in the ground. When heating is required in winter, heat will be recycled back to the building from the thermalbank to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building all year round.

GSHP retrofit replaces oil heating

Dragon Drilling

The owners of an old property near Corwen in Denbighshire recently opted for ground source heating to help curb their energy bills.

Dragon Drilling (Water & Energy) Ltd installed a ground source heat pump system to replace the old oil fired boiler which had been supplemented by burning coal and wood to curb the annual bills of over £3,000. The old system had provided part time heating - but even then had struggled to keep the building up to temperature.

The owners had reported that with the old system, "We never felt truly warm".


Precision Engineering Factory, Hampshire

UTP Factory

Ground source energy has been chosen for a new precision engineering factory in order to provide renewable heating and renewable cooling. Machining of components in exotic metals requires air temperatures to be controlled very precisely in order to meet the exacting tolerances required by aerospace clients. The new factory is cooled in summer by transferring surplus heat down to a borehole field in the ground. When heat is required in winter, heat is recycled back to the building from the borehole field to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building all year round. This is achieved by an automated system that balances the temperature in the building with the stable temperature natural to the ground by transferring heat from the ground in winter and storing surplus heat in the ground in summer: this achieves recycling of heat using precision engineering.

Merton Community Centre

Merton Intergenerational Centre

The architects for the Merton Community Centre decided to go for the "elegant" solution in which one integrated system could provide both heating in summer and cooling in winter (as well as hot water all year round and the freedom not to have to organise, feed and manage a biomass boiler).








Old Oak Common Crossrail Depot

Old Oak Common

Bombardier's new depot for its Crossrail fleet will have 33% of its energy demand met by renewable energy when it opens in 2018. It will benefit from ground source heating and cooling, photovoltaics and solar thermal and generate annual savings of £100,000. The installation by GI Energy for Taylor Woodrow is expected to achieve a ten year payback, as well as saving 530 tonnes of CO2 a year.



Solar Powered District Heating, Bristol

Owen Square, Bristol

A Solar Powered District Heating Project in Bristol uses PV powered heat pumps to charge the ground with summer heat for easier extraction of heat in winter: Solar Powered District Heating .

The CHOICES consortium behind the project decarbonises heating by using green electricity in summer to charge an interseasonal heat store. Ground source heat pumps are used in winter to transfer heat into community buildings without burning fossil fuels. Grid balancing systems are employed to ensure that electricity is not demanded from the grid at times of peak use.

The consortium has created a district heating system based on solar energy and seasonal thermal energy storage which can be scaled up to serve additional buildings and be readily employed in other locations.


DECC has published case studies on GSHP installations

DECC has published a report on use of heat pumps in district heating. And a set of case studies of heat pumps in district heating.

DECC has also published a number of case studies of succesful GSHP installations across the country:

Shepway Court residents enjoy greater warmth and lower bills

GSHPs keep Shepway Court sheltered housing residents comfortable at a price they can afford.

Ground Heat drilled 12 boreholes 150 metres deep to draw heat from the ground and provide heating and hot water to 40 units in Salford, Greater Manchester via two 46kW GSHPs.

Individual thermostats allow each tenant to control their own room temperature and they will now each spend around £260 a year for their heating and hot water – £85 a year less than they were paying with the previous gas boiler fired system.

The installation was completed by Ground Heat Installations Ltd in two months.

Large new home off the gas grid enjoys low running cost from automated GSHP system

GSHP heats a large new home off the gas grid in North Yorkshire. The system draws heat from 2 boreholes 150 metres deep and the ground source heat pump distributes the heat through underfloor heating pipes and heated towel rails as well as providing all the domestic hot water. The system was designed and installed by isoenergy Ltd.

"We are thrilled with the new system", says the owner. "We don't have to think about it at all. It's always on in both the summer and winter, but the system self-adjusts the temperature so we always feel comfortable. It's so unlike the other heating systems that we have used. We got used to it very quickly and can't believe how simple it is to use".