Largest tower block gas removal project in UK underway

Pioneering project sees gas replacement in seven blocks and upgraded fire safety.

Gentoo Core 364_landscape

A pioneering project to install sprinklers and ground source heat to 364 flats in Sunderland has launched – involving what is thought to be the largest gas replacement in high-rise tower blocks in the UK.

The project – called Core 364 – is being delivered by Sunderland-based Gentoo, with its regeneration partner, Engie, as part of a £9m investment in the tower blocks.

“Gentoo is committed to providing safe and affordable housing for its tenants, and I’m delighted to welcome the start of this important work, delivering real savings for our tenants and generating renewable heat for their homes,” said Gentoo CEO Nigel Wilson.

Residents in Gentoo’s seven blocks are set to benefit from significant energy bill savings as a result of uniquely heating both their home and water with renewable heat from the Earth’s core.

The move, which aims to maximise the fire safety of these seven tower blocks, comes as part of Gentoo’s announcement earlier in the year that outlined a new £300m investment in its existing 29,000 homes.

Modernisation work will also see Gentoo upgrade the fire alarm and smoke detection systems in each of the blocks, as well as the installation of a state-of-the-art sprinkler system that will take the number of Gentoo’s tower blocks with sprinklers to eight blocks.

“Gentoo has a multi-million pound investment programme underway across Sunderland and these safety upgrades are going to be welcomed by tenants, alongside greener and cleaner energy with lower bills,” said Sunderland city council leader Cllr Graeme Miller.

“This is good housing practice at work with investments in safer and greener properties.”

Andrew McIntosh, regional managing director at ENGIE, praised a “great partnership” with Gentoo.

“We are delighted to help bring this innovative and energy efficient solution to all residents involved in this project,” he said.

“Our expertise in wide-scale regeneration and energy projects will ensure this project is delivered effectively, providing North Tower residents with a modern heating system and enhanced fire safety features.”

Pic Caption: Engie’s Andrew McIntosh (left) with Sunderland City Council Leader, Cllr Graeme Miller and Gentoo’s CEO, Nigel Wilson, with ground breaking drill at Gentoo’s tower blocks in Roker, Sunderland.