Somerset House


Based near the Strand, Somerset House is one of London's iconic buildings, which has been home for National Records and the Inland Revenue. The organisation has charitable status but is now developing the site for wider commercial and leisure purposes, with aimed at generating rental income that will help the Trust become financially self-supporting.


There were concerns that the electrical infrastructure was insufficient for the current and predicted future demand, and that cooling was insufficient for the three new restaurants being developed.


The Trust was also keen to reduce its carbon-footprint.


Technical Solution

Cynergin is implementing a 530kW CHP system as the primary source of heat and electricity to the building.


We consolidated six different electrical incoming supplies, to enable almost the entire site to be served by the CHP - meaning it could operate in island mode (and could therefore use the CHP as back-up in the event of power failure). This reduces the Trust's electricity cost substantially and boosts their security of supply.


We are also installing two new energy-efficient boilers.


The excess heat from the CHP is being utilised to provide cooling, via an absorption chiller. This satisfies the requirement for air-conditioning in the new restaurants, as well as providing an efficient system for the building overall.


We overcame a substantial technical difficulty regarding the location of the heat-rejection units. Due to the building's Listed status, we were unable to site these in any visible area, including the roof. After much due-diligence work, we established a suitable location in a light well - which had sufficient air-flow to provide the cooling, but that was not visible from the exterior of the building.


We are also installing new pumps, controls and other demand-reduction measures.


Commercial Solution

Cynergin is operating as lead EPC contractor. The capital value of the project is ~£2m, with annual savings guaranteed (by Cynergin) of £245,000.



The project will deliver:

  • Revenue savings (£245,000 per annum at today's energy prices);
  • 16% CO2 reduction;
  • More resilient electrical infrastructure;
  • Improved internal climate to provide a high-quality environment for the new Trust strategy.


The project is due to be completed in December 2015




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