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Greening Birminghams Grey Tower Blocks

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1 Greening Birminghams Grey Tower Blocks on Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:28 am


Greening Birminghams Grey Tower Blocks

Published on 19-08-2009 by
When you look at hulking old council blocks from the 1960s you may not imagine the most environmentally progressive and high tech of buildings but all that could be starting to change with moves being made by Birmingham Council.

Aware that public housing stock needs to be constantly upgraded to avoid obsolescence, a joint venture between the council and Utilicom will see combined heat and power technology, or CHP for short, fitted to the Cambridge and Crescent Towers near Brindley Drive.

These are the first towers to be fitted in this way in Birmingham and have been selected thanks to their close proximity to Broad Street that allows them to draw from the existing heat and power infrastructure owned by Utilicom that runs under it.

Tapping housing into existing heat and power infrastructure isn't exactly a new concept. In the 1940s some 10,000 homes in London's Pimlico alone were receiving central heating and hot water this way from Battersea Power Station.

In addition all 124 of the apartments in the tower blocks will have their heating systems overhauled to an electric wet heating system which is basically an electric boiler that works in a similar and as efficient manner as a gas one.

The end result should be a substantial fall in the cost of powering the two tower blocks with 482 tonnes of CO2 saved every year. As the average UK household manages to spew out 6 tonnes of the stuff each that comes to 744 tonnes for both towers assuming they are average, showing just how much of a reduction this sort of technology can bring when it is properly installed.

With there being literally thousands of similar buildings across the UK, the potential is massive for council led projects that can really start to make British homes efficient en masse. There's no reason, apart from political willpower, as to why those grey tower blocks cannot become green.

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