GC Zero Picking Up the Pace
Any visitors to our Gloucester or Cheltenham campuses this month may have noticed that our car parks are feeling almost as busy as our campuses. As the pace of the ambitious GC Zero project picks up speed, both campuses now have two drilling rigs in operation and are making great headway in the task of drilling 40 boreholes at each site.
So far, 11 have been completed at Gloucester and 8 have been completed at Cheltenham, with each borehole reaching 200m deep. The boreholes will be used to install ground source heat pumps that harness natural heat from the earth and provide a source of renewable energy.
This month has also seen the completion of the concrete slabs which form the base of top-of-the-range plant rooms at each site. These plant rooms will soon be home to heat pumps, thermal stores, and batteries, where energy generated on-site will be stored. The batteries will be delivered within the next few days ready for installation.
Scaffolding is also going up around the buildings as solar panels are installed on the roofs. The installation process has already kicked off in Cheltenham, with Gloucester following soon after with installation beginning in February. This work is expected to take around 8 weeks, and will allow the college to use the power directly, store it in batteries for later use, or sell back to the national grid.
Underpinning it all, the work is supported by the installation of a Building Management System which requires upgrading controls and monitoring systems. This enables improved energy management when the campus buildings are using fully renewable energy, giving full sight of their energy performance.
All of this work has temporarily impacted the availability of parking spaces at the campuses. However there are a number of alternatives nearby, with Coronation Square and Gloucester Quays parking available at Cheltenham and Gloucester campuses respectively. With the significant progress that’s been made this month, the project is expected to be complete by spring 2022.