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South Kensington underground network to help buildings reduce energy consumption

A proposal for a £32M underground network linking the South Kensington museums, Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London was launched last week.

The scheme for underground heating and cooling network is part of a plan for eight South Kensington institutions to reduce energy use as well as the carbon intensity of heating and cooling.

The plan includes drilling of boreholes which would be used to access the natural chalk aquifer 60m below the ground to store heat during the summer for winter heating, and cool during the winter for summer cooling.

Consultant Mott MacDonald designed the underground thermal energy storage concept and also hopes to make use of the existing Victorian network of tunnels. The plan would also include carbon recution measures such as low energy lighting and heating upgrades.

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