TGA Consulting Engineers (TGA), an expert provider of consulting engineering services, has been appointed by Durham University to develop heat decarbonisation plans for five sites following a successful bid for Low Carbon Skills Funding (LCSF).
Durham University is one of six public sector bodies in the North East to have been selected to receive funding from the LCSF.
Due to its reputation for leading edge expertise in the sector and its performance on a raft of earlier projects for the university, TGA was invited to support the university’s bid for LCSF funding by Tom Bray, Senior Energy Manager in Durham University’s energy and sustainability team.
With approval for its funding bid obtained in early July, the university then briefed TGA to complete its study in time for the next Salix funding round bids, which are being submitted in September.
The buildings within the Durham University campus that form part of TGA’s brief include the theology and history departments, both located on North Bailey, multiple buildings at Hatfield College, Bede Chapel and Southend House where TGA’s remit is to assess the impact of potential future building improvement works on energy use calculations. TGA also has a separate appointment at Bede Chapel to replace the boiler plant.
Commenting on the firm’s appointment, Dr David Warwick, TGA’s technical director and head of the building performance team, explains why it is more challenging to work in historic buildings. He said:
“TGA combines the ability to undertake thermal modelling and associated analysis with that of designing and integrating the appropriate technologies into existing buildings. This process is particularly challenging in historic buildings because it is more difficult to improve the performance of the building envelope to the degree required to make certain technologies viable as well as trying to do so without damaging the historic building fabric or detracting from its aesthetic qualities.
“This is, however, one of our key strengths as a practice and we can demonstrate a strong track record of delivering such projects.
“On this occasion, we are working with Durham University to identify what needs to be done, which involves the preparation of concept level designs together with heat decarbonisation plans that the university will use to support its bids and further redevelopment or refurbishment works.”
Commenting on TGA’s appointment, Mr Bray, said: “TGA have strong capabilities in respect of energy and building performance and in the context of Durham University, they are very well acquainted with our estate.
“We have 350 buildings here and as a result of TGA’s work we will know what to do in the future and how to tackle other areas of the estate where we need to become more energy efficient. This is very much a conceptual study and will help facilitate decarbonisation of the sites in the future – a key stage in our journey to carbon zero.”
The Salix Funding stream opens and closes periodically – typically every six months in autumn and spring – the work will be completed to support applications in September 2023 and April 2024. There is stiff competition for funding from all public sector bodies across the UK.
Other professional firms working on the project include Purcell, a cross-disciplinary practice fielding the world’s largest team of heritage experts working in the built environment and the Newcastle office of project management and cost consultancy practice, Thornton Firkin.