0 Taking the heat out of pipe-work costs

Pic 1Using Mother Earth as a source of heat is a developing technology. It is one that has grown in popularity over the last ten years amid mounting efforts to seek more environmentally friendly ways of heating homes and buildings. Ground source heating systems have lower running costs than conventional central heating methods, low maintenance, and they provide years of trouble-free, reliable heat with fewer noxious emissions. They also work especially well in providing under floor delivered warmth.

Even though it is an investment that can deliver a payback within a few years by reducing fuel bills, a possible downside is that they are more costly to install than other central heating methods. The early stages of the work can also take time and be disruptive.

An area where this is now much less of an issue is the actual groundwork for putting in the pipe-work. A specialist company best known for its sports field construction work, White Horse Contractors, operates a range of specialist plant and machinery that drastically reduces the time and therefore cost of excavating and installing the pipework.

The company has carried out a number of ground source installations using machinery that creates a narrow trench, lays the pipe-work, and makes good all in a single pass. Not only is this method efficient, the site never has unsightly mounds of spoil or open trenches, which also reduces health and safety risks.

According to the Contracts Manager at White Horse in charge of such projects, Guy Tulloch, there are all-round benefits for noticeably less outlay.

"Conventional excavators can make a real mess of a site. Our Mastenbroek machines mean quite complex networks of pipework can be accurately installed in a much smaller area. We can actually cut trenches as narrow as 4 inches. We're off site quickly and reinstatement works are relatively minor.

"Our machines have low ground pressure tracks, so there's little compaction of the soil and because of this and the minimal disruption to the site in general, very little needs to be spent on re-cultivation and re-seeding. It ticks plenty of boxes environmentally and makes good business sense for a project too.

"Obviously no two installations are alike and costs will always vary, according to the location and ground conditions. However, as a rule of thumb it is up to 12% cheaper to install ground source heating pipe-work with our trenching equipment compared to conventional excavators."

White Horse Contractors, who are based at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, has been engaged a number of times by one of the front runners in renewable energy systems designed for domestic, commercial and public buildings, ISOEnergy, whose head office is at Horley in Surrey.

The two companies now have valuable experience of working together on such projects. Indeed, during last summer the companies worked on a site for a private client near Guildford in Surrey. Utilising the White Horse methodology, over 3,500 linear metres of pipework were laid and the job was completed in just two weeks which demonstrates both the effectiveness of this method and the skill and experience of the company's staff.

For further information, please contact Guy Tulloch on 01865 736272, email guy.t@whitehorsecontractors.co.uk, or visit www.whitehorsecontractors.co.uk for more information.

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