Elite Renewables have constructed the UK’s first office and showroom powered by renewable energy. They were recently awarded a new EPC rating and they have moved from a D to an A rating. This extraordinary improvement is all part of their plan. They wanted to achieve a zero-carbon environment for their offices, despite working with an older building.
Elite Renewables purchased the property on Tait Road in 2022. They worked with Alida Calistru, a Passivhaus consultant and RIBA Chartered Architect on the plans for the office and showroom development. They stripped the building back and insulated it to new-build standards with an improved thermal shell. The Executive Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, opened the buildings in May 2023.
Elite Renewables have timed the project carefully. There is increasing pressure to make UK buildings more energy efficient.
It is expected that by 2025, no new houses will have gas boiler installations. They will need renewable energy alternatives. By 2023, landlords will need to achieve at least an EPC rating of B (most houses in the UK are D rated).
Commercial buildings do not have an energy price cap to protect them, so owners need to make them as energy efficient as possible. Martin suggests that the three key areas to consider are insulation, heat pumps and LED lighting. The aim at Tait Road is to get close to zero running costs.
“Tait Road will be the first working office in the UK that is also a living example of all the renewable technologies. Our heating, lighting and all other services will come from the ground source heat pump and the PV array – we should be close to achieving zero running costs.”Martin Fowler, Chief Executive, Elite Renewables
The renewable technologies he refers to are a ground source heat pump system (GSHP), mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), air source heat heat pump system (ASHP), and a photovoltaic array. Visitors to the offices will be able to see firsthand how these technologies work.
Tait Road’s ground source heat pump system has three 170m deep boreholes. They provide heating via underfloor heating and cooling using fan coil units. The mechanical ventilation with heat recovery circulates fresh air and removes stale air from the offices.
The air source heat pump system will demonstrate space requirements and noise levels to interested parties, as these are often concerns. The plant room is visible to visitors and staff behind a glass wall between the meeting room and breakout rooms.
The PV array consists of 66 solar panels on the roof and three battery storage units. The solar installation supplies ample electricity. It makes the office block almost completely independent of the traditional power grid (95% less reliant).
Elite Renewables offers a one-stop renewables solution for mechanical and electric projects. They work with domestic and commercial projects, from design to installation. They have over twenty years of renewables and ground source heat pump experience.
If you would like to view the offices and find out more about renewable technology, contact Elite Renewables.
Photos by Laura Bivolaru