Core 364 is a pioneering retrofit scheme and the biggest housing decarbonisation project in the UK. It brings together multiple benefits of energy efficiency to impact on the lives of tenants, improve thermal comfort, reduce fuel poverty, tackle climate change and improve building safety.
The £9m scheme is central to Gentoo and Engie’s net zero carbon journey and combines the commitment of both organisations to tackle climate change and fuel poverty, with the provision of safe and affordable housing. The project is a demonstrator and forms a key part of Sunderland City Council’s Low Carbon Framework and its target for the city to become carbon neutral by 2040.
The ground-breaking project involved replacing gas boilers in 364 properties across seven high-rise tower blocks, with an open loop ground source heat pump system, which takes renewable heat from the earth’s core to uniquely generate both heat and hot water.
The scheme not only addressed the ageing heating systems in the blocks, but brought together multiple benefits of energy efficiency, to have a significant impact on people, property and the planet. This included:
• Engaging tenants from the outset and improving their lives through the provision of more efficient renewable heat and hot water
• Helping to improve thermal comfort, reduce fuel poverty by reducing the cost of resident’s energy bills
• Tackling climate change and minimising the buildings’ impact of the building on the planet through a significant carbon reduction of 7,549,500 tCO2 over the next 20 years.
• Improving the safety of the tower blocks by removing the gas supply to the buildings and installing various fire safety measures, including life-saving sprinkler systems to every property and ground floor communal area
• Installing smart home technology as part of the heating controls in every property
• Measuring the impact of the scheme on the health and wellbeing of the residents, in partnership with National Energy Action and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
• Funding the scheme by bringing together existing asset investment from Gentoo, with external funding from the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) and the ECO Innovation Fund
• Developing a strong partnership between Gentoo (client), Engie Regeneration (contractor), Kensa, Sunamp and Switchee (low carbon technology suppliers) and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
Core 364 is a visionary scheme that will leave a legacy on the properties, the people and the planet. Whether it’s building safety, tenant engagement, building safety or the carbon reduction benefits, this scheme has been pioneering in many aspects.