Heating apartments using combined heat and power fuelled by biomass is much less costly than using individual boilers, says research

Heating homes using biomass fired CHP costs just one fifth of building homes to Passivhaus standards with individual boilers, according to research carried out exclusively for Building.

The research, carried out by cost consultant Davis Langdon and engineer Element Energy shows that biomass CHP cost an extra £77 per square metre when used as a community heating solution for a large apartments scheme built to 2010 Part L standards compared to £377 m2 for individually heating homes built to Passivhaus standards.

The extra cost was mostly due to the need for expensive PV panels to power the mechanical heat ventilation with heat recovery system needed for the homes built to Passivhaus standards. Gas fired CHP was also two and a half times cheaper than Passivhaus homes.

The research is published in a supplement published with today’s Building magazine called the Regs Files, a guide to current and upcoming environmental legislation. The supplement also reveals the costs of improving a Victorian terraced home and how difficult it is for owner occupiers to radically improve the environmental performance of their homes.