GSHC Services

GSHC Viability and Design

Ground source heat pumps have the potential to provide a vast and sustainable source of renewable heating and cooling to the UK – but only with appropriate design by suitably qualified and experienced companies.

Carbon Zero Consulting has nearly 20 years’ experience of design and installation of ground source heating and cooling systems with involvement with system scale ranging from domestic to the largest commercial . Combined with our expertise in water management and borehole design, we are perfectly placed to provide the right level of technical and design service.

We provide services at every stage of a GSHC project and we can manage your whole project:


Viability assessment – the ‘Georeport’

Our involvement often starts with an initial chat on the telephone. We are happy to talk through options and pros & cons of available renewable heat technologies. We are not lawyers – so we don’t charge for a chat! Our first formal design stage is a domestic or commercial ‘Georeport‘.
Typically a Georeport will be a ‘desk-top’ assessment of geology, potential for open loop, drilling risks and rock thermal properties (for closed loop). We use initial building heating and cooling requirements to provide a first pass design of the number, depth and specification of boreholes or trenches needed to ensure sustainable ground heat exchange capacity for your building.
At this stage we can also provide budget project costs. Our Georeport often accompanies other tender documentation to obtain formal quotes from drilling contractors or system installers, as well as advice on reliable contractors in your area.

System Design

Once decisions have been made to proceed with a particular GSHC design, we provide borehole design and system modelling expertise required to ensure the ground source system matches the building’s long term heating and cooling characteristics.
This input includes:
  • Modelling of building heat loss (and gain) characteristics
  • Hydrogeology and borehole design for open loop systems
  • Closed loop borehole array; design and modelling
  • Update of ‘desktop’ designs using in-situ measurements from a TRT or soil survey
  • Regulatory requirements; we provide you with all the technical input to meet the Regulator’s specific needs – generally for open loop systems
  • Drafting of design documentation and engineering drawings
  • This detailed design process ensures you get a reliable and efficient heating system. Furthermore, we also assess and check installers/ drillers work to ensure robustness of the undertaken work

    Design surveys and system testing

    For closed loop systems we provide Thermal Response Testing (TRT) for borehole schemes and Soil Thermal Conductivity surveys for horizontal schemes. See specific sections of our website for further detail.

    SOS – my ground source heat pump doesn’t work!

    Sadly, not all ground source heat pump systems have been designed by engineers and specialists with the same degree of experience as we have at Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd. As a result, there exist some systems that are not fit for purpose – or in some cases, blatantly wrong.

    Ground source heat pump technology is relatively new to the UK, and as such the development of accepted standards, guidelines and policing of the quality of design and construction is not fully developed.

    We are members of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association ( and are active in the development of ‘Standards’ documents. Standards are available from the GSHPA for Vertical Closed Loop Boreholes and Thermal Piles. The Standard for Shallow Ground Source Systems will be available shortly – with Open Loop to follow.

    Accreditation of designers/installers by MCS ( is of course a benefit – but there is no equivalent to MCS for large or very large schemes. MCS provides guidelines and an accreditation system for GSHP installations up to (currently) 70kW.

    So, if your system is not performing as you were lead to believe, we are here to help you in the following areas;

    • Assessment of the system in terms of suitability of original design parameters
    • Examination of plant room systems and ground source installations
    • Testing of closed loop or open loop borehole system response
    • Determination of whether the original design is fit for purpose
    • Provision of design updates to improve system performance
    • Preparation of technical analysis and reports for legal proceedings (see our section on Expert Witness)

    ground source heat pump experts

    Expert Witness

    We provide expert witness services in all our areas of our experience and expertise; Ground Source Heating and Water Management.

    We have a unique blend of Engineering and Earth science experience with excellent ability to draft detailed technical assessments and reports for use in civil, criminal and adjudication cases.

    A testimonial from a specialist solicitor can be provided.

    Please contact us to see how we can help you with your case.