GSHC Services

GSHC Viability and Design

With appropriate design, ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) provide THE MOST ECONOMICAL, LONGEST-LIVED AND LOWEST CARBON means for heating and cooling. GSHPs are becoming ever-more widely used for domestic, commercial and other uses. They utilize electricity, which in the UK becomes ever-lower in ‘carbon-intensity’ (due to discontinued use of coal and increasing input from renewable power sources). Within ≈20 years, the UK’s power supply will be essentially zero-carbon meaning that all GSHPs will provide ZERO CARBON heating and cooling.

We provide services at every stage of a GSHC project. Carbon Zero Consulting has 20 years’ experience of design and installation of GSHC systems with involvement from domestic to the largest commercial projects. Combined with our expertise in water management and borehole design, we are perfectly placed to provide the right level of technical and design service.


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 don’t charge for a chat! Our first formal design stage is a domestic or commercial ‘Georeport‘. This might be for closed loop and/or open-loop. Typically a Georeport will be a ‘desk-top’ assessment of geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, 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 requirements. This input includes: • Hydrogeology and borehole design for open loop systems • Borehole test pumping interpretation and reporting to Environment Agency requirements for licensing and permitting. • Closed loop borehole and shallow horizontal trench array; design and modelling • Update of ‘desktop’ designs using in-situ measurements from a borehole TRT or soil survey • Regulatory requirements; we provide all the technical input to meet the Regulator’s specific needs –for open loop borehole systems and water-source WSHP systems (river, lake, sea) • Together with input from close associates we also provide full GSHC system designs (i.e. plant room equipment in addition to borehole design).

Surveys and testing

For closed loop GSHP systems we provide Thermal Response Testing (TRT) to measure in-situ thermal properties of borehole schemes and Soil Thermal Conductivity surveys for shallow horizontal schemes. See specific sections of our website for further detail. For open-loop borehole systems, we specify, manage and perform test-pumping of boreholes to obtain the data required to obtain a licence to abstract groundwater and the environmental permit required to re-inject water. We also obtain site-specific water quality data and obtain samples required for detailed laboratory chemical and microbiological analysis. Other field services include supply and installation of borehole or river temperature, pressure data loggers and impeller flowmeter surveys for rivers and streams.

SOS – my ground source heat pump isn't performing

Sadly, there are a small number of ground source heat pump systems that were not 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.

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, Shallow Ground Source Systems and Thermal Piles. Codes of Practice (CP2 and CP3) are available from the GSHPA and CIBSE for open-loop boreholes and water source systems (WSHPs).

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)

expert witness renewables

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.