Atkins heat decarbonisation study, UK Net Zero Carbon Building News, British Sustainable Architecture Design

Atkins heat decarbonisation study in the UK

4 March 2022

Atkins appointed to deliver heat decarbonisation study across Dept. Work & Pensions estate

Atkins – a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group – has been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to carry out a nationwide study into how to decarbonise its entire property portfolio.

Job Centre Plus Atkins heat decarbonisation study

Atkins heat decarbonisation study across the UK

The assessment will comprise 50 buildings initially, mainly Job Centre Plus sites across the UK. The focus will be on analysing existing heating systems and insulation in order to recommend a zero carbon alternative to outmoded systems such as fossil-fuel boilers.

The project will call on a range of Atkins services including site surveys, analysis of consumption data and carbon emissions and review of assets (including space heating, HWS and ventilation systems). It will also require Net Zero Carbon solutions, the feasibility of connecting to local heat networks, thermal modelling, benefits of solutions and estimated capital costs.

The first phase of the study, now underway, will include a detailed analysis of each building carried out by Atkins teams based around the country. Following this a second phase will be launched to provide guidance on decarbonising the complete portfolio of up to 850 of the department’s buildings.
Isabelle Smith, Associate Director at Atkins said: “As the condition and type of buildings included in the study will vary widely, they will need to be analysed individually on site, to ascertain how to decarbonise the heating systems in use.

“This includes building management systems data, utility bills and many other sources which are collated and sorted in a central database. We then use our engineering knowledge to show where carbon is being produced, benchmark this against other similar systems before identifying ways for this to be reduced.

“By building on and integrating our existing approaches to digital engineering and, asset management – including use of digital twins – we can chart a data-driven decarbonisation journey that is easily visualised thanks to AI-enabled dashboards.”

A key aspect of the studies will be the compatibility of the new heat source with the existing heating systems in terms of operating temperatures and peak loads.

Smith adds: “A whole building approach is being taken, with fabric improvement measures being considered alongside alternative heat sources. The fabric improvement retrofit measures could include enhanced wall and roof insulation, replacement windows and improved air tightness.

“The extended scope of works for the 850 properties will include a strategic approach to ‘decarbonisation of heat’ schemes at portfolio level and development of a Heat Decarbonisation Policy.”

A spokesman for the DWP added: “The decarbonisation of our buildings is a fundamental part of our mission to reach Net Zero Carbon. We’re pleased to be working with Atkins on this important project and have full confidence in their capabilities and ability to deliver results we can work with going forward.”
The announcement follows the appointment of Atkins and Faithful+Gould (also part of the SNC-Lavalin Group) to the Government Property Agency framework in 2021, as part of a major investment to accelerate the government’s Net Zero agenda.

Over the next six years, Atkins and Faithful+Gould will work with the GPA to ensure over four million square feet of public sector office space is brought to enhanced sustainability standards.

The contract announcement also comes shortly after the launch of SNC-Lavalin’s Decarbonomics proposition – a data-driven solution to decarbonise the built environment in a cost-effective way and accelerate the global journey to net zero.

Atkins Architects

Previously on e-architect:

Net Zero Carbon Buildings News

Architects set out first-ever pledge for zero-carbon interiors
Zero carbon Interior building
photo courtesy of Mick de Paola, unsplash
Zero carbon Interiors

WorldGBC and GRESB join forces to drive net zero carbon buildings
Net Zero Carbon Buildings, Sustainable Architecture
photo courtesy Anders Vestergaard Jensen, unsplash
Net Zero Carbon Buildings

Zero Carbon Buildings 2050 Report

House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes Ruling

Eco Architecture

Contemporary Green Architecture Design – selection of posts:

2020: The Year of Net Zero
Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, University of Wollongong
photo © Richard Glover / Matt Estherby
Sustainable Building News: Zero-Energy

Climate and Biodiversity Emergency
Climate and Biodiversity Emergency - Robinson Tower Building -
photo : Tim Griffith
Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Advancing Net Zero project

Zero Carbon House Bolton

Zero Carbon House Birmingham

Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable Architecture News

Sustainable Buildings

Sustainable Design

Sustainable Timber Architecture

Buildings / photos for the Architects pledge for zero-carbon interiors – Sustainable Design News page welcome