Small scale communal heating in Edingbrough
One of the primary drivers for Dunedin Canmore housing association selecting a communal heating
system was to reduce the utility cost for residents and reduce the issues associated with obtaining
access for maintenance of individual gas boilers. They had experienced cases in the past where
access to dwellings had been refused, which resulted in expensive legal action to gain access to
the boilers to carry out required maintenance.
The site is situated close to Caledonian Brewery and the initial design for the scheme proposed
to use the waste heat from the distillery to supply the 120 flats with their heating and hot water
demand. This waste heat would then be piped from the distillery up to the development’s energy
centre where it would be stored within insulated water tanks before being distributed to the site via
a communal heating system.
It was envisaged that a small gas boiler would also be connected to the communal system to act
as a backup if the system failed. Unfortunately, the plans to utilise the distillery’s waste heat did not
come to fruition. The distillery only wanted to commit to seven years of guaranteed delivery, which was to short for the housing cooperation. As the plans to use the distillery’s heat fell through quite late on in
the design, the plan to install communal heating infrastructure was retained and the energy supply
was replaced with two large gas boilers.
During Slateford Green’s preliminary design stages,
the design team had ambitions to incorporate
more low and zero carbon technologies than were
actually realised in the final design. The high
cost of the communal heating system limited the
other technologies that could be implemented on
the site. Photovoltaics (PV) were considered, but
were removed due to budget limitations.