ashley-prescott-and-jonathan-mossA leading British housebuilder is set to boost its green credentials by adding an innovative energy saving technology to its existing house designs.

Redrow Homes has joined forces with Power-Pipe, a Waste Water Heat Recovery firm, by adding its systems to its national trade specification, as it explores new ways of driving its sustainability agenda forward.

Waste Water Heat Recovery works by recovering heat from outgoing warm waste water, lost down the drain during showering, and uses it to heat incoming cold fresh water. This helps to save energy, reduce carbon emissions and keep heating bills down in a household. It is also one of the most cost-effective technologies that can be used to boost a home’s energy efficiency performance within the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculation, which is required to pass building regulations.

Commenting on the partnership, Jonathan Moss, group technical manager at Redrow Homes, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve the quality of our existing homes and there are numerous benefits with this technology as it keeps heating costs down for our homeowners whilst reducing carbon emissions at the same time.”

On average, installing a Waste Water Heat Recovery unit will save a household ten percent a year on its annual energy bills or 500Kwh per person. In a typical family home, this could be a cost saving of £80 to £100 per year, and the more people using the shower, the greater the energy saving returns.

Moss, added: “As well as the consumer benefits, from an operational perspective, adding Power-Pipe to our trade specification will also provide us with the ideal solution for some of our properties.

“This is because of its cost-effectivity and generous SAP rating which will assist us with reducing CO2 emissions, and achieving compliance with building regulations on certain house types.”

Ashley Prescott, UK agent for Power-Pipe UK, said: “Water heating is a huge untapped resource which is why it is important for developers to consider technologies which save home-owners energy and money. Up to ninety percent of heat from the shower is lost down the drain but the vast majority of it is recoverable through Waste Water Heat Recovery.

“By including Power-Pipe systems, Redrow has demonstrated that it is a company which is committed to improving its environmental commitments, whilst keeping the interests of its homeowners at the heart of its designs. Teaming with Redrow is also a major step for our business and will allow our systems to get valuable recognition across the industry for its cost-effective energy efficiency performance.”

Waste Water Heat Recovery is recommended by the National House Building Association (NHBC) as one of the methods you can use to pass Building Regulations Part L, as well as Scottish Section 6 (energy). It is most widely used in residential applications, where the heat exchanger is connected to the shower and the house’s water heater. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Shower Heat Recovery. This helps increase the amount of available hot water in a property whilst reducing the load on its water heating system which saves energy. It can also save a property between 300kg-1000kg of carbon dioxide per year, dependent on how often the occupants shower and what fuel they use to heat their water with.

Waste Water Heat Recovery is relatively new to the UK and started appearing in homes around 2009, although it’s been used in Canada and certain parts of Europe for the last fifteen years. All copper falling-film WWHR technology such as the Power-Pipe is maintenance-free, 100% passive and will last 50 – 100+ years. Over 60,000 residences now benefit every day from Power-Pipes.

It is gaining more widespread recognition for its energy efficiency performance across the globe and from April 2016, became a mandatory requirement of building regulations in Manitoba, Canada.

Photo: Ashley Prescott and Jonathan Moss