Boosting sustainable energy for the Elephant Community
With climate change and air pollution rarely out of the headlines, populations in cities continue to rise along with the demand for sustainable energy.
In Elephant Park, the Energy Hub (an energy centre for Elephant and Castle) is open for business, underlining the development’s ambition to be carbon neutral.
The purpose-built building on Heygate Street and Rodney Road has been awarded the status of BREEAM Excellent – the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for built environment projects. Inside, there’s a state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) plant operated by energy provider E.ON
The CHP plant uses natural gas, with a biomethane offset to supply low-carbon heating and hot water to the development’s 3,000 new homes, as well as multiple businesses, community areas and leisure spaces.
The Energy Centre, Elephant Castle has the capacity to deliver low-carbon energy to many more additional homes across the area
CHP (sometimes known as cogeneration) is a more efficient use of fuel than conventional power sources, as it reuses the large quantities of excess and otherwise wasted heat, recovering this thermal energy for heating. By using this technique, the total energy conversion efficiency could reach 90 per cent.
Combining this with sustainable fuels such as biomethane and domestic energy-saving measures, community heating schemes can provide affordable heating that has a minimal carbon footprint. CHP is a key technology in the Government’s drive away from centralised power generation towards distributed energy generation.
Designed by Architects Morris and Company, the Energy Centre in Elephant and Castle is more than just a power hub. As well as supplying green energy to Elephant Park, the hub is already becoming a focal point for the community, with an integrated early years nursery, café and a children’s playground – known as the pocket park, acting as a spill out for both – as well as a hireable space for residents to book for events and celebrations. The exterior of the building itself has a modern aesthetic, with playful design elements scattered throughout – for example the placement of its windows. It’s won a RIBA Regional Award, as well as a New London Award in the mixed-use category.
At the heart of Elephant Park is the ambition to make the development the greenest new place to live in central London, and to make the area one of the most sustainable urban locations in the world.
To read more about sustainability around Elephant Park, check out these links:
- Sustainability strategy
- Five fast sustainable facts
- Think global, act local – recycle
- The importance of trees at Elephant Park