Leeds City Council has committed to working towards making Leeds a carbon neutral city by 2030. The Leeds PIPES district heating network is a major initiative towards this which will reduce emissions by approximately 11,000 tonnes per year. The project takes heat from the nearby Recycling & Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) and converts it into usable heating and hot water, which is distributed to almost 2,000 flats, civic buildings, and Leeds Playhouse.
The £45m Leeds PIPES project is a significant, city-wide undertaking which involves the creation of two energy centres, a 26.5km district heating network and the upgrade of the in-home heating systems and civic building plant rooms. Our team delivered significant design and programme enhancements to deliver improved performance and our delivery team were able to work in partnership with the council’s highways, planning and housing teams.
In addition to the technical challenges, we also worked in partnership with the council to minimise disruption and deliver as much community benefit and additional social value as possible.
We constructed two energy centres for the Leeds PIPES project. The Cross Green Energy Centre was created to take waste steam from the nearby Recycling & Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) and convert it into low-temperature heat and hot water. A second energy centre at Saxton Gardens houses gas boilers and was designed to meet peak demand and add resilience to the overall system, ensuring continuity of supply in all circumstances.
Hot water is distributed from both energy centres via a 26.5km district heating network. Phase one connected 1,983 homes across a range of multi-storey flats. The second phase extended the heat network into Leeds city centre, down the Headrow to connect several civic and commercial buildings.
In addition to the generation and distribution of the heat we also delivered in-home heating systems for all 1,983 dwellings which consisted of Heat Interface Units, new radiators and controls. As this changeover involved working in people’s homes, we liaised closely with the council’s housing teams and our own resident liaison team to ensure disruption was minimised. Whilst we were working in the flats, we also installed sprinklers for fire safety as part of our works package. This reduced the number of visits required to each property and kept disruption to a minimum.