Belfry aims to reduce heating bills with EcoPod

Michael Hunt

Belfry Group, the Warrington-based building and maintenance company, said it is aiming to make apartments, hotels and hospitals more energy efficient with its cascade boiler system.

New Charter Housing Trust, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, was one of the first organisations to use the EcoPod system for its 16-storey Chartist House apartment building in Hyde, Greater Manchester.

Belfry claims the new system has reduced carbon dioxide emissions at the property from 160,000kg to 69,000kg since its installation 12 months ago.

EcoPodBelfry replaced the boilers in each of the 96 apartments in the property with heat exchangers, which are then fed from an eight-boiler cascade system, known as the EcoPod system.

The EcoPod was installed on the roof of Chartist House, together with 20 solar thermal panels. The heated water is then distributed to each apartment by highly insulated pipe work.

The EcoPod is monitored by Belfry's building management system which the customer can access using a computer to print reports, as well as add multiple buildings to the BMS.

Mark Simpson, Belfry contract manager, said: "We faced access restrictions during the installation process, which meant the plant room could not be constructed on the roof so it was winched by crane over 160 feet to settle on a specially strengthened platform.

"The system has now been up and running for several months and on one day it cost just £12.90 to provide heating and hot water for the whole building – that's about 13p per apartment."

The EcoPod system, which costs from £120,000 to buy, was created during a two year period by Belfry in partnership with Bosch Group Technologies.

Trafford Council and Salford-based Salix Homes are among those organisations and authorities using the system on their properties.

Belfry said Eccles-based City West Housing Trust is also looking at using the system for its 14,600 homes in West Salford, as well as various schools and colleges in the region.

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