Salix Finance supports Northumbria University’s net zero journey

Submitted by ahmed.ali on Thu, 26/05/2022 - 16:41

Salix Finance has supported Northumbria University in reducing its carbon footprint with the installation of a £1.7 million high-tech heating system.

The university’s inefficient gas boilers have been replaced with state-of-the-art air source heat pumps (ASHPs), which have been placed on the roof of two key buildings as part of the project.

The work took place at City Campus East - home to Newcastle Business School, Northumbria Law School and Northumbria School of Design. The two buildings, constructed in 2006, are ideal for heat pumps as they are relatively modern, with good building fabric and can adapt to the lower temperatures.

The university is projected to save £64k from its energy bills and more than 316 tonnes of carbon a year. 

Preparatory work began in early February, with the ASHPs lifted six stories onto the roof of each building in early April and plumbed in providing heat just days later.

As well as cutting the emissions of the campus, the heat pumps will be a key tool for the university’s students, who can use the live data generated on building heating and performance to support their degree studies.

Financing of the £1.7 million project came from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and delivered by Salix Finance, which supports energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within the public sector.  

Kirsty Adamson, Programme Manager, Salix Finance, said: “Salix Finance is very pleased to be supporting Northumbria University’s transition to low carbon heating through the installation of air-source heat pumps on the rooftops of two of their key buildings in the city centre. 

“It’s been a pleasure working with the university who have been particularly energetic in tackling one of the most difficult challenges we face in achieving net-zero and to decarbonise our heating systems. We hope the changes will provide an even better working and learning experience for staff and students alike.”
Professor George Marston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Projects and Sustainability lead, Northumbria University, said: “The installation of air source heat pumps is the next step in our journey towards net-zero carbon. The speed and skill this has been delivered in is a credit to all the teams who have supported us to successfully deliver this project.”

The ASHPs take warmth from the air – even in freezing temperatures – to provide heating and hot water for the dozens of lecture theatres, offices, cafes and other facilities within the buildings found in the heart of Newcastle city centre. 

Tim Wood, EQUANS’ sustainability director, said: “By switching from an old, inefficient, gas system to modern air source heat pumps, the university is reducing its overall carbon footprint, and playing a major role in supporting the net-zero ambitions of the city of Newcastle.”

Footage captured by EQUANS and their partners during the installation process can be viewed here