Homes heated by Thames win green award

A London mixed use development that draws heat from the River Thames has been named Best Green Scheme at a national housing awards ceremony.

Kingston Heights, which won the 24 Housing magazine award, features the first open water heat pump system in the UK. The Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan technology recovers solar energy stored in the water to provide heat, hot water and cooling for 137 private and affordable homes, as well as a 142 bedroom hotel.

Up to 150 litres of water a second is abstracted after passing through a two-stage filtration process. The water then passes through heat exchangers to harvest low grade heat before being returned to the river with a temperature change of no more than +/-3 degrees C.

The £70m development will save more than 500 tonnes of CO2 and is projected to reduce household energy bills by around 16% a year. The scheme was built by United House, now part of United Living Group, for NHP Leisure Developments.

Mike Spenser-Morris, managing director of NHP Leisure Developments, who was the driving force behind the system, said: “We do hope that other developments follow suit and harness the vast store of untapped solar energy in every open body of water to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.”

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