One of our niche talents at Helec is our ability to design, construct off-site & install, then maintain quality communal heating EnSmart systems for both domestic and mixed commercial properties that are seeking new ways to reduce their damaging CO2 emissions and improve their energy efficiency.
No aspect of this task is out of our skill set as Helec team can assist with a full turnkey package incorporating everything from assessing the feasibility, the design, the build right through to the site installation.

What Is A Communal Heating System?

A communal heating system, sometimes referred to as a district system, is a single point of delivery, usaully an energy centre, responsible for providing & delivering domestic hot water and thermal space heating across many residential apartments, mixed commercial & office spaces, all from one location.
This single sole plant room (energy centre) will be the primary service to all other dwellings and is commonly found today servicing high density apartment blocks, or mixed commercial & office blocks.

Examples of working communal heating sites built, installed & commissioned by Helec can be viewed here

What Are The Benefits Of A Communal Heating System?

In comparison with premises where each dwelling, whether that be a residential apartment, or an office, has a single gas fired boiler, or a heating appliance in each, collectively will use more energy and have an impact on the environment. Whereas a communal heating system will use much less energy overall.
When you also add the reduced carbon / renewable source of energy being delivered through cogeneration (CHP) methods into consideration it becomes a valuable cost effective solution. There is also the secondary but interwoven benefit of a reduction in carbon emissions from a single source over multiples appliances.

This brings us nicely on to Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
A CHP unit(s) produces thermal energy and operates as the ‘lead’ boiler in a plant room generating & providing a calculated thermal load for the sites space heating and domestic hot water whilst simultaneously generating onsite available electrical power, thus further reducing building & stakeholder running costs.
Other benefits include helping businesses meet their BREEAM targets and improving performance efficiencies over longer lifetime expectations.
Also, for social landlords and affordable housing providers, the need for intrusive access to tenants dwellings for periodic gas safe boiler servicing & maintenance schedules are no longer required.

Communal boiler systems provide significant carbon reductions compared to other multiple energy sources. The table below compares district heating scheme emissions to single domestic heating systems.

 District heating CO2 Emissions (G/KwH) Individual heating CO2 Emissions (G/KwH)
 Gas CHP 10 Gas Boilers 260
 Biomass 30 Electric Heating 850
 Oil 20 Oil Boiler 350
 Biogas CHP 360 Heat Pumps 300

Communal bolers also offer other advantages including:

  • Reduced maintenance and increased lifespan with a typical system lasting 25 years compared to 15 for gas boilers.
  • Combined Heat and Power reduces energy costs to individual properties
  • Removing multiple gas boilers also reduces, or circumvents required annual gas safety inspection costs.

How Do Communal Heating Systems Work?

Within each dwelling is usually a wall mounted Heat Interface Unit. This HIU unit delivers and provides independent space heating (CH) and fast recover domestic hot water (DHW) via the buildings main primary hot water & cold water energy centre circuits to provide the end user with the same hydronic control as if they had there own boiler & hot water tank in situ.
These incoming HIU CH & DHW primary supplies are fitted with energy metres which monitor precisely and record the amount of energy used. This means each apartment, or office space will only be billed for the exact amount of energy they consume via “pay as you go” top up card set up, or through an agreed energy billing contract.

Contact Us

If you want to know more, or have a specific enquiry that one of our friendly team can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.

Wembley Hill outside