01 February 2013

Outdoor Activity Centre Heated by the River Exe


Project summary

  • Region: Devon
  • Value: £57,000
  • Contract terms: NEC Option A
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Completed: June 2013
  • Project terms: 64 weeks
  • Awards: Shortlisted for the South West Built Environment Project of the Year 2014 award, LABC Award and the Michelmores Commercial Property of the Year 2014 award
  • Site features and challenges: Located on an island between the River and the canal in the historic riverside quay area of Exeter, this Midas-built activity centre keeps the young adventurers warm by extracting heat from the River Exe. This is done using a heat pump.
  • Customer Satisfaction: 100%

The original design included a large area of roof-mounted solar panels. However, studies showed that the capital cost would be reduced by 50% by replacing the solar panels with a heat pump. The heat pump extracts heat from the River Exe via water source heat coils, and the hot water thus produced is used to feed the under-floor heating system.

The system works rather like an inside-out refrigerator. A refrigerator extracts heat from its inside, concentrating it and sending it to the coils at the back, where it escapes into the room. The system at Haven Banks does something similar, but inside-out. It extracts heat from the waters of the River Exe flowing next to the building, concentrating that heat and sending it into the coils of the underfloor heating system. This keeps the building interior warm, whilst reducing energy consumption and the carbon footprint of the owners.

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