North West Cambridge Development

North West Cambridge Development

Executive Summary

The North West Cambridge Development is one of the largest and most exciting projects of its type currently being delivered and at its heart, contributing to the sustainability of the development is the District Heating Network installed by Vital Energi.

  • stats-numerical
    £4.7m contract value
  • floor-area
    15 hectare site
  • pipework
    2.35 district heating spine installed in phase 1

Project Overview

The University of Cambridge is undertaking its largest single capital project in its 800 year-history in the North West Cambridge Development.

Outline planning permission was granted for the 150 hectare site in 2013 for 3000 homes, 2000 student bed spaces, 100,000 sq m research accommodation, as well as the community facilities and public realm to support this new district of Cambridge.  The first phase of the project will create 700 homes for university staff, 325 post-graduate student rooms in addition to 450 market homes, a primary school, community centre, doctor’s surgery, and supermarket.

In keeping with the University’s wish to create a highly sustainable development, the project will be powered by a state of the art CHP powered energy centre, with a closed circuit district heating.

Our Solution

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The main contract, worth £2.98 million, involved the supply and installation of the main spine of the district heating network for the first phase of the development, which stretches over 2.35km, extending from a central energy centre.

Our initial strategy was to build relationships with consultants and other contractors to ensure that we can not only meet our own deadlines, but ensure our work didn’t impact the contractors’ overall programme.  This meant regular attendance at project meetings, where we demonstrated a high standard of transparency and information sharing.

The “spine” of the district heating network is Logstor 300mm Single Pipe with 150mm twin pipe branches and due to the close proximity of other utilities all sections of pipework were installed to a 50mm tolerance.

Solution detail

The district heating network for the development is a major investment in the infrastructure for the site and an essential part of the energy strategy. The network aims to reduce the energy wastage, helping us to achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and the broader site-wide project ambitions to be an exemplar of sustainable living. The award to Vital Energi for the network is an important part of achieving these aims.

Gavin Heaphy, Construction Director, North West Cambridge Dev.

Key Benefits

North West Cambridge Development

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