The Quaker value of simplicity, which supports taking good care of the earth and trying to leave the world in a better place after we have left, has driven the school to actively support sustainability and tackle environmental issues relating to its campus.

Craig Pierotti, Estates Manager, Bootham School, explains, “We engaged Dr James Dickinson from Buro Happold to complete an energy assessment, which included thermal modelling of all the buildings. His recommendations provided the school with various options some of which were quick wins such as insulation and flow restrictors. However, other options required a larger investment and careful consideration. As part of our development plan a new Art Centre was constructed which provided us with the opportunity to invest in sustainable initiatives such as Photovoltaic panels, green roofs, greywater recycling, LED lighting and sophisticated boiler controls.”

As a boarding school, with residency on campus, a vibrant programme of summer schools and lets, and one of the city’s oldest swimming pools on site, there is a 24/7 near 365 need for hot water produced from the modern boiler house facilities. The school decided to supplement the existing boiler plant with an on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system.

The school worked with Brentwood Consulting Engineers, contractor John Wright Electrical and Mechanical and Adveco, who recommended the installation of two Adveco TOTEM T25 m-CHP units and Adveco MSS5000 for a pre-fed boiler system. Electrical generation by the CHP would decrease the energy import of the school, making operational savings, as well as lowering carbon dioxide emissions. The thermal storage tanks would provide a reservoir of heated water from the CHP to a secondary hot water circuit which then operates constantly through the entire school and boarding houses enabling the drawing off of hot water at any point.

“The installation was completed on time, to cost, and successfully due to the team effort. Everyone was on board and got on with it, otherwise I don’t think we would be in the situation where we are, producing the results we are today,” says Craig “It’s absolutely fantastic!”

Running data obtained for the first three months was analysed against the pre-contract predictions which shows that the system is running broadly as expected in terms of annual running hours, cost and CO₂ emission savings.

The NOx emissions are also greatly reduced. Average UK NOx emissions from the production of electricity that enters the grid is 750 mg/kWh. The NOx emissions from the TOTEM units, in comparison, is less than 40 mg/kWh of electricity output. That does not take into account the heat output from the school’s two appliances. When considered in this way as a waste product, the heat output essentially becomes NOx free.