Former TD at BRE talks to Power-Pipe about all things WWHR
Christopher Gaze, CEng FIMechE CEnv.
Tell us about yourself…
I am a freelance engineering consultant working in the areas of sustainability and innovation. I studied at both Birmingham and Warwick universities and am now a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist.
I’ve had a diverse career working in industry, academia and construction, as well as being the Technical Director of Innovation and Productivity at BRE up until 2013.
When did you first come across Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR)?
The first time I gave serious consideration to this technology was during my time as Project Manager for AIMC4.
AIMC4 was a government funded project designed to establish and research cost-effective recipes for achieving Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 energy standards, using innovative fabric-first solutions.
The consortium comprised of developers Stewart Milne, Barratt Developments and Crest Nicholson who were responsible for the design and build of 17 world class energy efficient homes.
As part of the project, Waste Water Heat Recovery systems, including Power-Pipe, were measured alongside many other technologies and the results showed that it had much more of an impact on a building’s energy efficiency than previously thought.
In fact, the findings revealed the performance of WWHR was actually between 1.4 to 2.7 times greater than SAP calculated it to be, making it even more cost-effective for housing developers.
These results were more consistent with field measurements obtained in Europe and North America where the technology receives higher credits in regulations and codes.
More information about the project can be found here: www.aimc4.com
Why should developers consider WWHR?
Developers should give serious consideration to systems like Power-Pipe as Waste Water Heat Recovery it is the most cost-effective way of increasing a SAP score and will help keep their building costs down.
Dependant on the model or size, a WWHR unit will cost between £250 to £750 (including installation) but will offer a generous SAP uplift in the region of two to seven percent which could be the difference between a pass or a fail on a property.
This is an equivalent energy saving to triple glazing or solar thermal, but at a fraction of the cost so it really is a “no-brainer when it comes to new build homes.
From a practical point of view it is also very easy to install and has no running or maintenance costs.
If it is made from 100 percent copper, like all Power-Pipe systems are, it is expected to last the life span of a building and will continually save energy and money for the home occupant.
What’s the Power-Pipe for you?
With two diameters and multiple lengths to choose from, it’s a tough one but for me it would have to be the R4-84.
This is because it is the most efficient WWHR unit on the market. It costs a bit more than the smaller Power-pipe models, but will save more energy in the long term.