Located in Kings Cross, ‘Old’ Maiden Lane Estate is comprised of 444 dwellings. The low-rise apartments and houses on the estate were constructed between 1976 and 1983. Since its original construction the communal heat and hot water network has not been upgraded since construction.
New Maiden Lane
In 2017 a further 273 homes were added in the form of five further blocks of mixed tenure. Beneath these a new plant area was built and capacity allowed to add further plant. The proposal is to add ‘Old’ Maiden Lane to this new system and to close down the ‘Old’ Maiden Lane plant room.
Why is the work required?
The network is beyond its expected life and the condition of the current network is poor, with significant high value repairs, heat lost throughout the buried distribution and a high volume of service interruptions experienced by residents. Repair and planned maintenance has cost Camden £920,892.19 from April 2016 to date. We cannot afford to continue to spend money on repairs at this rate.
A single energy centre
Bringing together heat and water services to all 789 dwellings into a single energy centre will streamline Camden’s delivery. The project will contribute to delivering Camden’s 2030 plan to reduce the Borough’s carbon emissions, specifically at Maiden Lane by an estimated 40%.
By providing a new heating network that is fully controllable, better insulated and efficient, it will support the work of improving housing conditions in the Borough.
Expected to cost in the region of £12m, the heating project is a huge undertaking with a full upgrade of the original distribution across the estate. The works are planned to commence late 2024 and hopefully be completed over a 2 year period gradually working across the estate in phases.
External grant funding
In May 2023, Camden applied for funding via the Green Heat Network Fund. In September 2023 we received notification that we had been successful and awarded £3m to support carbon-reducing elements of the proposed network upgrade.
Residents can expect to benefit from the following works:
- Creation of a single energy centre serving all 789 dwellings, optimising energy use.
- Replacement of the existing four traditional communal boilers with two high efficiency condensing boilers.
- Introduction of an air source heat pump system that will generate low carbon heat.
- A ‘heat interface unit’ (HIU) to provide hot water on demand to bathrooms and kitchens along with space heating via radiators
- An integrated heat meter will allow the automatic metering and billing of heat used. For the first time residents will pay for actual usage.
- Resident will have an ability to programme heating on an individual basis
- New heating source in bathrooms
- Adjustable radiator valves to adjust the heat output of the radiators
- New pipe work throughout the estate and within each property
In addition, the project will fold in the following works also required on the estate:
- The bulk gas network provided for cooking is also in poor condition will be decommissioned and residents compensated with a payment to enable the replacement of their gas cooking appliance with an electric powered alternative
- To support the increase in electrical usage and address identified remedial work to the estate’s electrical switch rooms, upgrade works will be added to the tender scope of work.
We have been maintaining regular contact with the Tenant Resident Association regarding this project. There has been engagement with the wider estate over many years therefore taking this project to delivery soon should not be a surprise.
We wrote to all residents in November to outline the scope of the project, the success in securing government funding and the benefits for residents of taking this project forward. A resident engagement event was held during January 2024 which has helped the project team to further understand what information residents would like more information on and discussion. Another resident engagement event is planned for the Spring.
Procurement and timeline
We are working with consultants to prepare the paperwork to allow us to tender the project during early 2024 with an aim of being on site late 2024.