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Glasgow University Heating Network


Glasgow University




Improve efficiency ratings by installing a system to provide energy savings and reduce carbon footprint.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

3, 7, 9, 11

Our Guide To The UNSDG goals

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Project Overview

Working in partnership with Crown House Technologies, Sweco implemented a new heating and power network, to connect 53 buildings on the Glasgow University estate, to a new energy centre. Using the latest combined heat and power (CHP) technologies the project will help the University reach its environmental target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions and reduce annual energy costs through a more efficient generation and distribution of heat and power. 

The Challenge

Historically the buildings were heated by steam, supplied from a central boiler house that was nearing the end of its lifecycle and as a consequence was no longer efficient or cost effective. In line with their Carbon Management Plan (CMP), the University sought to improve their efficiency ratings by installing a system that would provide energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint. Sweco’s role therefore was to determine the energy demand for each of the 53 buildings, and to design an energy efficient CHP plant in one of the existing buildings, along with a new heat network and high voltage electricity ring main.  

With a total 45 MW of installed capacity, this project is one of the largest energy network projects in Scotland.


Our Approach

Sweco has worked closely with the principal contractor, Crown House Technologies, to provide specialist design services for the project. To optimise the design process, key members of the Sweco design team have been co-located with Crown House Technologies, as required by the project team. 

The district heating network and energy centre have been commissioned. A new building was also added to the network and the works were completed in September 2016. In addition, and in close collaboration with the University, the project has provided an apprenticeship opportunity for local engineering students.



In addition to the engineering design works (comprising: civil and structural engineering; geotechnical engineering; energy engineering; mechanical engineering services; electrical engineering; control, instrumentation and automation engineering), Sweco has also provided support on commissioning activities as well as legislative and regulatory aspects of the project. 

The deliverables included: the development of the specification for the energy centre equipment and equipment selection; generation of drawings and schematics; thermal store, pumps and pipe sizing; heat load calculations; development of control philosophy and user requirements specification; reporting on districting heating modelling results, and general progress reporting. 

The estimated value for the complete district heating scheme is £16 million, including the 6 km heating network of pipe, CHP unit and boilers and ancillary equipment, electrical transformers and distribution. 

To comply with current environmental regulations a new 35 metre high chimney has also been installed.

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