Cementation Skanska is installing 52m-deep foundation piles for low-energy heating and cooling system

The UK’s deepest ever energy piles are being installed at NEO Bankside, a luxury residential development next to the Tate Modern in London.

The 52m-deep, 1.5m-diameter rotary bored foundation piles are being installed by foundation contractor Cementation Skanska on the 229-apartment building, which is designed by architect Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners. As well as supporting the building, the piles are also an integral part of the development’s low-energy heating and cooling system.

An antifreeze-based solution is circulated through plastic piping embedded within the piles. This means the piles take on the temperature of the ground which is warmer than the outside air temperature in the winter and cooler in the summer. Heat exchangers magnify these small temperature differentials to provide an energy efficient system of heating and cooling the building.

The scheme’s 130 energy piles will contribute 760kW of heating and 650kW of cooling energy to the development, helping the building meet its 10% renewable energy requirement.