Low Carbon District Heating

Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council (BCC) have identified heat networks as a key means to provide low carbon heating, and decarbonising the city’s heat. BCC are focused on constructing heat networks in the Redcliffe and Temple areas of the city, which have been identified as the initial network clusters from which district heating can be developed throughout the city.


The initial Redcliffe network project involved connecting thirteen housing blocks to a centralised energy centre, with provision for further connections for a school, commercial buildings, private residential and hotels in the area. Further commissions were to expanded the network in the Temple area, connect additional gas combined heat & power (CHP) energy generation and strategically link areas of the city for future low-carbon heat connections.

We have provided all services from masterplanning, feasibility, detailed design, contracting, principle designer and overseeing commissioning of the energy centres, substations and buried heat networks.


We were appointed in 2014 for the design, delivery and commissioning of the Redcliffe heat network. This comprised a biomass energy centre and a heat network connecting sixteen buildings, including social housing. The network design was future-proofed to allow additional private heat customers and extending to connect to the wider network, planned in future phases.

In 2016, we were appointed to deliver the buried network across the Temple Circus, and to connect the Temple area of the city with the extant Redcliffe network. It was a requirement that the installation of the heat main coincided with the construction works for the development of a new road layout. We were commissioned to design the heat network, assist in the procurement of contractors and oversee the installation of the pipework. Specialist sections were designed in partnership with 3D Technical Design Ltd, who assisted the design and overseeing of the installation of complex sections across the Temple Circus.

In 2018 our work continued to develop the Temple network which included the design of a second CHP energy centre, supporting the network to extend and connect new developments throughout the Temple area of the city.


The Redcliffe and Temple networks currently comprise two energy centres. The first incorporates a 1 MW wood pellet boiler, thermal storage and 4 MW gas boilers. Further design was completed for a second energy centre, incorporating gas CHP, thermal storage and a further 4 MW of gas boilers.  The two energy centres include distribution pumps, to provide variable temperature supply into the network zones.

The networks were also designed to allow for future expansion, to support the Council’s plans to supply low carbon district heating to additional buildings including hotels, a school, private residences and offices; the future-proofed design will allow the network to receive heat from other low carbon sources, such as connections to future heat pumps and energy from waste sources outside the Temple and Redcliffe network area.