Type of works: analysis of the effectiveness of the sustainable ground source heat pump (GSHP).
Formpave was awarded a fully funded three year research project to monitor the innovative sustainable infrastructure at the Hanson EcoHouse at BRE, Watford.
Financially supported by Coventry University and with analysis equipment provided by Hanson, a PhD student will be based at BRE for three years supervised by Dr Stephen Coupe, research manager at Formpave. The project will analyse the effectiveness of the sustainable ground source heat pump (GSHP) apparatus that has been laid within the Aquaflow stormwater source control system at the site.
Ground Source Heat Pumps have never before been buried within permeable paving systems. The geothermal system can effectively heat the EcoHouse, but this research will ascertain exactly how long for and what temperatures can be reached and sustained throughout the building.
Invaluable proven long-term data will be collected and analysed to indicate the overall performance of this source of renewable energy and the ability of the geothermal apparatus, along with the state-of-the-art insulation provided by the EcoHouse, to heat and cool the interior. Indications show that the system has been extremely effective and research results are eagerly anticipated to aid the development of Formpave's new technology, before releasing it into the UK market.
The research project will also analyse the efficiency of the domestic water harvesting and reuse infrastructure, once again with the Aquaflow permeable paving system providing the storage tank for the water. The attenuation of runoff from roofs and hard surfaces to prevent flooding will be determined, as will the cleaning of runoff water to comply with ever-tightening environmental legislation.
The project demonstrates the importance that Formpave places on leading the way in research and development for new paving and SUDS solutions.