Imperial War Museum

Ground source heating project


South Staffordshire Plc is working with IWM Estates to deliver an innovative solution using heat from an existing borehole to deliver a low carbon heating solution to the main buildings and hangars across the historic core of IWM Duxford.

Live updates

September 2023

Build-up of various plant rooms has begun

IWS M&E has started the plant room installations for hangars 2, 3, 5 and building 200. This involves building up the room with various pipework, pumps, thermal stores and electrical equipment.

August 2023

Distribution pipework in hangar 2 started

Directional drilling work commenced in hangar 2, providing a tunnel for the connecting pipework between the air handling unit and the plant room. Using noise and dust suppression tents, OnSite were able to conduct the work without disruption to the museum and its visitors.

June 2023

Timelapse cameras installed

Capturing the installation inside hangars 2 and 5, timelapse cameras were installed.

May 2023

Heat exchangers complete and ready for final connections

Building 68 was complete and ready for its connection to the borehole and ambient loop.

May 2023

Old air handling units were removed

Existing oil-fired air handling units were removed from hangars 3 and 5, making way for the new units. The existing ducting would be used alongside the new units to avoid wastage and impact to visitors.

April 2023

Work begins in building 200

Providing heat to various offices and smaller buildings, refurbishment and enabling work starts in building 200 ready for the plant room installation.

April 2023

It’s official!

In view of the public, signs were placed around the site announcing the project and the benefits it will provide.

March 2023

Installation of the heat exchangers starts in building 68

Following the production of a 3D computer aided design model, installation started on the pipework and pumps for the heat exchangers in the old salt store.

February 2023

Work paused for filming at IWM

Accommodating filming on location at the IWM, work was paused for three weeks

December 2022

Ambient loop completed

Trenches were backfilled and made good and the roads reopened ready for connection to plant rooms in the relevant hangars and buildings. The pipework was capped at either end of the ambient loop to allow for further expansion of the network in the future.

November 2022

Ambient loop pipework installed

Providing a link between the heat exchangers and plant rooms, the ambient loop pipework was installed.

October 2022

First hole in the ground

The first hole was dug in preparation for the ambient loop pipework to be laid. The opportunity was taken to lay electrical cables around existing network pipes to reduce impact, time and waste.

September 2022

Enabling works started, including the refurbishment of an old salt store

The existing building (no.68) was stripped back, structurally enhanced and redecorated ready for the installation of the heat exchangers.

June 2022

Agreement in place

Work agreed between IWM and SS Plc, programmed to cause minimal disruption to the museum and its visitors.

February 2022

Conceptual design started

Following the feasibility study, IWM engaged with SS Plc to undertake a full conceptual design.

September 2021

SS Plc conducted a feasibility study

A feasibility study was undertaken to assess the potential of a low carbon ground source heating solution, looking at potential cost savings and carbon reduction for IWM.

March 2021

Conversations started with the Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Discussions began on a low carbon solution of heating buildings across IWM’s site using an existing borehole.

Summer 2020

South Staffordshire Plc (SS Plc) began looking into alternative low carbon solutions

To fulfil our own carbon reduction commitments and those of our customers and the communities in which we operate, the group began looking into new and innovative solutions. One of these included the use of existing assets, such as boreholes, in conjunction with ground source heat pumps.

Page last updated on 23.10.2023