Creating a district heating network for Wembley Park
When property developer Quintain embarked on transforming the long-neglected area surrounding the iconic Wembley stadium, into a new district and exciting hub, they sought Ramboll as an engineering partner who could fully realise their ambitious sustainability agenda.
Business Development, District EnergyT: +44 20 7631 5291
Director, BuildingsT: +44 7767 167 905
Associate, BuildingsT: +44 7552 128 440
Leslie Jones Architecture
Wembley Park is a transformational urban regeneration scheme in the heart of London, renewing the long-neglected space around the national stadium in London. It is creating a vibrant new district which will be home to the UK’s largest single-site build to rent scheme, with over 7,000 residential units, helping to address the UK’s shortage of affordable homes.
Ramboll is working with Quintain to provide engineering expertise to help deliver highly sustainable outcomes on this landmark project. We have designed a highly energy efficient site-wide district energy system, as well as providing structural, civil and geotechnical engineering to three plots on the site where our solutions have saved time and materials.
“Quintain and Wembley Park have been working with Ramboll for about 4 years, to deliver innovative design solutions, and reduce carbon, reduce energy, reduce material wastage, which they’ve achieved through both structural and energy engineering.” Matt Voyce, Executive Director for Construction, Quintain.
A highly energy efficient district heating network
When Ramboll was introduced to the project we changed the design to service the development through an innovative single energy centre, rather than the originally planned separate systems. This saved Quintain considerable capital expenditure, as well as reducing maintenance costs.
The single energy centre feeds approximately 20 separate buildings linked to a district heating network approximately 3.5 km in length. Ramboll used our experts in Denmark, where Copenhagen has one of the most sophisticated systems in the world and supplies energy to over 1 million people, to help maximise the energy efficiency of the network and reduce heat losses and lower the return temperature.
The energy centre essentially links to a low temperature hot water heating network where a two-stage system improves efficiencies by using water returned from the radiator circuit to pre-heat domestic hot water.
The system is thermally led, with combined heat and power engines as the lead energy source, thermal stores as primary support and gas boilers as back-up. The result is a highly efficient system providing cleaner and greener energy to this significant development.
This has worked very well at Wembley park despite the site being hugely congested with existing and new utilities. We believe this will change the way contractors think about energy provision for future large-scale developments as this provides a road map for how highly efficient pipework can distribute low-carbon energy on even the most large and complex sites.
Innovative engineering for three large plots
Ramboll is collaborating with architects PRP, MEP consultants HPF, Foreman Roberts, Griffiths Evans, site wide infrastructure consultants Buro Happold, and contractors Wates, Sisk and O’Keefe on seven new buildings across plots E01, E02 and E05, which will provide 1,091 of the new residential units.
We have ensured our solutions are highly sustainable and matched to the projects principles of lasting quality and affordability. Given the scale of development, the design and construction programme was very fast and so we utilised our digital skills to shorten the time needed for each iteration of design to support the rapid timeframe.
Plots E01 and E02 comprise four blocks between 12-15 storeys, providing 633 residential units over a basement car park. Plot E05 comprises three superstructure towers, between 11 and 22 storeys and includes a basement residents car park, a significant coach park at ground floor level for the Stadium and two levels of disabled parking bays connected to the Wembley Stadium concourse by a footbridge.
At plots E01 and E02 we developed an innovative solution for the foundations where we designed a piled raft solution under each of the towers. The piled raft shares the load between the ground bearing raft slab and the piles and so we were able to reduce the number of piles needed by over 30%. This efficient design saved time on the programme and reduced materials use which saved money as well as being a more sustainable approach. Our complex and innovative basement and foundation designs also had to be integrated with the ENVAC automated vacuum waste management system, which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Plot E05 includes a basement car park and ground floor coach park which required long clear spans. We designed a shallow post-tensioned beam solution as this optimised the efficiency for the car park levels over the coach park. Taking this approach combined with a similar piled raft solution to E01 allowed us to optimise the number of piles. The most efficient solution for the residential levels above was similar to that adopted at E01 and so we designed a transfer structure to support the 15 levels above and used our digital design expertise to optimise the transfer beam. In addition, the contractor Sisk, is using an offsite manufactured pre-cast facade. We analysed the slab edge movements combined with the piled raft movements to check that the joints between pre-cast panels were acceptable and are pleased to see the impact to the programme from the combination of Ramboll's innovative foundation solution and Sisk's pre-cast facade.
An innovative and sustainable development
It is an enormous privilege to oversee the achievements at Wembley Park and the difference it is making to people. This 8.8 million sq ft mixed use development is forming a new distinct and exciting hub in London where people want to live, companies want to grow, and neighbourhoods come alive.
- Emissions on the UK’s largest private rental scheme will be 35% below current building regulations
- Our structural design reduced the number of piles needed by over 30% saving time and reducing materials offering a more sustainable approach.