Pioneering project to see largest tower block gas replacement in the UK

A pioneering project to install lifesaving sprinklers and ground source heat to 364 of our flats has launched, involving what is thought to be the largest gas replacement in high rise tower blocks in the UK.

The project, named ‘Core 364’, is being delivered with our regeneration partner, Engie, as part of a £9million investment in the tower blocks on the north side of the River Wear.

Residents in our seven blocks are set to benefit from significant energy bill savings as a result of uniquely heating both their home and water with renewable heat from the Earth’s core.

The move, which aims to maximise the fire safety of these seven tower blocks, comes as part of our announcement earlier in the year that outlined a new £300 million investment in our existing 29,000 homes.

The modernisation work will also see us upgrade the fire alarm and smoke detection systems in each of the blocks, as well as the installation of a state of the art sprinkler system which will take the number of our tower blocks with sprinklers to eight.

Gentoo Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Wilson, said:

“Gentoo is committed to providing safe and affordable housing for its tenants and I’m delighted to welcome the start of this important work, delivering real savings for our tenants and generating renewable heat for their homes.”

Sunderland City Council Leader, Cllr Graeme Miller said:

"Gentoo has a multi-million pound investment programme underway across Sunderland and these safety upgrades are going to be welcomed by tenants, alongside greener and cleaner energy with lower bills. This is good housing practice at work with investments in safer and greener properties.”

Andrew McIntosh, Regional Managing Director at ENGIE, said:

“We have a great partnership with Gentoo and are delighted to help bring this innovative and energy efficient solution to all residents involved in this project. Our expertise in wide scale regeneration and energy projects will ensure this project is delivered effectively, providing North Tower residents with a modern heating system and enhanced fire safety features.”