The University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool CHP

Executive Summary

Vital Energi has built a long-standing relationship with the University of Liverpool and the most recent chapter of this partnership saw us transform a derelict former mortuary into a state of the art, 21st century energy centre using a combination of creative design, outstanding engineering and an experienced and talented team of engineers to bring the Grade II listed building back to life.

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    £6.14m contract value
  • meet-our-team
    48,000 accident free hours worked
  • calendar
    12 month construction period
  • warehouse
    Grade II listed building

Project Overview

With a student population of 22,000 the University of Liverpool is comparable with many mid-size towns and also has 4,700 staff.  Like many universities, Liverpool has seen its energy usage increase substantially in the last few decades, going from 23 million kWh/yr in 1986 to 58 million kWh/yr in 2009, marking an increase of at least 3% each year.

Keeping pace with the energy demand meant the University would have to expand its district heating network and install additional CHP engines and plans were made to convert the Grade II mortuary building at the former Liverpool Royal Infirmary into a new CHP plant.

Our Solution


Designing an internal structure to accommodate the new, heavy plant equipment, while meeting the requirements of the Local Authority Heritage Officer was paramount to the success of the project and after close consultation with the University’s architects we devised a 3 floor steel structure which took the stress from the load instead of putting it onto the 125 year old building.  The steel frame would also involve minimal alterations to the actual structure.

By effectively creating a “building within a building” we were able to build a structure which could take the heavy plant and equipment which included two 23 tonne CHP engines on the first floor.

Solution detail

The University design team, Vital Energi and their subcontractors have worked well together and have, through the application of good communications, teamwork and a steadfast commitment to making the project a success now reached the important project milestone of topping out the building. Not only will this project secure the future of a listed building but, when finished, it will contribute to a healthier environment by reducing CO₂ emissions and will also provide a financial return on the capital invested from the resultant savings in energy costs.

Ian Murray , Consultant Project Manager

Key Benefits

University of Liverpool - CHP

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