Debt Free Communal Heating at Highbury Gardens

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The development consists of 119, one, two and three bedroom homes built around a new landscaped courtyard. This includes 62 homes for private sale and key workers being delivered with the HCA, the national housing and regeneration agency. A further 57 apartments will be owned by the Housing Association partner, Southern Housing Group, providing a mix of tenures to meet local housing needs. First Base chose to use the revenue management services of Evinox to provide tariff control and billing management for residents via the Evinox ModuSat communal heating system.

Highbury Gardens has been designed to meet leading industry standards such as Building for Lifetime Homes and consists of robust, well-built, energy efficient buildings that are designed to have a long life.

Ideal for residents seeking a “greener” lifestyle, the development meets the Code for Sustainable Homes, with 20% of the development’s energy demand being met by on-site renewable energy. Energy efficiency measures include solar thermal panels on the roof, reducing carbon emissions by 16%.

Benefiting from an Evinox communal heating system, the residents at Highbury Gardens buy energy ‘on demand’ (heat) rather than ‘raw fuel’ (gas). The central boiler plant also generates less carbon emissions and uses less energy to run than the equivalent of individual gas boilers in each apartment.

To control costs and ensure the system operates debt free, the Evinox card reader system is being used. The Housing Association decided the card reader system was perfectly suited to Highbury Gardens as it provides their residents with a choice over how they pay for their heating and hot water. The Evinox solution offers flexibility, with the option to Pay-As-You-Go, where tenants will purchase their energy from the local Payzone point as energy units are required or alternatively tenants can pay via a direct debit or online.

The Evinox MBUS system at Highbury Gardens has been provided so that the meters are read remotely via a GSM modem. This solution also provides heat energy consumptions as well as, flow and return temperatures to and from the apartment from the communal heating central plant room installation and the actual flow rate of the communal heating water into the apartment. These temperature and flow readings provide an overview of how the system is operating and are useful for an engineer to see if the system is balanced correctly and can identify areas of poor flow or an individual meter problem without the need to visit the site.

The Evinox card reader system controls costs and therefore keeps the tariff rate down due to less administration and less debt management service being required. As a result of this the occupiers can all benefit. The building owner and managing agent also have the peace of mind that the communal system is being managed efficiently without ongoing increasing costs.

Highbury Gardens was awarded “Best New Place to Live” by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the 2012 London Planning Awards. These awards recognise planning professionals and organisations that have made a vital contribution to the capital and are run jointly by the Mayor of London, London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute and London Councils. The awards celebrate planning achievements in the capital, from iconic projects with international profile, to community scale schemes.

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