Project Description

The Lowford Centre, Eastleigh

The Lowford Centre, Bursledon, Hampshire gas heat pump

Artist’s impression of The Lowford Centre

Eastleigh Borough Council, in partnership with local doctors and surgeries, was looking to improve existing facilities and services for residents at a community centre site on Lowford Hill in Bursledon. This included finding a solution for the need to relocate Bursledon Surgery to provide better facilities for local patients.

The new centre was designed to provide better facilities and services, with a new self-service library, a parish office, a revamped community centre and new-look doctors’ surgery, together with increased car parking provision.



Project details

Installation of Robur gas absorption heat pumps, delivering gas and ground source renewable energy.

Client Eastleigh Borough Council
Consultant Ion Consulting
Main contractor Mansell Balfour Beatty
Installer Mansell Balfour Beatty
Supplier ESS Ltd
Lowford Centre

Artist’s impression of the Lowford Centre


The solution

Lowford Centre - boring holes

Boring the holes for the gas heat pump

Designed by Ion Consulting, ESS worked with Nicholls Boreholes for the main contractor Mansell Balfour Beatty to provide an energy efficient heating and hot water system for the new community building in Bursledon, Eastleigh, which was one of the first in the country.

Nicholls Boreholes drilled and installed 9 closed-loop geothermal boreholes, each to a depth of 100m. Their in-house header works team connected the borehole arrays together to manifolds, and made connections from these to the three Robur Gas Absorption Heat Pumps, supplied by ESS.

The final installation of the heat pumps was then undertaken by one of Nicholls’ installation teams, with operatives specifically trained in the installation of this new generation of heat pumps.




The outcomes

The installed systems provide all the heating and hot water for the site, with a 40-50% running cost saving against a traditional gas boiler system, and no requirement for 3 phase electricity supply, which larger electric heat pumps require.

Gas heat pumps require less than 50% of the boreholes of an equivalent electric GSHP, saving on capital investment, space on site and significantly reducing payback period. The need for defrosting is minimal with continuous heating throughout and temperatures up to 65o C making it particularly suitable for retrofit.

Installed by Nicholls Boreholes, a Sussex-based GSHP installer that provides comprehensive solutions to a variety of customers.

It is extremely exciting working at the forefront of ground source technology with suppliers that can offer the support required.
Ben Nicholls, Managing Director, Nicholls Boreholes