Metropolitan adopts the district heating and cooling networks for flagship residential development, Postmark

Metropolitan announced today that it has been awarded the contract to adopt and operate the district heating and cooling networks which will serve Taylor Wimpey Central London’s flagship development, Postmark, in Farringdon. Early collaboration, during the design phase, has enabled Metropolitan to work with the developer and its consultants, to streamline the design of the district heating and cooling infrastructure and so significantly reduce the capital cost- outlay of the project. This further extends Metropolitan’s district energy portfolio, following last month’s news of the adoption and operation of the district heat network serving Hallsville Quarter development in Canning Town.

Postmark is a major new residential development which shares its location with the 129-year-old Royal Mail sorting office at Mount Pleasant. Modernisation of the mail centre in 2014 freed up land in this sought-after part of London and Taylor Wimpey Central London plans two phases of development to create a new mixed-use address. When complete, Postmark will consist of 681 apartments as well as a new public realm including retail outlets and open squares.

Improving the design of the district heating and cooling network presented Metropolitan with a number of engineering challenges. As a result of the site’s location, with the two phases physically separated by a public highway, the original intention had been to have two energy centres and two distinct heat networks serving the new homes. Installing pipework sleeves under the highway and eliminating the need for substations has rationalised the design, enabling a single gas-fired Combined Heat and Power energy centre to serve the entire development. This has resulted in capital cost-savings with the bonus of less valuable space being taken up by the required infrastructure. Careful evaluation determined that the most efficient design for providing cooling was by means of two electric chillers and two separate networks each serving half of the development.

Metropolitan has extensive experience designing, building and operating integrated energy and utility solutions. At Postmark, Metropolitan will be providing and running not only the district heat and cooling network but also the electricity network and the ultrafast fibre broadband network.

District energy networks have proven low-carbon credentials. Metropolitan’s solution at Postmark will provide in excess of a 30% saving on carbon emissions compared with a traditional solution of generating electricity separately and providing heat from individual boilers in homes.

Andrew White of Metropolitan commented, “Our involvement with Postmark’s heating and cooling network at such an early stage has given our engineers the opportunity to work with the developer’s own team to optimise the network configuration. But this is just the beginning of our relationship with Postmark. Metropolitan will be operating the networks there for 40 years, ensuring maximum network efficiency and delivering the highest standards of customer service for residents.”

Robert Crombie, Projects Director of Taylor Wimpey Central London commented, “Taylor Wimpey Central London brings together striking aesthetics and thoughtful design, in the most desirable Zone 1 and 2 locations. Postmark is one of the most unique, central London developments where the energetic, eclectic East meets the traditional, prestigious West. We are delighted to be working with Metropolitan, whose early involvement has helped reduce costs and eliminate risks in the key aspect of the district energy. We look forward to working with Metropolitan to welcome residents and commercial occupants.”