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Postmark, London Boroughs of Camden and Islington, Taylor Wimpey Central London

Metropolitan is contracted under a 40-year agreement to operate the district energy infrastructure for the development. This will encompass a heat network and a gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) energy centre plus cooling networks. These networks form part of a multi-utility solution with other businesses within the BUUK Infrastructure Group delivering electricity and ultrafast fibre broadband services.

Development: Postmark, London Borough of Camden and Islington

Customer: Taylor Wimpey, Central London

Sector: Residential, Leisure and Retail

Utilities: Heat, Electricity, Fibre

A flagship development

Taylor Wimpey Central London’s flagship development, Postmark, shares its location with the 129-year-old Royal Mail sorting office at Mount Pleasant in Farringdon. Modernisation of the mail centre in 2014 freed up land in this sought-after part of London. Sitting across two postcodes, WC1 and EC1, and surrounded by Farringdon, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Chancery Lane, Postmark is at the London epicentre of the creative, technology and knowledge industries. When complete it will consist of:

  • 681 residential units
  • Over 2,000m2 of retail, food and beverage outlets
  • Gyms, cinemas and private dining rooms for residents
  • Open spaces and landscaped courtyards

Adding value

Taylor Wimpey Central London selected Metropolitan for the project due to its proven district energy operational capabilities and its track record of delivering outstanding customer service.

Metropolitan worked closely with Taylor Wimpey and their team to identify and deliver various design improvements. A notable gain is that there will be a single energy centre for the heat network in place of the two originally planned. The development straddles a public road and Metropolitan’s early engagement allowed them to undertake a cost-benefit analysis for one energy centre versus two. Having a single energy centre will enable future connection of the two development phases and will save Taylor Wimpey space and significant cost. Larger equipment serving a single energy centre is inherently more efficient, giving better environmental performance.

Engineering challenges

As a result of the site’s location with the two phases separated by a public highway, already heavily congested with existing utilities, pipework sleeves were installed under the road. This allowed the design to be rationalised, enabling a single gas-fired CHP energy centre to serve the entire development. Careful evaluation determined that the most efficient design for providing cooling was by means of two electric chillers and two separate networks each serving half of the development. Substations were also removed from the heating and cooling networks, providing further savings and efficiencies.

End-user benefits

Residents and commercial customers at Postmark will directly benefit from efficient heat generation. Typically, district energy networks result in lower fuel bills for customers, and Metropolitan has guaranteed that at Postmark heat costs will never exceed those incurred by a traditional gas-boiler solution. Metropolitan is committed to delivering the highest standards of customer service for residents. The company was one of the first to register a scheme with the Heat Trust, an industry-led, self-regulatory initiative which recognises best practice and aims to protect and safeguard the interests of all heat customers.

Low-carbon solution

Metropolitan’s solution will provide a 30% saving on carbon emissions compared with the traditional solution of generating electricity separately and providing heat from individual boilers in homes.

“Taylor Wimpey Central London brings together striking aesthetics and thoughtful design, in the most desirable Zone 1 and 2 locations. Postmark is one of the most unique central London developments where the energetic, eclectic East meets the traditional, prestigious West. We are delighted to be working with Metropolitan, whose early involvement has helped reduce costs and eliminate risks in the key aspect of the district energy. We look forward to work with Metropolitan to welcome residents and commercial occupants.”

Robert Crombie, Projects Director, Taylor Wimpey, Central London