Earlier this year, Leeds City Council secured more than £25m of government funding to decarbonise 38 publicly owned buildings, slashing the city’s carbon emissions by nearly 4,000 tonnes per year and reducing energy costs.
Iconic civic buildings, leisure centres, primary schools, children’s centres, homes for older people and offices across the city will all benefit from a range of low carbon heat and energy upgrades carried out by the council and partners.
It is important to carry out site visits to buildings in scope ourselves. The initial assessment of suitability is better conducted through a physical visit.
A risk assessment for any building should include roof condition and size, whether PV is already in place, energy data, KvA known and whether data loggers are required, whether the site is a greenbelt/conservation area, CPM/built environment checks, available space for plant inside/out, boiler age, asset retention building use, parking facility/space for compounds and schools only – PMP works/ownership. After the risk assessment, commission more intrusive surveys where required e.g. for asbestos. We also ensure inclusion of an electrical engineer resource in future bid applications and when establishing our matrix project team.
Collect pre-construction information for contracts early. Have a comprehensive list of services/works required and corresponding contract options. Identify suitable frameworks to cover all aspects of construction works and remove reliance on the principal contractor for items such as trenching. If suitable frameworks are not available, consider the value of introducing new frameworks.
The more we can do upfront, the better. However, there are some preliminaries that rely on detailed designs from contractors, namely planning and DNO. Once received, ASHP installs can mostly be done under permitted development. All new sites having heat pumps installed should be considered from a PD perspective. Build more time for planning decisions in the project plan. Ensure input into the design and access statement – especially where greenbelt/conservation area is involved and commission asbestos removals at the earliest opportunity.
Specify/validate that contractors allocate sufficient resources, undertake robust site management, and deliver VFM through their sub-contracting arrangements. Present design packs to the team on-site to walk through issues in the live environment. Ensure CDM protocols are agreed and documented.
At the site visit, ensure a mutually agreed recorded version of the truth where there are any design interfaces between contractors. Issues such as scaffolding requirements should be fully understood at the outset. Agree location of inverters and identify back up plant requirements– will fall from pre-work under site ID. Ensure no conflicts between contractor designs and land ownership and identify any power down requirements and duration.
Meet with building managers before starting. PV switch-on first approach requires export/PPA arrangements to be resolved and all DNO works to be completed with written approval from DNO. On sites where there is no PV, DNO works must be completed before heat pumps can be switched on. Have electrical engineering resource undertake a downstream assessment of internal infrastructure before switch-on and finally, conduct a post-delivery questionnaire of building managers to provide feedback to contractors on performance.
- Amount of renewable energy generated.
- Number of jobs created.