Sustainable Project Success Is Easy! Simply Take A Different View

How is it in a country increasingly embracing renewable energy solutions on a variety of projects, that sometimes the most complex go smoothly with fantastic results, yet the simplest of installations goes awry with many casualties?

The answer is proper planning; and this often goes deeper than just having the right project manager or consultant on board. It is about the client, architect and installers understanding that sustainable projects cannot be treated as a standard home building project, and require a different way of thinking. This doesn’t require a total overhaul of established project planning methods; just a few key way points and communication channels that must be successfully negotiated to ensure the highest chance of sustainable project success.

Know what you are installing first

One of the first aspects of renewable heating design to get our heads around, is thinking about the heating system from day one of the building design. Historically the home heating system has been an afterthought and this continued way of thinking will spell doom for many renewable energy heating projects.

Get some help figuring out what technology is right for the building. Cost, building insulation levels, available services, available internal and external space all have an impact, so make sure you are 100% sure of the right technology before you do anything else.

Space layout

We discussed recently the importance of plant room design for  heating solutions, ensuring there is sufficient space for all the necessary equipment; rather than having to shoehorn items in at a later date, and compromising functionality of other area of the house. We have seen this happen so many times and it is so unnecessary.

Think about client control

The control of home heating systems is on the rise and multiple room control is becoming ever more popular. Home heating system controllability (and remote controllability) is steadily climbing towards the top of many client’s primary needs, but at the moment only limited amounts of thermostatic temperature control technology and heat pump/biomass boiler technology is capable.

This clients lifestyle needs could affects equipment and hardware choice and as a result affect first fix and other basic service requirements.

Integrated system design

Integrated design is something many strive for and few effortlessly execute. Even in a basic project design integration can be as simple as making sure the underfloor heating contractor knows what temperature heat source is going to be used; and as a result has been designed with this in mind, before being buried beneath tonnes of screed. This is a simple issue that can be solved with better channels of communication.

Involve the installer early

Again we have discussed this point before in our earlier blogs but if you have successfully negotiated the earlier stages of the building and heating system feasibility, involving installers and getting early costs and advice will be invaluable.

Benefits of involving installers early are numerous but include having time to get references, enabling them to plan ahead and ensure your project can be focussed upon, and you also get a gauge of how engaged they are with the project.

Whilst there are many subtle aspects to renewable project planning they all involve simply planning ahead and thinking about the final solution. In order to get some of your answers you need to ask some solid questions on cost and technology practicality and then get out there and find competent installers who are happy to communicate, engage with the project and can provide invaluable help with some of the finer technical planning aspects of the individual technology you’re going to install.

We here at Mesh are here to help. If you want your project to have the best chance of getting off to a flying start just contact us on 08445 003383 or visit our website at

Doug Johnson

Doug is a chartered mechanical engineer and has had the pleasure of being involved in the UK renewable sector since 2008. With wide-ranging operational and design experience in both the domestic and commercial sectors across a wide range of recognised technologies he hopes to be able to share his experience to help enlighten and save you hassle along the way.